PLAYER RATINGS: Chelsea Strike Late To Snatch A 2-1 Victory Over Spurs

PLAYER RATINGS: Chelsea Strike Late To Snatch A 2-1 Victory Over Spurs
Aug 20, 2017

Chelsea Featured Tottenham

Chelsea versus Tottenham has become the most heated derby in English football over the past few seasons and today was no different. In 2015, when Chelsea snatched a late equaliser to stop Spurs from winning the title, there were 12 yellow cards and numerous brawls as the teams drew 2-2.

Last seasons FA Cup semi-final saw Chelsea edge out their North London rivals 4-2 and tipped Pochettino’s men to the Premier League title. This season, with Chelsea having an early season crisis by losing to Burnley at home 3-2 whilst Spurs playing at Wembley, a ground that haunts them, this was set to be intriguing viewing.

The first half was largely dominated by Spurs with Conte setting Chelsea up in a 3-5-2 formation with N’Golo Kanté, Tiémoué Bakayoko and David Luiz sitting deep in order to prevent Spurs’ attacking prowess. New signing Álvaro Morata should have put Chelsea up 1-0 after 5 minutes but a poor header wide from 5 yards let Spurs off. Tottenham had 64% possession at halftime but it was Chelsea who took the lead following a brilliant free-kick by Marcos Alonso from 25 yards. Harry Kane, who has never scored in August, nearly put Spurs level but his low drive hit the post with Courtois well beaten. A late flurry of attacks were kept out by the Blues defence and put Conte’s side 1 nil up after 45 minutes.

With Chelsea taking an advantage into the second half, Spurs pushed higher up the pitch, penning Chelsea into their own half. The constant waves of attacks eventually paid off with substitute Michy Batshuayi heading into his own net after a dangerous whipped ball in by Eriksen on the 82nd minute. With 10 minutes remaining, it was all set for a Spurs winner but Marcos Alonso doubled his and Chelsea’s tally by firing straight past Lloris into the bottom corner to give Chelsea a resilient, well earned 2-1 victory over a Spurs side who didn’t lose at home last season.

Tottenham:

Hugo Lloris: 4

Largely untested today, he stood no chance of saving Alonso’s free-kick but Chelsea’s second goal should have been saved by the experienced Frenchman. Diving awkwardly down to his right he got over the ball which allowed Alonso’s low drive to creep under him which cost Spurs a point.

Jan Vertonghen: 6

Didn’t have to do too much at the back today defensively and neither goals were really his fault. When going forward, he was composed in Chelsea’s half and assisted moves well.

Toby Alderweireld: 6

Did well against Morata today on the whole. Although he lost flight of the ball for Morata’s early chance, he was more than a match for the ex-Real Madrid man and did well when in a 1v1 situation on the 69th minute.

Eric Dier: 7

His movement from a centre-back to a central midfielder allowed Spurs to take on Chelsea’s three man midfield and the Englishman sprayed the ball around nicely today. His lunge in the 31st minute against Willian and Moses should have earned him a red card considering Cahill got that for a similar challenge last weekend.

Ben Davies: 6

Davies got up and down that left-hand side today and helped the attack and defence but I felt he could have done more when in the final third, never really getting in behind of Moses to really test the Nigerian.

Kieran Trippier: 6

Was always a threat against Alonso and Rudiger today. Unlike Davies, he did get in behind, however, his final pass let him down on crosses which Kane could have fed off if the delivery was right.

Victor Wanyama: 6

Solid in the middle of the pitch, never did anything silly and kept the shape for Spurs. Didn’t assist much with the attack which was to be expected so an average performance from the Kenyan.

Mousa Dembélé: 7

The Belgian powerhouse was always a willing runner with the ball, carrying it from deep and brushing past Kante and Bakayoko. A few neat through balls if latched onto by Kane would have had Chelsea in trouble.

Dele Alli: 5

Although he moved about and allowed play to flow in the final third, a silly, needless tackle set up the free-kick which Alonso scored from. Never really did anything dangerous to trouble his markers but worked tirelessly and won numerous free-kicks.

Christian Eriksen: 7

The brilliant Danish play maker was pulling all the strings today for Tottenham. His pinpoint crosses from set pieces could have seen Spurs score several today, with Batshuayi heading into his own net from one of his deliveries.

Harry Kane: 6

An instinctive strike saw Kane hit the post in the first half but otherwise, he never tested Courtois or the defence enough to what we are used to. Man marked by Christensen Kane should have bullied the 21-year-old.

Subs:

Son Heung-Min: 6

When Son came on he made some clever runs in behind but again his final ball didn’t cut Chelsea open so largely ineffective off the bench.

Moussa Sissoko: 5

The Frenchman came on for Davies after 80 minutes but can’t remember him even touching the ball, a wasted sub by Pochettino.

Vincent Janssen: N/A

Janssen came on the 91st minute so didn’t have an opportunity to make a difference.

Chelsea:

Thibaut Courtois: 8
Saved a number of shots from Kane, Davies and other Spurs players throughout the game and was always on hand to catch Eriksen’s dead play crosses. A great display by the Belgian today kept Chelsea in the match.
Antonio Rüdiger: 7
On only his second Premier League appearance, the German who arrived from Roma in the summer put in a solid effort at the back, clearing and intercepting a number of balls in behind. Overall a competent performance.
César Azpilicueta: 6
The Spaniard who was captaining Chelsea for only the second time today had one of his worst games in a Blues shirt. Usually the most reliable player in the starting 11, César lunged into a couple of tackles and come out not winning the ball. A shaky performance but it will be a one-off for sure.
Andreas Christensen: 7
The 21-year-old, who has been on loan at German outfit Borussia Monchengladbach for the past two seasons, was played as the central man in the back three and played well up against Harry Kane. A few nervy moments for the young man such as a potential hand ball in the box will be forgotten about and today will be another huge learning experience for the Danish defender.
Marcos Alonso: 9 (MOTM)
An all round brilliant performance by the Spanish wing back today was rounded off by scoring two goals and most importantly the winner to make it 2-1. Alonso was onto every potential Spurs attack down his side of the pitch and going forward he provided an outlet for a team who were mostly in their own half. Chelsea have been rumoured to want Juventus’ left wing back Alex Sandro but after today, Alonso has shown Chelsea don’t need to delve into the market too quickly.
Victor Moses: 8
Always bombarding forward, Moses was another unsung hero for Chelsea today and kept Alli and Davies quiet down that side of the pitch. Got into the opposition box a few times and caused havoc with his low crosses.
N’Golo Kanté: 8
A typical N’Golo Kanté performance. A few passes went astray by the little Frenchman but the key part to his game, interceptions, were superb and broke up countless Spurs attacks.
David Luiz: 8
The Brazilian was put into a defensive midfield role today by Conte and he bossed it. Roaming around the field breaking up play alongside Kanté, Luiz had to be careful as he was on a yellow from the 30th minute but he kept his cool and helped dictate play when Chelsea had the ball.
Tiémoué Bakayoko: 6
It was Bakayoko’s debut in the Premier League and it was a baptism of fire for the 23-year-old. Still not fully 100% since his injury in the summer, Conte was forced to deploy the ex-Monaco midfielder and his lack of match sharpness showed with late tackles and stray passes occurring. After 30 minutes he had 50% pass accuracy but did grow into the game. A nice bursting run in the 40th minute showed a glimpse of what we can expect from him as he gets over his injury.
Willian: 8
Playing as one of the front two today, Willian was a willing runner, constantly tracking back and helping the midfield out today. His ability to carry the ball forward relieved pressure and started numerous counter attacks for Chelsea. A great display by the Brazilian whose work ethic shouldn’t be overlooked on what was a hard day for him.
Álvaro Morata: 5
The Spaniard got a goal and assist against Burnley last week so his first start for the Blues was widely anticipated by the Chelsea faithful. A poor header early on set the tone for his display, with his hold up play quite poor with Alderweireld and Vertonghen bullying him off the ball. Morata will need to build his physique to become a lone striker able to hold up play similar to how Diego Costa does. Very good defensively at defending set-pieces for his side, it must be said.

Subs:

Pedro: 7
Pedro was only on the field for 10 minutes but his delicate pass to Alonso in behind set up Chelsea’s second goal. Didn’t have much time to do anything else.
Michy Batshuayi: 5
Replacing Morata, Batshuayi knows he needs to get goals to displace Chelsea’s record signing but scoring own goals certainly wouldn’t have been on his to-do list. An own goal which nearly cost Chelsea 2 points today will certainly play on Conte’s mind come future matches.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *