Chelsea 2 - 0 Spurs

Chelsea 2 – 0 Spurs Review

Mauricio Pochettino’s Blues enhanced their chances of European Qualification with a win against Spurs at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night.  

Thursday night saw a particularly crucial Premier League game play out in West London. It was a contest between two local rivals in the form of Chelsea and Spurs who came toe to toe at Stamford Bridge with plenty at stake for both clubs, even so late into the 2023/24 campaign.

A win for Mauricio Pochettino’s Blues would see them strengthen their European qualification hopes, whilst Spurs needed a win to strengthen their ambitions of a UEFA Champions League spot as they look to chase down Aston Villa in fourth place.

In the end, it proved to be a hugely important victory for hosts Chelsea, who managed to emerge as deserved 2 – 0 winners on the night against their North London rivals. The vital three points that they gained from this result sees them climb one place above David Moyes’ West Ham United and into 8th place with their points total now standing at 51 points after getting the better of the Lilywhites.

This now means that the Blues are only two points adrift of Newcastle United, who currently occupy the first European place in 7th. Not only that, but Pochettino’s side also have a great chance of securing UEFA Europa League football with a top six finish – the West London outfit are just 3 points adrift of Manchester United in 6th place.

Moving on to Spurs, they remain in 5th place with 60 points. Ange Postecoglou’s Lilywhites are now still 7 points adrift of Unai Emery’s Aston Villa in fourth, but they do still have a game in hand on their West Midlands counterparts. Tottenham are also now 9 points ahead of the Blues with 4 games to go for both sides.

Now onto the game itself, and it was the home side Chelsea who had the first opportunity to open the scoring at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night.

Within the first five minutes, forward Nicolas Jackson saw his shot get blocked by the Tottenham defenders after having initially received the ball from Ukraine international Mykhailo Mudryk. Top scorer Cole Palmer then had a chance of his own just seconds later, only his effort to fly narrowly wide (5’).

Then, just a minute later, Spurs had their first chance of the contest when former Nottingham Forest forward Brennan Johnson, receiving a great ball into his feet from Dejan Kulusevski, came close to finding the back of the net, only for his effort to be blocked by the Blues defenders (6’).

Then, with barely more than minutes gone in this game, Chelsea came agonisingly close to taking the early lead, only for a shot on goal from Mykhailo Mudryk to be saved well by Spurs’ stopper Guglielmo Vicario (21’).

This disappointment from missing this significant chance was not felt for long, as just a few minutes later, the hosts finally got the advantage. A crossed ball into the box from a Conor Gallagher free-kick found the head of central defender Trevoh Chalobah, who found the top right corner thanks to a superb header from within the penalty area (24’).

Mudryk came close to making it 2 – 0 when his right footed effort from just inside the Spurs penalty area narrowly missed the top right corner of the net. If it had been on target, it would have given Lilywhites ‘keeper Vicario very little chance of saving it. The initial pass that gave the forward the chance was from the feet of Cole Palmer (32’).

Just moments later, Spurs came very close to restoring parity when Cristian Romero missed the target with a very close range header following a great cross into the box from right back Pedro Porro (38’).

Mudryk had a chance of his own to add to the scoreline and make it 2 – 0 to Chelsea just before the half time break, only for his long range effort from a set piece to miss the target with the ball flying past the right post (41’).

Half time soon came with Chelsea leading by one goal to nil going into a vitally important second half of enthralling and tense football at Stamford Bridge.

There were two early chances in the opening stages of the second half. The first came courtesy of Cole Palmer, who narrowly missed the target from inside the penalty area after having received the ball into his feet from fellow English forward Noni Madueke (52’). Richarlison then came close, only for his shot to be blocked just a minute later (53’).

Chelsea Goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic was then called into urgent action when he was forced into a great save following an effort on target from Spurs’ Denmark international midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. The shot did look like it was heading for the bottom right corner, and the ball may have found its target if it wasn’t for the strong intervention from the Blues’ Serbian Stopper (64’).

Mauricio Pochettino’s Blues were able to finally double their advantage with just less than 20 minutes of normal time remaining in this crucial match. Following a superb set-piece from range found the head of forward Nicolas Jackson, who managed to score the second and final Chelsea goal of the night after the ball found the top left corner, which gave Vicario no chance (72’).

Both sides had chances to add to the scoreline in the closing minutes of the match, which included saves from both Goalkeepers as a result of efforts from Cole Palmer and Rodrigo Bentancur (89’).

The final whistle then went with all three points confirmed to be going the way of Chelsea Football Club at Stamford Bridge.

Following this vital victory, Blues Head Coach Mauricio Pochettino had the following to say (Via Chelsea’s Official Website): “I don’t know if it is the best game of the season, but it is the one I am most happy after. The way we played and in the way we competed, that is what we have wanted from the beginning of the season.

“That is what we want to apply to the team. We were so competitive and in this way we can grow and do better in other areas.”

It was Spurs who had the most possession with 63% of the ball compared to 37% for Chelsea. However, the Blues did have more shots on target with 5 from their 16 in total compared to the 3 that Tottenham had from their 19 shots in total.

Chelsea’s next Premier League game will see them take on a West Ham United side led by Head Coach David Moyes in what is set to be another vital game in what is also yet another London Derby. This game will be taking place at Stamford Bridge on Sunday 5th May 2024 in what will be a 14:00 Kick-Off in West London.

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