We’ve seen some dramatic encounters over the years between these two teams, but this one will probably be remembered for a bit longer than most — though not necessarily for all the right reasons (certainly not the first 45 minutes).
Still, despite all the drama, all the nonsense, all the bad refereeing processes, Chelsea got all of the points (though not quite as comfortably as the scoreline would suggest)!
We certainly didn’t look likely to emerge with a win from this early on, with Spurs threatening to run us right over in the opening minutes. Kulusevski’s opening goal in the sixth minute did have a slice to luck to it, as the shot deflected off Levi Colwill, but Spurs were cutting through Chelsea at will and with very little resistance. Only the linesman’s flag saved us from going behind by two inside of fifteen minutes, ruling out Son’s effort.
The game became a bit more of an even contest after that, though not exactly a free-flowing one, with plenty of fouls and stoppages. Raheem Sterling appeared to equalize on a great individual effort, but the ball had hit his hand and VAR ruled it out. VAR failed to send off Cristian Romero for kicking out at Colwill behind the play meanwhile, though Romero would not be so lucky some ten minutes later, after he had clattered Enzo Fernandez in the area with a high tackle. (Caicedo had a goal ruled out during that play as well, for a Jackson offside.)
Cole Palmer made no mistake from the spot.
Then we had another goal ruled out, this time from Nicolas Jackson, who was off on the initial run behind Spurs’ high line. Twelve minutes of first-half stoppage produced no goals, and no further VAR reviews either. (But Colwill and Porro did get into some handbags, earning yellows as the temperature of those first 45 minutes threatened to melt all the polar icecaps.)
Chelsea looked to turn our advantage into a win in the second half, and despite our horrendous finishing in general, we would find a second goal eventually: Jackson tapping in from a Sterling square ball. Spurs were down to nine by then, with Destiny Udogie getting a second yellow for an obvious foul on Sterling (who managed to mess up a 3-v-2 counter to “set up” the tackle).
You would think we could’ve seen out a 2-1 lead comfortably against nine men, but you would be wrong. Eric Dier had an equalizer ruled out for offside (just!) and we were defending desperately at times in the closing stages, including a game-saving save from Robert Sánchez in the 93rd minute on a Son clear-cut opportunity.
Jackson’s brace in the added-on time from then on completed his hat-trick, and finally put shattered Spurs out of their misery.
- Pochettino opts for Colwill at left back and Jackson up top. Colwill off at the half for Cucurella.
- Jackson’s hat-trick against Spurs the first since one Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink!
- Sterling, Gallagher, Palmer with an assist each
- fwiw, VAR made the correct decision every time; but the process needs improvement
- Next up: Manchester City at home on Sunday