Chelsea Victory turns into Tottenham’s Humiliation as Blues go 7 points Clear at the Top of the Table
Half-Time: Chelsea 0-0 Tottenham, Full-Time: Chelsea 4-0 Spurs.
They say football is a team game and Tottenham justified the statement with their performances in both halves, and that too in different shades of performance, or rather, the absence of it. A contrast so blunt in the performance is seen rarely in either halves of the game, ever.
Chelsea looked bleak, lost in the first half while Spurs were focused, Chelsea controlled the second half and Spurs shambled and fell at the same time, not just once but many times. If a team wants to finish in the top four come May, you can’t play like that for ten odd minutes, let alone forty-five.
Meanwhile, the grass is very, very green for the Blues at the moment as they are seven points clear at the top of the table with 9 games to go.
Chelsea were going to field Fernando Torres in the game against visiting Spurs, but that wasn’t meant to be as he had to leave the warm up because of a groin strain, which proved lucky. The tried and tested back four started in front of Cech. While Matic partnered Lampard in the midfield, the latter’s inclusion being the only change. Schürrle started ahead of Willian as was expected while Hazard kept his place too. Ramires played in a forward spot.
Spurs went for five changes from their last outing by Tim Sherwood. Among them were some tactical changes in player positions including that of Kaboul, Bentaleb, Sandro, Sigurdsson and Kyle Walker walking in instead of Zeki, Dembele, Paulinho, Soldado and Townsend.
Spurs kicked off the first half but a first minute bad pass from Dawson left the ball for Schürrle to make his but he was stopped soon. A wrong offside call for Eto’o followed. The first booking came in the ninth minute when Bentaleb was booked for bringing Ramires down.
Interceptions, tackles and clearances were the only site of a humdrum first half that didn’t see the best of Chelsea apart from a Hazard attempt at an empty net, which he missed. For Tottenham, it was more of an achievement as they held the creative trio behind Eto’o with some good luck to go with their good efforts and the possibility that Chelsea would beat tottenham so badly was not present in anyone’s wildest thoughts.
However, Sandro continued to make tackles that deserved a booking but the referee for some reason or the other let him off each time, till the half came to a goal-less end with two added minutes to it.
The second half is where the game was lost and won, with Mourinho replacing Lampard with Oscar at the break, and that is when things began to change, at a steep rate. Spurs went from being the team with the best away record in the Premier League and proud opponents against league leaders to a team resembling one from the Championship. It started with a daring shot from 30 yards out by Jan Vertonghen, but the team that was playing against spurs went through a change in character, they were the counter attacking, organized team.
Spurs responded with ridiculous tackles and Sandro was finally booked in the fifty-fourth minute, right after Naughton. The game came to life when Eto’o fell and lost the ball, oh no, not then, it was passed to Vertonghen after that on the other side and then he turned around in such a way that he fell, but he did not stay down, he sent a well-aimed assist to Samuel Eto’o who scored from between the open legs of Hugo Lloris, all while a spurs player was busy tying his shoelaces.
Eto’o celebrated at the corner flag aping an old man with a hunchback. After that, the floodgates opened as Kaboul brought Eto’o down, four minutes later. This resulted in a ‘harsh’ sending off and a penalty, which Hazard magnificently scored from. It was mayhem in the Spurs team with every moment that passed after that, as Paulinho came on for Sigurdsson and Fryers replaced the Spurs captain.
A few minutes later Eto’o was replaced by Demba Ba, who came on with a mask, and then it all turned into a humiliation instead of a 2-0 defeat for spurs as Ba capitalized twice on either a player slipping in the box or someone passing him the ball. The game had long been over, but it came to an end with four added minutes of extra time.
The Blues boss José Mourinho would find it hard to deny that they are at least as much title contenders as the blue team from Manchester after Chelsea beat Tottenham so convincingly. Citizens now find a 9 points difference between them and Chelsea, and playing catch-up is no easy task in March, not even for City.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Matic, Lampard (Oscar 45’), Ramires, Hazard, Schürrle (Willian 65’), Eto’o (Ba 76’)
Subs: Schwarzer, Oscar, Mikel, Salah, Ba, Willian, Kalas
Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1): Lloris, Naughton, Dawson (Fryers 72’), Kaboul, Vertonghen, Sandro, Bentaleb, Walker, Lennon, Sigurdsson (Paulinho 61’)
Subs: Friedel, Paulinho, Soldado, Townsend, Chadli, Fryers, Kane
Referee: Michael Oliver