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Review: Tottenham – Chelsea

Review: Tottenham – Chelsea
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In a game that was a rude awakening for Chelsea, Tottenham won 3-1 at Wembley thanks to goals from Dele Alli, Harry Kane and a wonderful solo effort by Heung-Min Son.

Tottenham starting lineup: Hugo Lloris, Serge Aurier, Juan Foyth, Toby Alderweireld, Ben Davies, Eric Dier, Moussa Sissoko, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Heung-Min Son, Harry Kane
Chelsea starting lineup: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Marcos Alonso, David Luiz, Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante,, Mateo Kovacic, Eden Hazard, Willian, Alvaro Morata

Eight minutes in, Tottenham, who were the better team to start the match, took the lead through Dele Alli. The goal came following a set piece during which Christian Eriksen sent one of his trademark crosses. Alli got a slight touch on the ball at the near post, but it was just enough to fool Kepa Arrizabalaga, who couldn’t react in time.

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Three minutes later, it should’ve been 2-0. A brilliant flick pass by Harry Kane over Chelsea’s defense opened the door for Heung-Min Son, who took it first-time and missed the net completely. It was a huge opportunity and the South Korean should’ve done better. Moments later, he was in another goalscoring position. This time, he got past Rudiger and hit Kepa’s legs. Eden Hazard had a penalty claim denied by referee Martin Atkinson, who didn’t think the obvious contact Juan Foyth made with the Belgian was enough to show on the spot. The game was much more open than anticipated. There was space for both sides to roam and create chances. Then, out of nowhere, it was 2-0. Harry Kane took the ball and took a chance with a long-range shot. Kepa seemed to get caught on the wrong foot and did not move, allowing the ball to trickle past the goal line.

The Spurs were off to a flying start, leaving a frustrated Maurizio Sarri shrugging his shoulders on the sidelines. Willian had a shot go just wide in the 20th minute. Ten minutes passed and Tottenham had yet another chance after a set piece. This time, a quick one-two pass during a corner kick allowed Eriksen to set himself up and cross a ball which Alderweireld redirected towards goal. Arrizabalaga made the save and Foyth’s audacious backheel flick attempt on the rebound nearly missed the net.

Chelsea tried to take control of the contest, but the hosts were the ones finding ways to threaten the opposition goal. Arrizabalaga was forced into making one more fantastic save on the brink of half-time, preventing Son from scoring. The result remained 2-0, as Sarri was faced with his toughest test yet as Chelsea manager.

In the 55th minute, Heung-Min Son, who was Tottenham’s best player in the first half, did something extraordinary. He received a ball from Dele Alli in Chelsea’s half, much like he did several times previously. This time, though, he was determined to make it count. He made Jorginho look silly with his pace and then did the same to David Luiz, who came and disappeared from the picture in a second. Son then executed to perfection to make it 3-0. Masterful goal!

Pedro and Ross Barkley for Alvaro Morata and Mateo Kovacic (Chelsea’s two worst players today) was Sarri’s reaction to Spurs’ third goal. Right before the substitutions, Antonio Rudiger, who was already on a yellow card, could’ve easily been sent off after a foul on Harry Kane. In the 68th minute, Kane perhaps had one of the biggest misses of his career when he failed to find the net all alone from six meters out. A couple of minutes later, Dele Alli had a chance of his own. Unfortunately for him, his curling shot went slightly over the bar. Chelsea’s goal was hanging in the air. In the 78th minute, Son went off the pitch under a very well earned ovation from the crowd and was replaced by Erik Lamela. Simultaneously, Olivier Giroud came in for Willian.

As the game was nearing its end, Tottenham started to relax a bit and it cost them a consolation goal scored by Olivier Giroud, who headed in a magnificent Cesar Azpilicueta cross. The goal was followed by a substitution, as Dele Alli made way for Harry Winks. Pedro was close to further reducing the lead and causing a chaotic finish when his shot from the edge of the box went over the bar. After four minutes of stoppage time, it was all over. Tottenham won 3-1 and took over third place on the Premier League table.

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