Tottenham increased their chances of finishing in the top four of the Premier League with a London derby victory over Chelsea, putting pressure on Blues manager Graham Potter.
Oliver Skipp’s thunderous 20-yard effort shortly after the break put the hosts in command, and Harry Kane’s late knock-down sealed the victory.
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While the majority of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was in a celebratory mood in the final stages, Kane’s goal caused visiting supporters to flee as Chelsea’s recent woes continued.
The Blues have now won just two of their last 15 Premier League games and are 14 points outside of the Champions League places.
This result is likely to cast more doubt on Chelsea’s expensively assembled squad – with British record signing Enzo Fernandez to blame for Spurs’ opener – as well as Potter, who recently detailed the toll that criticism has taken on his family and mental health.
Meanwhile, Spurs are on a roll, having won four of their last five league games.
The hosts are now fourth in the table, four points ahead of fifth-placed Newcastle, who have two games in hand. Manager Antonio Conte is expected to return to work this week after recovering from surgery.
Overall, the hosts deserved the three points and came closest to breaking the deadlock early on when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s deflected effort went past a motionless Kepa Arrizabalaga but hit the right-hand post.
The most talked-about aspect of an underwhelming first half was referee Stuart Attwell’s initial decision to send off Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech following a melee in which visiting forward Kai Havertz and home defender Emerson Royal were both booked.
After issuing yellow cards to those players, Attwell dismissed the Moroccan winger on the advice of his assistant referee before downgrading it to a yellow after the video assistant referee recommended that the official review his decision.
A team sheet that included six changes from their defeat to Southampton, as well as the inclusion of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as a substitute, emphasized Chelsea’s bloated squad’s uncertainty and flux.
To emphasize the point, Gabon forward Aubameyang was introduced in the 83rd minute after appearing to be benched following January’s lavish spending spree.
The striker was brought on only after midfielders Denis Zakaria and Mason Mount had come on ahead of him, with Chelsea looking for a leveler.
The loss of Thiago Silva in the first half did not help the visitors’ rhythm, but after Skipp opened the scoring with a superb shot Arrizabalaga could only get a hand to, Chelsea’s hopes of getting anything from the game seemed to fade quickly.
Despite their neat and tidy possession, Potter’s side only had two shots on target, one of which came from inside the Tottenham penalty area.
Spurs, on the other hand, delivered the perfect counter-attacking display, exploiting their 41% possession at home to record only their eighth Premier League victory in 62 attempts against their London rivals.
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The difference in approaches was highlighted by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s 80 touches compared to opposite number Fernandez’s 134.
Meanwhile, Kane, who made Arrizabalaga feel his presence with a nudge in the first half, clinically ensured the Blues would have no way back as he swiveled to prod in from close range.