Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea provided a more-than-eventful conclusion to the weekend’s Premier League action, as many expected it would be. Willian opened the scoring rounding off a set-piece routine in the 12th minute to cap off Chelsea’s excellent start. He then doubled the Blues’ lead on the brink of half time from the penalty spot. The penalty decision was one of the many times VAR interfered at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium. Paolo Gazzaniga simply had to reason to be jumping in on Marcos Alonso inside the penalty box and was rightfully punished. So was Heung Min Son who raised his boot on Antonio Rudiger in the second half and saw a red. The same red card signalled a stop to any possible Spurs comeback.
The apprentice beats the master, again
Jose Mourinho did not only re-ignite Frank Lampard’s career as a player but took him to newer and higher dimensions. But that was in 2003. The duo has come a long way since.
Frank Lampard becomes the first ever manager to beat Jose Mourinho in his first 2 games against him. 2/2 pic.twitter.com/GxK3duSw4X
— Chris. (@EmenaIo) December 22, 2019
It was in the Carabao Cup last season when Lampard first faced off against Mourinho in his ‘new’ career as a manager. Lampard’s youthful Derby County side gave Mourinho’s Man United side a run for their money and knocked them out on penalties. Lampard got the better of Mourinho, yet again.
Chelsea’s 3-4-2-1 formation neutralised Spurs in every way possible. The back three towered over any long balls to Harry Kane or Dele Alli. The wingbacks pushed Serge Aurier and Heung Min Son back while Mason Mount and Willian caused havoc in between and in behind the Spurs midfield and defensive lines. The Blues showed intensity, desire, composure and quality. Spurs and Mourinho simply had no answer, even before the red card.
New manager, same old Spurs
Another big game, another game in where Spurs simply did not turn up. We’ve seen this Spurs side crumble under pressure when things are not going their way. They’ve choked in cup finals, semi-finals, in big away games and against top-six opposition. Under Mourinho, expectations were raised but they’re still expectations. Spurs have lost against Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Chelsea in a space of less than a month.
Harry Kane went missing and was dominated by the Chelsea trio of centre backs. Eric Dier just saw the game pass by him in midfield. Serge Aurier and Jan Vertonghen there for the taking every time Chelsea attacked. Heung Min Son showed immaturity at the highest levels raising his boot on Rudiger.
There is absolutely no doubt that all these are exceptionally talented players. But Spurs and those players are at that stage of their evolution where they simply have to produce more, especially in the bigger games. It is a big job at hand for the Special One.
Willian rolls back the years against mentor Mourinho
Jose Mourinho and Willian’s love for each other is public knowledge. But that relation, like many others, was on hold for 90 minutes. And in those 90 minutes, Willian reminded Mourinho exactly why the Portuguese manager rates him so highly.
🇧🇷 Willian is @premierleague Man of the Match
• 1st PL goals against Tottenham
• 1st PL scoring double since Dec 2016
• Most chances created in match (5)
• Most passes into opp. box in match (8)
• 15 sprints – only Abraham (18) made more pic.twitter.com/QeoR2USmA3
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) December 22, 2019
Willian has not only taken over Eden Hazard’s jersey number but also his responsibility. The Brazilian winger has come back to life this season and has been at the heart of Chelsea’s offensive play all season. But his best performance of the season came against Spurs. The step over and the curling finish to open the scoring was classic Willian. Then, he showed calmness and composure to take the penalty and slot it in the bottom corner. All this while, his exemplary work off the ball was on display. He could’ve had more later on when Chelsea broke on counter-attacks but he had to settle for a brace.