Blues bounce back against Spurs

CityPress - - Sport -

Chelsea ex­tended their 26-year un­beaten run against Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur at Stam­ford Bridge by re­cov­er­ing from a goal down to beat their Lon­don ri­vals 2-1 in the Premier League yes­ter­day.

Spurs showed no signs of fa­tigue from their Cham­pi­ons League game against Monaco in the mid­dle of the week and burst out of the blocks, sur­pris­ing Chelsea with an ag­gres­sive high press­ing line.

The hosts strug­gled to main­tain pos­ses­sion and Spurs thought they had grabbed an early lead af­ter Harry Kane had the ball in the back of the net from a Chris­tian Erik­sen free kick, but it was cor­rectly ruled out for off­side.

A clearly shell-shocked Blues out­fit then found them­selves be­hind five min­utes later when Erik­sen hit a won­der­ful left-footed half vol­ley from out­side the box to beat Thibaut Cour­tois for the first time in more than 600 min­utes of Premier League foot­ball and put the vis­i­tors 1-0 up in the 11th minute.

The Dane was clearly in the mood and had an­other crack from long range mo­ments later, but this time Gary Cahill was able to get across and block the shot.

South Korean play­maker Son He­ung-min then got in on the act with his own spec­u­la­tive long-range ef­fort, but the shot was poor and flew high and wide. The in­ten­tion from Spurs was clear – they were do­ing every­thing to not al­low the home side into the game.

Kyle Walker then burst down the right flank with a silky solo run be­fore smash­ing a shot to­wards goal, but Cour­tois was up to the chal­lenge this time.

The Bel­gium in­ter­na­tional had to be at his best mo­ments later, tip­ping over a pow­er­ful Kane strike af­ter the English striker showed his skill to skin two Chelsea de­fend­ers.

How­ever, the vis­i­tors were un­able to keep up the in­ten­sity and be­gan to tire to­wards the end of the first half. The Blues took full ad­van­tage, with Pe­dro show­ing a lovely piece of skill to cre­ate space for a shot just out­side the area and curled a mag­nif­i­cent strike around the div­ing Hugo Lloris to draw Chelsea level on the stroke of half time.

Spurred on by the equal­is­ing goal, the hosts con­tin­ued where they left off af­ter the break with Diego Costa tee­ing up Vic­tor Moses in the 51st minute, and the Nige­ria in­ter­na­tional made no mis­take with a sim­ple tap-in to put Chelsea 2-1 up.

Mo­ments later, it should have been three, with Costa again caus­ing havoc among the Spurs de­fence be­fore squar­ing the ball for Mar­cos Alonso, but it was on his un­favoured right boot and he skied he shot well over the bar.

The vis­i­tors fi­nally man­aged to start find­ing a way back into the game, with Harry Kane brush­ing off a chal­lenge from Ce­sar Azpilicueta be­fore pulling the ball back for Erik­sen, but it was an awk­ward pass and the Dane did well to get a weak vol­ley on tar­get and it was eas­ily saved by Cour­tois.

Ul­ti­mately, though, the home side’s de­fence was able to hold firm and, while they may be dis­ap­pointed to have con­ceded their first goal in seven league games, they will be de­lighted to have picked up their seventh win in a row. To­day’s fix­tures: Wat­ford vs Stoke City (Vicarage Road Sta­dium, 1pm); Arse­nal vs AFC Bournemouth (Emi­rates Sta­dium, 4.15pm); Southamp­ton vs Ever­ton (St Mary’s Sta­dium, 6.30pm); Manch­ester United vs West Ham United (Old Traf­ford, 6.30pm).

– TEAMtalk Me­dia

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