Chelsea’s Strength and Quality Reveals Gulf in Class Against Tottenham Hotspur
Attacking, Energetic Tottenham Lack Quality in First Half
A lack of creativity in midfield has been an issue for Spurs for some time and Nuno Espirito Santo rang the changes to combat that by bringing Tanguy Ndombele into the starting line up as well as Son Heung-min, who returned from injury. The attacking Brazilian right-back Emerson Royal also started, with Cristian Romero partnering Eric Dier at the back.
Tottenham started on the front foot and pressed Chelsea high, upsetting their rhythm. when it came to the final third, however, the decision making and lack of quality of the Tottenham players was clear to see. Sergio Reguilon beared down on the Chelsea goal but, rather than shooting, he tried to pass across the box, and, in the end, executed the pass poorly. For all of the hard work of the Spurs players, it was very much a case of huffing and puffing but not being able to blow the house down.
That lack of quality and cutting edge was always likely to cost Spurs. And, in the second half, they were chasing shadows – revealing more worrying evidence of a team that lacks cohesion, creativity and strength in depth.
N’Golo Kante Introduction Changed the Game
Thomas Tuchel changed things at half-time, taking off the ineffective Mason Mount and introducing N’Golo Kante. And it was a change that altered the direction of the game. Kante wanted the ball and drove forward at the Spurs back line. On 49 minutes, Chelsea led through a Thiago Silva header, who rose from a corner unchallenged, leaving Spurs behind to a familiar foe; poor defending. Dier and Dele Alli both stood rooted to the spot, and the second half was all too familiar to Spurs fans.
Tottenham Hotspur Lack Direction and Should Be Worried
Spurs managed just 2 shots on target (BBC Sport) and, even when you consider the first three games of the season when Spurs won by a solitary goal, there were already signs that there was a lack of guile up front. Even though Ndombele showed some strength and skill at times, he still does not look a player who will change a game or put in the hard yards when his team need him to pull his weight.
Harry Kane looks a shadow of the player that Spurs fans are used to and the defence is starting to look weak once more after the three clean sheets to start the season and suggest that things were going in the right direction.
Tottenham’s Issues all Too Familiar
Tuchel came into Chelsea turned a team that were treading water, into Champions League winners and one of the favourites for the 2021/22 Premier League title. They do the basics right and can step up a gear when needed just as they showed as they overpowered Tottenham in the second half. Ultimately, the match ended 3-0, but it could have been five or six, and it would not have flattered Chelsea.
As for Tottenham, they play Arsenal next at the Emirates and Espirito Santo needs to decide what his best team is, his best formation and what he actually wants from his Spurs team. Against Chelsea, he got energy in the first half but that means nothing when the quality is lacking. The same issues that Spurs had under Jose Mourinho are still there for all to see.
It was a Chelsea second half performance that showed the direction of two London clubs. Chelsea are getting better and better and will win silverware. Tottenham are going backwards, lacking leaders on the pitch and, on this performance, it is going to be a long season and one that looks a long way away from success.
New manager, new director of football but the same Tottenham Hotspur.
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