Match: Thursday 1st January 2015.
Competition: Premier League.
Venue: White Hart Lane.
Result: Tottenham 5-3 Chelsea.
Tottenham goalscorers: Kane 30′, Rose 44′, Townsend 45, Kane 52′ & Chadli 78′.
Chelsea goalscorers: Costa 18′, Hazard 61′ & Terry 87′.
Happy New Year from everyone at Tottenham Hotspur! An absolute classic of a football match, with so much excitement, quality and controversy throughout. This result means so much to Tottenham, winning against arguably the best side in the Premier League at the moment, and doing it in such emphatic fashion, which has definitely sent shockwaves through the Premier League, means that we now have incredible confidence flowing into the second half of the season. We have recently looked very sheepish against top sides, with capitulations and disappointments a common factor; but beating a side of Chelsea’s calibre in such a way surely means there will be a change in mentality from the players and the fans heading into matches with great teams such as Chelsea in the future. We can go out in the big games and strut our stuff, instead of being frightened by the opposition, and crumbling under pressure. What makes this result so incredibly satisfying is the fact we came from one goal down to win the game, and didn’t let Chelsea’s good spell in the game end any chance of us getting back into it; in the past I wouldn’t have been surprised, after going 1-0 down, that we had gone on to lose 3-4 nil, but it is testament to the change in mentality that Pochettino has seemingly instilled upon the players to not give up, and rise to the challenge of having setbacks. This Tottenham side has proven a lot of people wrong in this game, and I am hoping that we can now prove a lot more people wrong in the future, and go on to have a very successful season, in the Cups and in the League. I have seen some say ‘I want my Tottenham back.’ Well, this is the new bunch and they look pretty damn good! It is now six games unbeaten for Tottenham Hotspur in all competitions.
In the first half, the game started very lively, with both sides looking threatening, and it looked as though it was going to be a very high scoring game, and it was in the end. We started slightly brighter than the Blues, and looked comfortable in possession and creative in the final third. But, it was Chelsea who took the lead, when Eden Hazard collected the ball, ran at Danny Rose, and beat him, before sliding a shot past Jan Vertonghen and Hugo Lloris, but not the post, as it rebounded to Oscar, who scuffed his shot, but it fell into the path of Diego Costa, who finished with one touch to put them 1-0 up, and it looked as though it was going to be another long afternoon as Chelsea ran riot at the Lane, but the reality was much different! After absorbing the pressure from Chelsea after their first goal brilliantly, we then went on to build some pressure of our own, before the main man Harry Kane, on 30 minutes drove past a couple of Chelsea players before beautifully powering the ball into the bottom corner past Thibaut Courtois to make it 1-1, and get us that incredibly important equaliser in the first half. What transpired afterwards was absolutely overwhelming; coming into the end of the first half, we quickly took the lead as Christian Eriksen slipped the ball into the path of Nacer Chadli, who found a route past Courtois, only to find the post, but it was Danny Rose who was there to power home the rebound to put Tottenham in front at 44 minutes. We weren’t finished there in the first half, as Branislav Ivanovic’s pass to Gary Cahill was short, and Harry Kane snatched it from his grasp, only to be tripped, and the referee awarded a penalty, which Andros Townsend stepped up, under pressure, and found the bottom corner expertly to make it 3-1 as the half time whistle blew. Dreamland.
The second half was one of nerves, as we all know, Chelsea are a team that can do the unexpected, especially against Tottenham. Even 3-1 isn’t safe, which sounds ridiculous but you just never know! But, the nerves were settled on 52 minutes, as Nacer Chadli played the ball into the feet of Kane, and he turned exquisitely to place the ball into the bottom corner for 4-1, to hopefully cement the result. The goal was sensational, and Harry Kane has turned into an incredible player, who can win Tottenham games on his own if he felt like it. Being 4-1 up, we played with confidence, in our passing, tackling and defensive duties, it was shaping up as a fantastic team performance and even better result. Being 4-1 up, and looking comfortable, it wasn’t necessary of Federico Fazio to try an audacious pass, which was subsequently cut out by Eden Hazard, who broke with unbelievable pace and it was three on three between Chelsea’s attack and Tottenham’s defence, and with two lightening passes between Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard opened up the space for Hazard to finish clinically into the bottom corner for 4-2 on 61 minutes. Were we really going to throw away a 3 goal lead? The answer was no, as Nacer Chadli did really well to find space in the box, before hitting the ball towards goal, and getting a nice deflection off of John Terry to make it 5-2, and game over on 78 minutes. We were confident after that, but still managed to concede another goal to John Terry, who slotted the ball into the net for a mere consolation goal to make it 5-3 in a classic, entertaining game, that thankfully ended up in a Tottenham win!We controlled the major parts of the game, and were clinical in our finishing, and that delights me, as in our last game against Chelsea, which we lost 3-0, if we were more clinical, I’m sure we would have had a chance of getting something from the game. We learnt from our mistakes and came out on top.
There were loads of great performances in this game, but not many were better than Nacer Chadli, and I am sure you’re thinking that I have misspelt Harry Kane, but my man of the match goes to the Belgian, who was instrumental in everything good that Tottenham did, as he ran at defenders, committed them, and found that effective final ball or shot more often than not. He was immense, and produced his best performance in a Tottenham shirt by far. He got two assists and a goal, and was fantastic throughout. The next man to mention is Harry Kane, who was exceptional once again. It is becoming natural for Harry Kane to score in every game he plays, and he now has 17 goals in all competitions, which is incredible for a 21 year old. He has everything to become an unbelievable player in the future, and he is our talisman at the moment, who lifts everyone up off of their seats when he gets the ball at his feet. At this moment, the confidence that Kane has is incredible, and it makes him unstoppable. Our players normally put in a good shift, but lack the clinical edge, but in this game everything came together perfectly and it is an incredible way to start 2015! Hopefully there is more of these performances to come throughout the rest of 2015. There are also special mentions for Nabil Bentaleb, Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen, who I thought were brilliant throughout; especially Bentaleb, who’s energy was unbelievable in the middle of the park and dealt with the quality of Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas expertly. His future is so bright, and this season he has been spectacular at the age of just 20. Overall, despite conceding three goals, I cannot fault the effort and performance of all the players in this match. It is a very pleasing way to start off 2015!
What a win and what a day! Happy New Year everybody! It really was the perfect way to start the year. Now 6 games unbeaten, we have the chance to go on a real run of good results. Next up is Burnley in the FA Cup on Monday 5th January at Turf Moor. A tough test. Our next Premier League fixture is up against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday January 10th, which should be an interesting game! Remember to follow me for it all on twitter here: @AddictedToSpurs. Up the Spurs! COYS!!
My player ratings for the team that faced Chelsea at the Lane:
Lloris – 8
Walker – 7
Fazio – 7
Vertonghen – 8.5
Rose – 8 (Davies 76′ – 6)
Bentaleb – 8.5
Mason – N/A (Dembele 14′ – 7)
Townsend – 8 (Paulinho 66′ – 6.5)
Eriksen – 8
Chadli – 9.5 – Man of the Match.
Kane – 9.5.
Match highlights of our 5-3 win over Chelsea:
Mauricio Pochettino speaks to the press after our 5-3 win:
Danny Rose and Harry Kane speak to the press: