Chelsea were desperate to go back to winning ways in the North-London derby against Tottenham Hotspur, facing up against former boss Jose Mourinho. Frank Lampard’s side won bragging rights with a compelling 2-0 win, handing Jose his first loss at home since taking over.
The Blues started the game with all guns blazing, with Willian giving them an early lead in the 12th minute with a beautiful strike into the bottom corner.
Spurs just couldn’t match their intensity and handed the visitors a penalty when Paulo Gazzaniga barged into an onrushing Marcos Alonso inside the penalty area just before the break, which Willian then scored to make it 2-0.
Son Heung-Min’s sending off after “violent conduct” on Antonio Rudiger after the hour-mark made things easier for Lampard’s side, who comfortably strolled to a win. They’re now 4 points ahead of 5th place Sheffield United and 6 ahead of Spurs, with the win again reaffirming their comfort-level in 4th position.
Chelsea Player Ratings
Frank Lampard (8.5) –
Lampard successfully managed to outwit his mentor, but his modern-day tactics made that happen. He took a gamble taking the game to Spurs right from the get-go, knowing their counter-attacking style, but it worked wonders as his side took an early lead and could sit deep after that.
His brilliant decision to give Kante the defensive-midfielder role to hassle Spurs midfielders and protect his defence worked, so did risking playing the defensive-frail Marcos Alonso who came up with a brilliant showing. Not playing Christian Pulisic and relying on the moody Willian worked wonders as well.
He got everything right-even his defensive shape which has been their Achilles heel- and this win takes pressure off his shoulders and proves he’s the man to rely upon after a series of poor performances recently.
Kepa Arrizabalaga (6.5) –
Kepa saved fellow Spaniard Alonso’s blushes towards the end of the first half, making a clutch clearance before Moussa Sissoko barged in, knocking the wind out of him. Barely had to make any save, but pounced up with solid clearances to avoid any set-back.
Cesar Azpilicueta (7.0) –
Azpi has a big job today against the dangerous Son Heung-Min. Looks threatening going forward. Managed to keep the buzzy South Korean very quiet with some compelling work in the first half. Azpi protected his backline pretty well, nullified Spurs threat through his side and hardly put a foot wrong in a pretty good derby showing.
Fikayo Tomori (7.5) –
The youngster’s been a bit weary distributing the ball. He grew with confidence as the game progressed, making some solid challenges in an eventful first-half. Even when things got more intense later on, Tomori didn’t flinch at all.
He continued making crucial clearances, admirably held his nerve and a stunning block off Kane’s shot in added time topped off a memorable derby performance from the youngster.
Kurt Zouma (7.5)-
Zouma started the game with confidence, being unnerved facing up against Harry Kane. Kept the Spurs captain’s threat nullified, barely allowing him a kick in the first half. Continued his brilliant work on him as the game progressed, not allowing him a single shot on target. Made some important challenges to seal a superb clean-sheet.
Antonio Rudiger (7.0)-
The senior-most centre-back was given the job of keeping his defensive line in shape and did that job pretty well actually. Made some strong clearances and got Son sent off with hilarious theatrics. A+ shithousery. David Luiz would be proud!
Got booked himself later on, but marshalled his defence confidently to stop nerves from setting in. Proved why he’s so important for Chelsea’s defence with a commendable showing.
Marcos Alonso (7.5) –
Alonso looks thrived for the battle against Aurier today. Throttled forward in menacing fashion and earned Chelsea a penalty after a great run before the break. Struck a booming shot at Gazzaniga in the 55th minute. Lucky to see his naughty tussle with Alli not be given as a penalty in added time.
But the Spaniard won the battle on his side, making timely defensive contributions and romping forward with malicious intent throughout.
N’Golo Kante (7.0) –
Kante’s been running all around midfield nullifying Spurs supply early on. Hassling Spurs midfielders with his constant pressing and making timely interceptions to create counter-attacks. Powered a long-ranger over in the 74th minute. Wasted a glorious counter-attack in the dying stages.
While bit wasteful going forward, he was superb defensively. Aided his backline by popping into all the right positions and thwarting away danger whenever it arose.
Mateo Kovacic (7.5) –
Kovacic looked troubling with his passing and played the cute assist for Willian’s opener. Lost his marbles, getting into a fight with Alli before the break and being booked for it. Enjoyed himself in skating past Spurs midfielders and created some chances with his incisive passes.
Put in another strong shift, having worked hard to control the game for his side and producing some majestic moments too.
Mason Mount (7.0) –
Picking up possessing in dangerous areas and ran Spurs ragged in the initial stages. Getting into the right areas, but lacking that killer touch. Linking pretty well with Abraham, but just can’t get that assist! The youngster showcased unmatched spirit in winning back possession and roaring Chelsea forward whenever he could.
Passionate showing from Chelsea man through & through.
Willian’s been long-admired by Jose and proving why he’s held in high regard by the Portuguese. Looks menacing with his passes and scored a beautiful opener by skipping past a defender before superbly slotting in through a sea of bodies.
Played a beautiful chipped pass leading to the penalty and then smartly netted the penalty as well. Split open Spurs defence with some sublime through-balls. Made a series of stunning passes in the dying stages, but was robbed an assist. Almost everything he touched turned to goal, as the Brazilian proved why he’s so important for Chelsea.
Tammy Abraham (5.5) –
Abraham’s been unmoved by the physical battles, but scraped a few early chances wide. Played a sweet one-two with Mount around the 49th minute, but poor decision-making saw him waste a good scoring chance. Tapped the ball into goal in the 55th minute, but that was ruled out. Worked hard, but lacked the final product.
Jorginho (6.5) –
Jorginho brought a protective layer over Chelsea, helping them control proceedings after Son’s sending off, making clever passes and sealing a comfortable win.
Michy Batshuayi (N/A) –
Tried to end the derby in memorable fashion with an impressive forward run in added time, but his attempt swerved just wide.
Reece James (N/A) –
Almost scored his first league goal after popping into the box in the 88th minute, but saw his shot blocked.
MAN OF THE MATCH
There isn’t any debating this. Willian was unplayable today, scored a stunning goal and ran the show for Chelsea. He’s my MOTM.