SUNDAY 26TH FEBRUARY, 2023
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2(0) CHELSEA 0(0)
Referee:- Stuart Attwell
Assistants:- Darren Cann, James Mainwaring
Fourth official:- Chris Kavanagh
VAR:- Paul Tierney
Assistant VAR:- Simon Long
Spurs (3-4-3):- Forster; Romero, Dier, Lenglet; Emerson Royal, Skipp, Hojbjerg, Davies; Kulusevski (sub Son, 79), Kane (Capt.), Richarlison (sub Pedro Porro, 89)
Subs not used:- Austin; Sanchez, Tanganga; Sarr, Perisic; Lucas Moura, Danjuma
Booked:- Emerson Royal (unsporting conduct), Davies (foul on Loftus-Cheek)
Chelsea (4-2-3-1):- Arrizabalaga; James, Thiago Silva (Capt.) (sub W. Fofana, 19), Koulibaly, Chilwell; Loftus-Cheek (sub Mount, 62), Enzo Fernandez; Ziyech (sub Zakaria, 62), Felix (sub Mudryk, 83), Sterling (sub Aubameyang, 83); Havertz
(Armband to James)
Subs not used:- Bettinelli; Badiashile; Gallagher; Madueke
Booked:- Havertz (foul on Emerson Royal), Ziyech (unsporting conduct), Mount (dissent)
Spurs fans have a "Skipp" in their step tonight!
Andy Park took this picture of his grandson Stanley Martin who saw Spurs win 2-0 for the second consecutive game. Stanley can come again!
This was a great day for Spurs fans who saw their team win their first top-flight game in nine meetings with Chelsea , and the first league win at the new stadium over their fierce West London rivals. Spurs also claimed four points in a season from Chelsea for only the second time in the Premier League, having last done so in 2008-09.
It was a particularly special day for 22-year-old Spurs Academy student Oliver Skipp, who scored his first senior goal for the club in the first minute of the second half in front of the overjoyed South Stand. "Ollie", who made his senior debut in a League Cup game against West Ham in October 2018, has had to bide his time this season, but has excelled since he was drafted into an injury-hit Spurs midfield less than two weeks ago in our Champions league game against A.C. Milan. Spurs have only conceded the one goal against Milan in the last six games Skipp has played.
Spurs were unchanged from the team which started last week's 2-0 win over West Ham. Once again Cristian Stellini was in charge, as Antonio continues his recuperation at home. Stellini’s 100% record remains! Ben Davies made his 300th club appearance, 199 of which have been in the Premier League. He was once again deployed at left wing-back.
Beleaguered Chelsea manager Graham Potter (who has received death threats this week from so-called Chelsea fans) made 6 changes to his side after their shock home defeat to Southampton last week. His team today, apart from Enzo Fernandez and Joao Felix, contained players who have been at Chelsea since the start of the season, leaving other recent arrivals on the bench. Azpilicueta was sitting this game out after his concussion injury last week, and Pulisic and Kante are also not yet ready to play. This was only the third time in 50 games that Chelsea had been able to field Reece james and Ben Chilwell in the same side.
The game kicked off a little earlier than usual, because of the late afternoon League Cup Final at Wembley between Manchester United and Newcastle.
Chelsea kicked off and played towards the South Stand. After only a minute they were claiming a penalty when Sterling went down in the box when challenged by Skipp. Spurs soon responded with a couple of promising attacks and unsuccessfully appealed to referee Stuart Attwell for a Chelsea handball in their area.
Chelsea had a half chance after 6 minutes when Felix tried to make contact with a ball lofted into the box, but Forster anticipated and collected the ball well. Chelsea had a free kick after Dier was pulled up for a foul on Felix, but the ball ran clear. Romero went down after a challenge against Thiago Silva, but was okay to continue. Romero had an excellent game and he didn’t get booked today, but he can be a bit naughty when taking time out of the game, and making the most of possible injuries.
Chelsea dominated the early possession but Spurs had their moments and attacked with vigour. One move ended with Kane passing to Ben Davies towards the left of the area. Davies fed the ball to Richarlison but Chelsea prevented him from shooting. Another move followed a strong challenge by Skipp with the ball running to Kane who was blocked as he approached the Chelsea area. Another good move began following excellent work on the right flank by Kulusevski, threading his way through two or three Chelsea players. Ultimately, Kane got deep inside the Chelsea box but fell onto Thiago when challenged by the Chelsea captain. Thiago tried to continue after treatment, but he was hobbling and had to be replaced by Wesley Fofana, who has had little game time through injury since he was signed at the start of the season from Leicester.
After a pass by Havertz, a left-footed shot by Felix was held by Forster, quite comfortably. Spurs attacked down the right flank through Kulusevski and Hojbjerg. The ball went to Kane whose 25-yard shot passed wide.
At the other end, Royal made a good tackle in the Spurs box to halt the threat of Chilwell’s run. Sterling came off better against Richarlison on Chelsea’s right flank. The former Manchester City man came inside and hit a shot which was cleared.
Another good Spurs attack featured Skipp then Richarlison who passed to Hojbjerg to his right. Hojbjerg’s shot took a deflection and beat Arrizabalaga before hitting the post. It looked as if Mr. Attwell was going to bring play back for a Spurs free kick, but he had allowed "play-on", so the result was a corner. Mr. Attwell had "words" with Richarlison for a foul on James. The referee was generally lenient, which worked in our favour at times.
Kane lofted a ball into the Chelsea box where Romero had advanced. Fofana won the ball but went down with no treatment, so there was a brief delay. The referee also had "words" with Kane when he barged Arrizabalaga as he took his time to clear a ball.
Richarlison received a pass from Lenglet and tried a right-footed curler across the keeper. The ball passed the far post. Forster was required to make a decent save low to his left from a Sterling shot, and Ben Davies cleared the loose ball.
Three minutes of added time were indicated, but this was extended to eight minutes after an incident which caused a lot of confusion. Havertz had fouled Royal near the centre line and Ziyech wanted some "afters" too, which led to a melee. The referee took advice from senior assistant Darren Cann and showed Havertz a yellow. He also showed a yellow to Royal for unsporting conduct when he shoved Ziyech. Ziyech had raised his hand to Royal’s face and Mr. Attwell showed him a red card before being called by VAR to the monitor and amending the red card to yellow. Ziyech had been lucky.
Spurs kicked off the second half and quickly had the lead. Kulusevski fed the ball to Royal, whose shot should have been held by Arrizabalaga, but was cleared from his feet in a panic by Enzo Fernandez. Skipp was strong in the challenge against Felix and headed for goal, hitting a powerful 20-yard shot which took slight touches off Koulibaly and the goalkeeper, but hit the roof of the net! Not only was it "Ollie’s" first goal it was the first in the Premier League scored by Spurs against Chelsea in the new stadium.
Spurs attacked sharply again when Richarlison’s back header was taken forward by Kane, but the defence came off best this time. Chilwell began to play spreading passes from the left across the outside of the Spurs box and the first resulted in a shot by Ziyech being held by Forster. Chelsea cleared from the feet of Richarlison after Hojbjerg and Royal had advanced down the right flank.
Eric Dier blocked a shot by Felix at the front of the area. With half an hour left, Spurs fans were feeling confident and sang "Getting sacked in the morning" at Graham Potter. After a good tackle by Emerson Royal, Kane was able to send a pass across the Chelsea area to Ben Davies, but Chelsea cleared.
Forster was out to clear well from the feet of Havertz at the other end. The Spurs number two keeper also held a header by Sterling, as Spurs generally fielded Chelsea’s attacks with confidence. The referee disappeared for a while due to an issue with his communication equipment. Soon afterwards he booked substitute Mason Mount for dissent as he got upset over the referee’s failure to award Havertz a foul when Romero got the better of him.
More strong attacking play by Spurs followed, ending with a right-footed Richarlison shot passing just over the bar. Romero and Forster confidently defended when Havertz threatened again. Kulusevski was the player to make way for Son this time. Richarlison moved to the right side, and I think his strength was missed at the back when he had been supporting the defence on the left side. Son was not so strong.
Richarlison won the corner on the right which was taken by Son and led to our clinching second goal. Son swung the ball in, and Eric Dier headed the ball towards the back post where Harry Kane stretched his right leg back and scored from close range. It was Kane’s first goal since he broke Greaves’ record against Manchester City three weeks ago. Harry became the first Spurs player to score at home and away against Chelsea since Gary Lineker in 1990/91. Kane's last 12 goals for Spurs in all competitions have been scored in London.
More Chelsea substitutions followed, including Aubameyang, but I don’t think he got a touch. Chelsea fans began to leave. A shot by substitute Mudryk passed over the target, and although the visitors pressed for at least a consolation goal, Spurs held on to a third consecutive Premier League home win without conceding for the first time since their opening three matches at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium back in April 2019.
This was a club record of 23 consecutive home league games without a draw.
Chelsea have only won one of their 11 matches in all competitions in 2023, and just two of their last 15 league games. They have also now played ten away games without a victory in all competitions, which is their longest such run since a 17-match streak from April 2000 to January 2001.
Spurs moved four points above Newcastle (who lost to Manchester United today), who are away to Manchester City next week. We could further cement fourth place with a win at Wolves. Chelsea are fourteen points behind us.
Oliver Skipp was made Sky’s player of the match and wore a grin like The Cheshire Cat. He can rightly feel proud of his performance and achievement today.
Next up for Spurs is a midweek FA Cup trip to Bramall Lane.
· Spurs record in recent London Derby League matches
· Squad numbers,appearances,bookings & goalscorers
· Read the preview for this game.
· All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats
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