Plenty of pomp and circumstance to kick off this latest edition of this rivalry, but the game itself quickly settled into a nigh-unwatchable pattern of aimless Chelsea possession, the occasional Spurs counter, and plenty of play-acting, provocating, and other assorted nonsense.
Referee Stuart Attwell let both sides get away with plenty of strong play, in a tribute act to Mark Clattenburg’s performance in the 2016 Battle of the Bridge.
Chelsea had the one official shot on target of the first half, though Spurs did hit the post when Højbjerg’s shot deflected off Wesley Fofana — who was playing because Thiago Silva limped out early with a knee injury. So that’s not great.
And things got worse just 19 seconds into the second half, when Oliver Skipp leathered one past Kepa after some poor defensive awareness led to a rushed clearance. Chelsea eventually regathered ourselves around the hour-mark, but the response was about as tame as our first-half play.
Kane put the dagger in from a set piece late on.
- 4-2-3-1 with K2 and Silva in the middle, RLC and Enzo in the pivot, and Sterling-Félix-Ziyech behind Havertz up top.
- 4-4-2 diamond-ish shape in the second half. Havertz and Auba up top together for the final 10 or so.
- Silva’s knee injury a massive concern, W.Fofana deputized capably enough
- First defeat at New Three Point Lane.
- 1 goal in 6.
- 2 wins from 15.
- 12 points from 15.
- In fairness, like Southampton, Spurs had a clear plan, so what could we possibly do
- Next up: Leeds United at home on Saturday