Battle of the Bridge Reminds Tottenham Hotspur to Remain Calm in Top of the Table Clash Against Chelsea

Battle of the Bridge

The “Battle of the Bridge” in May 2016 saw Leicester City crowned Premier League champions. Tottenham Hotspur had travelled to Stamford Bridge needing a win over Chelsea to stay in the title race. The occasion tuned sour though as the Tottenham Hotspur players lost control and on Sunday 29th November 2020, the two meet again at the top of the table.

Battle of the Bridge Can Finally Be Forgotten With Victory

Spurs Must Learn From Previous Encounter

That Monday night, May 2nd 2016 was a night that Tottenham Hotspur need to have learned from. That match had started well with Spurs two goals up. The goals came from the currently on fire Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane. After 45 minutes, Mauricio Pochettino’s men were still in the title race. The players’ then lost their heads. In the Amazon documentary ‘All or NothingJose Mourinho told his players that they needed to be clever. They needed to learn to be tougher, nastier. In 2016, he may have said they were neither clever nor astute.

Half-Time Bust-Up

At the break, two goals up, Tottenham should have got into the dressing room but instead Danny Rose and Willian became embroiled in a fracas. Moussa Dembele was caught on camera ‘gouging’ the eye of Chelsea striker Diego Costa. An indiscretion that cost Spurs their midfielder for ten games.

Youngest Team

Spurs were looking to win their first title for 55 years. Mauricio Pochettino had built a squad that was the youngest in the league. Pochettino told BBC Sport after that match:

“It’s football, we are men, they are men. We need to show we are strong.

“It was a good lesson for us, we are the youngest squad in the league, we feel very proud and our supporters need to feel proud too, we have massive potential for the future.”

A Champions League final would become the closest Pochettino got to silverware but with the Argentinian over a year gone, it is Jose Mourinho that has Tottenham sitting at the top end of the table once more.

Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham – A Different Beast

Under Jose Mourinho, Tottenham Hotspur have shown that they can grind out results. They can really dig in when it matters. Against Burnley and West Bromwich Albion Spurs were faced with resilient and physical opponents. The football may not have been easy on the eye but in both situations, Mourinho’ men kept going and got the victories. Only the opening day defeat at home to Everton is a blot on Spurs league form. Had it not been for a controversial decision robbing them of two points against Newcastle United and a lack of concentration against West Ham United, they would comfortably be top of the Premier League.

In that infamous ‘Battle of the Bridge, the Spurs players reacted to provocation. They were issued with nine yellow cards. Jose Mourinho will know that his players must not react. They need to be more clever. They need to be the provokers and be strong, physical and astute.

A win at Stamford Bridge will send Tottenham Hostpur back to the top of the table and would finally put that May night in 2016 out of mind at last.

Conclusion and Prediction

Chelsea and Tottenham are both scoring goals and defending well. Both Frank Lampard and Jose Mourinho will know this game is huge in the season so far. Whoever wins will be top and will be laying down a marker in the title race.

Expect a tight, physical and tactical match with the odd goal taking all three points.

Prediction: Chelsea 1 Tottenham Hotspur 2.

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