A well-taken goal by Pedro and a Kieran Trippier own goal fired Chelsea to a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
Chelsea returned to winning ways as they defeated local rivals Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in matchweek 28 of the Premier League on Wednesday night.
Coming on the back of the Carabao Cup final defeat against Manchester City, Maurizio Sarri’s Blues were under some pressure to get three points against a fellow “Big Six” opponent. And they began on a strong note, as Gonzalo Higuain came close to opening the scoring just six minutes into the game, only to be denied by the woodwork.
The Argentine then fired an effort just wide a little while later, while Tottenham also saw a well-hit strike from Harry Winks bounce off the crossbar, as both teams went into the half-time break on level terms. Twelve minutes after the restart, Pedro handed Chelsea the lead with a lovely finish after being played in by Cesar Azpilicueta.
Tottenham struggled to find a way back into the game and in the 84th minute, a misunderstanding between Kieran Trippier and Hugo Lloris led to the former passing the ball into his own net to hand Chelsea the victory. Despite the win, Sarri’s side remain in the sixth place, behind Arsenal and Manchester United, albeit with a game in hand.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 27, 2019
And here’s how the Chelsea players fared on the night against Mauricio Pochettino’s side at home.
Willy Caballero: 6/10
Handed his first start of the season in the Premier League as Sarri decided to punish Kepa Arrizabalaga for his actions in the Carabao Cup final, the veteran keeper had very little to do as Spurs rarely threatened his goal. Comfortable against crosses and will have breathed a sigh of relief to see Winks’ effort hit the woodwork.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 7.5/10
After seeing his leadership questioned post the “Kepa-gate” at the weekend, the Spaniard stepped up and put in a captain’s performance on Wednesday night. Made crucial interventions at the back and got the assist for Pedro’s goal with a beautiful pass. Didn’t show any signs of fatigue despite having slogged for 120 minutes at the weekend.
Antonio Rudiger: 8/10
A solid display from the German international as he kept a lid on Tottenham’s star striker Harry Kane throughout the game. Alert to the threat that the visitors conjured up, which wasn’t much. Strong in tackles, unbeatable in the air and organised things at the back. Very impressive.
David Luiz: 8/10
The Brazilian looked up for the battle from the kick-off and went toe-to-toe with Kane and Son Heung-min, ensuring that the Spurs duo had little impact on the proceedings. Showed good composure when on the ball and kept it simple rather than going for the spectacular.
Marcos Alonso: 6.5/10
Reinstated at left-back at the expense of Emerson Palmieri, the Spaniard put in a much-improved display after having struggled defensively in recent weeks. Worked hard to keep Son quiet, while he linked up well with his teammates going forward, although the end product wasn’t there. A decent display on return.
N’Golo Kante: 8/10
The energy and the stamina that the little Frenchman possesses in unbelievable. Having run himself into the ground against Manchester City, Kante was at it again on Wednesday, harrying his Tottenham counterparts, winning the ball and driving forward. Another solid, commanding display in the middle of the park.
The summer signing’s good moments on the night came off the ball, as he worked hard when not in possession, helping Chelsea stay tight. Apart from a brilliant pass for Higuain, Jorginho lacked the usual quality he brings to the table and was often too ponderous on the ball.
Mateo Kovacic: 8/10
Easily one of the Real Madrid loanee’s best performances in a Chelsea shirt. Looked up for it from the get go, as he went strongly into tackles and reclaimed possession, before driving his team forward. Acted as an effective conduit between the two halves of the pitch in the left channel. Good positioning throughout, played some smart passes to launch attacks. Impressive.
A typically work-horse like performance in the first half as he struggled to make a difference in the final third, but it changed for him after the break. Did brilliantly to beat Toby Alderweireld before slotting the ball into the net through Lloris’ legs to make it 1-0. His tackle on Christian Eriksen in a dangerous position was another standout moment in what was an industrious display.
Gonzalo Higuain: 6/10
Back in the starting XI after being benched for the Carabao Cup final, the on-loan Juventus star was extremely unlucky to see his effort hit the post in the first period, following which he missed the net narrowly with a curled effort. Didn’t get many chances post that though, as Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez did well to keep him quiet.
Eden Hazard: 6/10
Caused a few problems to Trippier on the flank, but the Belgian wing-wizard was far from his best, with fatigue catching up with him after the effort against City at the weekend. Not at his sharpest when on the ball and was the first player to be taken off.
Replaced the tired-looking Hazard at the hour-mark. Added a bit more energy in the final third.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek: N/A
Came on for Kovacic with less than fifteen minutes left. Not a lot of time to make an impact, but was steady and solid in the middle.
Olivier Giroud: N/A
Late substitute for Higuain.