90+3min: FULL TIME. CHELSEA WIN!
90+2min: Danny Rose doing Danny Rose things, but the referee is unmoved. Chelsea keeping cool, mostly. David Luiz and Kane both get a yellow for the fun of it.
90min: Chelsea looking calm and composed, seeing out the final few minutes here. 3 minutes added on.
84min: GOAL, CHELSEA!!! Giroud’s first action is to win the header on the goal kick, but no one in Blues is around. Trippier and Lloris both go for the ball and the former passes straight past the latter into the back of his own net! 2-0, CHELSEA!!!
83min: Final change for Chelsea as Higuain makes way for Olivier Giroud.
81min: Higuain dallies on a clearance and gives the ball away in the middle. Rudiger clears. Chelsea defending en masse.
80min: Lucas Moura for Son and Spurs push for the equalizer.
77min: Loftus-Cheek on for Kovacic. Almost immediately he beats Sanchez, but stumbles just as he’s free to run past him.
75min: Chelsea holding Spurs at bay, fashion a couple half-chances on the counter but they break down in the final third.
71min: Pedro feeling confident, tries an audacious effort from the top right corner of the penalty area, but it doesn’t curl enough and goes wide.
70min: Sissoko makes his manyeth foul as Spurs put on Llorente for Lamela.
65min: Spurs cut through Chelsea again and Davies makes a great cross from the left byline and Kane misses his tap-in. Massive let off.
64min: Eriksen beats Azpilicueta and looks odds on to score BUT HERE COMES PEDRO WITH THE SAVING TACKLE. Wow.
59min: Willian for ... Hazard?! Well okay then. Chelsea keeping up the pressure.
57min: GOAL, PEDRO!!! Out of nothing, Cheslea switch the ball and Azpilicueta bounds forward, laying it on for Pedro, who beats Alderweireld 1-v-1 and beats Lloris between the wickets from a tight angle. 1-0, CHELSEA!!
55min: Hazard taken out on the counter but no call. Spurs come forward instead, but David Luiz clears the cross.
54min: Jorginho finds Higuain over the top and he finishes with aplomb, but he was about a yard offside and the goal is rightly chalked off.
51min: Lamela clatters David Luiz right on the knee, high boot with studs showing and all, but Marriner apparently doesn’t see this one either, so we play on.
48min: Kante, Azpiliuceta, and Jorginho combine to win the ball in midfield and Chelsea come forward, finding Pedro in the area, but he can’t turn. Alonso’s effort is deflected for a throw, which Chelsea waste and Spurs have it back.
46min: No changes at half as Chelsea get us back underway. David Luiz pumps his usual ball down the left and from the throw, Cheslea fashion a shooting chance for Higuain. His long shot is blocked by Alderweireld however.
45+1min: Half-time whistle goes. Chelsea started very, very well but it was Spurs threatening by the end of the half. Both teams have hit the woodwork while Harry Kane could’ve easily seen red for his headbutt motion on Azpilicueta.
45min: Spurs finishing the half very well as Caballero down smartly to palm away a cross from Son, who had beaten Alonso and Kovacic with ease.
44min: More broken play leads to space in the middle and Winks takes aim from 25 yards. It flies over Caballero but doesn’t dip enough and slams onto the crossbar instead. Bit of a let off, although it was a very low percentage shot.
42min: Spurs have a corner and Winks takes it short towards Davies, whose cross is wayward and wide.
40min: Untidy play from both teams continues, and things get chippy and inaccurate and fractured.
32min: Chelsea give the ball away three times in quick succession, but the defense holds firm. David Luiz with a couple massive blocks and plays and Caballero makes a great save, too, although Son was offside anyway.
28min: David Luiz gives away a free kick, which Spurs cross in and Caballero punches clear. He seems to graze Rudiger’s head in the process, but everyone seems okay to carry on.
23min: From the restart, David Luiz takes exception to Harry Kane closing down the friendly ball back. He then puts his head into Azpilicueta (“leans in”) as a discussion is held, but Marriner doesn’t see it so no cards are forthcoming. Kovacic meanwhile seems to have picked up a knock.
22min: Higuain gives the ball away in midfield, but the defense recovers and Chelsea turn upfield. Trippier runs into Hazard’s elbow and the game is stopped to get him looked at.
19min: Lloris gives the ball away to Pedro, but somehow Chelsea make a mess of it with Hazard instead of turning and shooting, laying it off for Higuain instead whose left-footed curler is well wide.
16min: Everybody takes a bit of a breather after the high tempo first quarter of an hour. David Luiz tries a typical long ball, but it’s too far for Kante. Chelsea recover possession.
13min: Chelsea play out from the back very nicely and win a corner as Azpilicueta’s long shots is blocked. The ball is half cleared to Kovacic at the top and he tries an acrobatic volley that goes well wide.
11min: Teams trade goal kicks as both teams play with intent and aggression.
8min: Spurs break the high press as Azpilicueta and Jorginho get in each other’s way, but Rudiger marshalls Kane and David Luiz cuts out the cross.
6min: Chelsea hit the post! Spurs make a mess of a nothing cross and the ball falls to Higuain, whose shot spins onto the post and out. So unlucky!
5min: Kante wins the ball in midfield and Winks clatters Kovacic. Alonso lines up the left-footer from just above the corner of the penalty area ... but he keeps it low and it’s cleared. Jorginho’s ball back in is too long for either Hazard or Higuain and Spurs have a throw deep in their own half, which they then hack clear.
3min: A long ball for Hazard is cleared for a throw, from which Alonso wins a free kick in a good crossing position. Hazard swings in the right-footer, but Trippier clears after a couple touches.
1min: Spurs gets us underway and Rudigers clears twice but Spurs hold the early possession.
KICK-OFF: The reaction to Sarri’s lineup has been ... less than positive ... to put it kindly. But no one will care too much if we win. The light show and pyrotechnics are done, it’s time to turn intentions into reality.
It’s a season-defining match under the lights at Stamford Bridge tonight as rivals Tottenham roll into town.
As usual, it’s drama central in the SW6, but Chelsea can push a lot of those shenanigans into the background by winning this game.
A loss could spell further doom and gloom, especially for Maurizio Sarri.
He’s put his faith in Caballero in goal, Alonso at left back, and Pedro at right wing.
Here we go.
Chelsea starting lineup (4-3-3):
Caballero | Alonso, David Luiz, Rudiger, Azpilicueta (c) | Kovacic, Jorginho, Kante | Hazard, Higuain, Pedro
Substitutes from: Arrizabalaga, Christensen, Barkley, Loftus-Cheek, Willian, Hudson-Odoi, Giroud
Tottenham Hotspur starting lineup (4<4>2):
Lloris (c) | Davies, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Trippier | Winks, Eriksen < Lamela > Sissoko | Kane, Son
Subsitutes from: Gazzaniga, Aurier, Rose, Foyth, Wanyama, Lucas Moura, Llorente
Date / Time: Wednesday, February 27, 2019, 20:00 GMT; 3pm EST; 1:30am IST (next day)
Venue: Stamford Bridge, SW6
Referee: Andre Marriner
On TV: BT Sport 1 (UK); NBCSN, Universo (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: BT Sport Live (UK); NBC Sports Live, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (USA); Hotstar (India); Fubo (affiliate link — USA only)
Be excellent to each other.