Chelsea made it seven straight wins in the Premier League as the came from behind to defeat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Conte’s looked under pressure in the first half, and a fine Christian Eriksen effort had Spurs ahead after just ten minutes. Indeed, the home side looked slightly subdued until a well-taken curling strike from in-form Pedro Rodríguez levelled it up just before half time.
From there, Chelsea were relatively comfortable. Victor Moses put Chelsea in front just five minutes after the restart, and from there the home side were rarely threatened, certainly not as much as in the first half.
The victory sends Chelsea back to the top of the table, but with just one win in ten now for Tottenham in all competitions, their unbeaten run in the league has come to an end, and their title hopes are beginning to slip from their grasp.
Chelsea Player Ratings:
Thibaut Courtois – 6.5: Couldn’t do much for Eriksen’s opener, and while Tottenham enjoyed the better of the first half, Courtois himself wasn’t under too much pressure thanks to his strong defence.
César Azpilicueta – 7.5: Looked a bit shaky in the first half but settled very well in the second. Crowded the Tottenham attacks very well.
Gary Cahill – 7.5: Dealt with balls into the backs to a high level, kept Harry Kane quiet for the most part in the second half. Cahill has gone from first player out the door in January to an important part of this defence.
David Luiz – 7: The redemption story continues. Could perhaps have closed Eriksen down better for the goal, but other than that it was another solid performance from the Brazilian international.
Victor Moses – 7.5: Another who took some time to get going, but also grew into the game. Made a brilliant run into the box for his goal, and his status as most improved player is enhanced a bit more every week these days.
Nemanja Matic – 7: Another who could have been sold by Conte, instead Matic has looked in fine form in recent weeks. Has discovered an eye for assist too, laying on his sixth of the campaign for Pedro.
N’Golo Kanté – 7.5: The engine in the 3-4-3, Kanté was vital in stopping Tottenham’s midfield from gaining a foothold especially in a difficult first half.
Marcos Alonso – 6: Average. Looked dependable but nothing more. And the less said about his finishing, the better…
Pedro Rodríguez – 8: Deservedly keeping Willian out of the side, Pedro is finally showing the form that made him part of the successful Barcelona sides of the last few years. Brilliant goal just before half time.
Eden Hazard – 6.5: Performed well without ever really sparking into life. Much better than anything he produced last season but still not his best performance.
Diego Costa – 8: The focal point of Chelsea’s attack and chief tormentor of Spurs’ defence. Didn’t score today but his display transcended that. Assisted Moses’ winner.
Willian (Hazard 77) – 5.5: Came on towards the end but didn’t have much of an impact.
Branislav Ivanovic (Moses 80) – N/A: Came on to shore up the defence late on, didn’t have much of an impact.
Oscar (Pedro 82) – N/A: Not enough time to make an impact.
Tottenham Player Ratings:
Hugo Lloris – 5,5: Could do nothing for Pedro’s final shot but an attempt to play out from the back led up to it. Not a horrible performance but nothing particularly impressive either.
Kyle Walker – 6.5: Looked bright in the first half and had some space on the right. Chelsea’s second goal killed his momentum, however.
Eric Dier – 5.5: His run in midfield shouldn’t have had this much of a detrimental impact on his defensive ability. Allowed Pedro far too much space for the Chelsea forward’s opener and never really looked comfortable.
Jan Vertonghen – 6.5: Looked far more assured than Dier next to him but the individual talents of Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld only seem to look at their most comfortable when the pair of them play together.
Kevin Wimmer – 5.5: Wimmer tried in an uncomfortable position, but as soon as Moses gained a foothold of the game there was only going to be be one winner in that battle. His best performance in some time, which isn’t saying much.
Victor Wanyama – 6.5: Typified Spurs’ early dominance and looked like the midfield would be his battleground, but was taken care of too easily after the restart.
Mousa Dembélé – 7: Not at his usual high standard, Dembélé nonetheless burst forward from midfield in such a way that he was a constant source of worry for Chelsea. One of Spurs’ better performers on the night.
Christian Eriksen – 7: Eriksen has struggled for form at times this season but he was a threat here. Great goal to open the scoring and looked lively and eager.
Dele Alli – 6: Started brightly, faded rapidly. Moved well around the pitch but was more of a perceived threat than an actual one.
Son Heung-Min – 4.5: The brilliant Son of September and October has given way to a sharp decline in form. Offered so little going forward he was practically anonymous at times.
Harry Kane – 7: Looked dangerous in the first half, tried his best in the second but suffered from the collective decline in the team.
Harry Winks (Son 65) – 6.5: Looked composed in midfield when he came on, which bodes really well for the 20-year-old’s long-term future at White Hart Lane.
Georges-Kévin Nkoudou (Dele 73) – 6: Brought on to inject pace into the Spurs attack – and while he certainly did that, he didn’t do much else.
Vincent Janssen (Dembélé 83) – N/A: Not enough time to make an impact