Chelsea 2 Spurs 1
It is hard to remain optimistic, but I will try. The possession was almost 50/50, they, however, had seven shots on target to our three. Out of their seven, they managed to score two, while out of our three, we scored one. They had strikers, we didn’t, so we tried to make the best out of a lousy job. In the game against RB Leipzig, we managed to keep them out (apart from the penalty), and in the Chelsea game, we were never going to get a smooth ride. We’ve got talent, and it showed, we just couldn’t put our chances away.
Chelsea, the commentators claim, struck a significant blow in the fight for the top four places in the Premier League with a victory over us at Stamford Bridge. But let us look at the table, Chelsea, Spurs, Sheffield United and Manchester United are very close, points-wise. Between Chelsea in fourth and United in seventh, there are only six points. Still all to play for, even for us. So let us not go overboard.
Commentators also called this a battle between Frank Lampard and his old mentor Jose Mourinho, we could have leapfrogged Chelsea with victory over them. And as for the “battle,” it was an unfair one as Mourinho had one hand tied behind his back. Under better circumstances (having strikers), and what I saw on that day, we could have easily won at Stamford Bridge.
Lampard made four changes from the team that lost 2-0 at home to Manchester United on Monday, they all made a contribution to only their second win in seven league games. Olivier Giroud, in for Michy Batshuayi with Tammy Abraham on the bench after injury, fired low past Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris for Chelsea’s opener in the 15th minute after the recalled Ross Barkley hit the post.
All four of those brought into the team linked up for Chelsea’s second three minutes after the break as Giroud’s flick found Mason Mount, who played in Barkley. He produced a single pass to Marcos Alonso, who put one past Lloris.
Our day could have been even worse as lo Celso might have been sent off for a second-half challenge on Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta. The video assistant referee decided against punishment, although officials in Stockley Park later admitted a mistake had been made and he should have been sent off. My take on it, from watching the replay, was that he tried to steady himself (from falling over) and that was why it looked bad.
We gave ourselves some hope, near the end when Erik Lamela’s shot deflected in off Antonio Rudiger. If only the last ten or fifteen minutes was the same in the rest of the 75 minutes, then it could have been a different story.
That is my optimistic look at the game. Others may see it differently.
But we can’t cry over spilt milk. We now have to brush ourselves down and concentrate on our next game, against Wolves on Sunday. The seasons not over yet.