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    Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Chelsea: Match Report


    By Tom Regan
    regantalkssport.com
    @TomRegan29

    Tottenham Hotspur sealed a point against their London rivals, as a well-disciplined Chelsea side frustrated the north Londoners in Sunday’s mid-day stalemate.
    The tactics deployed by Mourinho showed he holds Spurs in high regard these days, as Eden Hazard was used as a “false number 9”, whilst packing the midfield to nullify the threat of the Lilywhites.

    The trip to Azerbaijan evidently took its toll on Pochettino’s players, with eight of the starters against Qarabag FK retaining their place in the side.
    Ryan Mason stepped in for the suspended Dele Alli, and occupied the right side of defensive midfield, displacing Eric Dier to a degree. Mousa Dembele played between Son and Eriksen, but the roles inter-changed regularly during the course of the match.

    Tottenham put the Blues defence under some early pressure when Eriksen’s low cross earned a corner. After a knock to the face, Begovic went down but was able to continue soon after treatment.
    Chelsea responded with an attack of their own, but Spurs won a free kick to ease the pressure. Jan Vertonghen surged forward finding Harry Kane. Harry then exchanged passes with Christian Eriksen, before the England striker unleashed a fierce shot which Asmir Begovic spilled, but thankfully for Bosnian, the ball ran safe.

    Oscar provided Hazard with a wonderful opportunity with a cross from the left wing, but the Belgian playmaker could only head over. Eric Dier got a vital touch to divert Pedro’s viscous 23rd minute effort for a corner.
    Following a corner, Eriksen and Kane combined well, before Harry whipped in a pinpoint deep cross for Son Heung-min, but the South Korean headed straight at Begovic. Dembele is excelling in a more advanced role for the north Londoners these days, and after great work, he hit a shot which Begovic tipped round his left post for a corner.

    At times, Pochettino’s side were guilty of losing their discipline. Danny Rose was booked for a needless lunge on Hazard, and Kane was cautioned for blocking Willian as the Brazilian tried to burst forward.
    Oscar had a shot that hit the side netting after Mason was forced to fill for Kyle Walker who had overcommitted. Kane hit a shot which ended up high over the bar after being set up by Vertonghen. In added time, Chelsea were given a free kick, and Walker saw yellow, but the flag was raised for offside subsequent of Willian’s beautifully executed set piece.

    The start of the second half was uneventful, but a well-directed pass by Son for Mason led to a challenge in the box, and Ryan never recovered. The Lilywhites will hope it isn’t a reoccurrence of an ankle injury suffered at Sunderland back in September. Lamela replaced Mason, and the Argentine linked well with Eriksen which resulted in Son firing straight at Begovic.
    Hugo Lloris has proved he is a world class shot stopper, and he had to be at his very best when Hazard latched onto a deep cross from the right. Tottenham’s captain threw out his left hand to brilliantly divert the Belgian’s low effort around the post.

    Son was replaced by Clinton N’Jie, and the substitute so nearly turned provider as his cross found Kane, but Harry failed to make contact with an adventurous overhead kick.

    Overall, Tottenham had the most chances, and certainly the better chances than the Blues, but it was clear that Mourinho’s side looked fresher which was understandable as they had two extra days to recover than Spurs.

    This was the third home stalemate of the season, but both the performance and result was decent, and the club can be proud of going 13 league games unbeaten. Toby Alderweireld was outstanding, rightfully receiving the man of the match award.

    The north Londoners lie in fifth place, just four points behind the leaders Man City, and didn’t lose too much ground on the Champions League positions as three of the four teams above drew in the same gameweek (Leicester, Man Utd and Arsenal).

    Liverpool won 1-0 and pose a real threat as they close the gap to just two points. The Lilywhites now have six days to recover before a trip to West Brom on Saturday.
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    Item Reviewed: Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Chelsea: Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Tom Regan
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