Shock after shock has been brought this year, but not a Spurs win at Stamford Bridge.
On Saturday, they were on course to finally break the 26-year hoodoo, playing with Chelsea for
40 minutes and taking a lead through Christian Eriksen’s amazing 10th-minute goal. Then,
in a six-minute spell either side of half-time, Chelsea scored twice, through Pedro and Victor Moses.
This restored the Blues to the Premier League summit, a position that they surrendered to Liverpool in late afternoon,
and inflicted Spurs’ first top flight defeat of the season.
The Spurs arrived off after the midweek hard match in Monaco
and with one win in nine games.
Chelsea had not conceded in six matches this season, all of them won.
In Just ten minutes gone Dele Alli was allowed to drive forward to the
edge of the Chelsea penalty box before being challenged. When David Luiz did engage Alli popped the ball off to
Eriksen who had drifted, untracked, off the right flank.
The Dane took full advantage of this,
unleashing a 20-yard shot which went around from Thibaut Courtois and inside the left-hand post.
Chelsea had conceded the first goal in 600 Premier League minutes, and the first in seven matches
since switching to a three-man defence. Bolstered by it Spurs became even more dominant.
Unusual for them, Chelsea struggled to gain, or retain, the ball.
Diego Costa was isolated, a frustrated Luiz
was booked for a hack at Harry Kane. On the touchline Antonio Conte was in turns furious and enraged.
Even with all this Spurs’ control, however, clear chances were few. Victor Wanyama,
Eriksen and Moussa Dembele shot over from range, from a similar distance Kane tested Courtois, but not enough to for anything to happen. And, as so often,
the superior team paid for their failure to convert possession into goals.
Mauricio Pochettino failed to restore their spirit for they conceded again
early in the second period. Caught in possession in midfield they were then drawn to Costa’s run down the inside left .
This left Moses completely alone to run in from the right and onto Costa’s cut-back and drill the ball
in via the legs of Lloris and Jan Vertonghen.
The amazing reversal of fortunes brought back bitter memories for the visitors of the stormy match here in May,
their last visit, when they lost despite a two-goal lead, their title hopes.
They regrouped, and gradually began to press.
After Kane managed to get out a half-chance for Eriksen, Conte decided it was time to dig in.
Willian came on for Hazard, Branislav Ivanovic for Moses.
Chelsea circled the wagons.
Spurs did not lack for desire but they didnt had the power, after a draining week,
to pierce the blue blanket.