Football, Premier League

Chelsea vs Tottenham: Blues bounce back with a win to hamper Tottenham’s top 4 hopes

Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over their London rivals at Stamford Bridge dealt a severe blow to Tottenham’s prospects of finishing in the top four and increased their own chances of qualifying for Europe.

Spurs’ set-piece weaknesses were once again highlighted during their defeat to Arsenal. The hosts, who were missing 14 first-team players due to injuries, took the lead through Trevoh Chalobah’s thunderous header from Conor Gallagher’s free-kick in the first half.

Despite some Spurs improvement, Ange Postecoglou was clearly furious with his team’s lacklustre performance in the first half. In the 72nd minute, Chelsea extended their advantage through Nicolas Jackson’s header after Cole Palmer’s free kick rebounded off the crossbar.

After Chelsea’s 4-1 triumph at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in November, the result guarantees Mauricio Pochettino has completed the double over his previous team and moves them to within two points of Newcastle in ninth place. With one game remaining, Spurs are currently seven points behind Aston Villa in fourth place.

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino told Sky Sports:

“People believe that because a player is a name, he should play, even if he is not in form or at his best.

“I think the team, from the beginning of the season, suffered too many problems, that sometimes the names were there, but not in our best form.

“We never really got the belief that we needed to play in this way. There were too many individual targets or objectives before the team.

“Today was an easy team selection for us, but at the same time we showed to everyone that football is not about names. It’s about being competitive, about behaving like a team.

“Even if you have big players, big names, if they don’t play like today, trying to help the team in a defensive situation or when we have the ball to believe in every single offensive action we can score, then it’s impossible because the Premier League is so competitive.”

Spurs head coach Ange Postecoglou:

“It wasn’t a great night. We didn’t have the mindset that I expect us to have, so that’s on me, I’ve got to take responsibility for that.

“Ultimately I’m the one that’s putting them out there and preparing them for it. We were so far off it I’ve got to look at myself and see how I’m preparing this team for it.”

He added: “We didn’t really reach the levels we needed to get a result here tonight. It’s fair to say we didn’t play anywhere near the levels to get something out of the game and probably didn’t deserve it.”



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