Willian was in imperious touch as a professional Chelsea side cruised to a 2-0 win over Tottenham at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.
Chelsea were hot off the gates and took just 12 minutes to take the lead through Willian, as the Brazilian scored a fantastic curler from a tight angle, bending the ball past multiple players and past Paulo Gazzaniga. Chelsea continued dominating the proceedings and doubled their lead at the stroke of half-time, when they were awarded a penalty for Gazzaniga’s foul on Marcos Alonso.
Up stepped Willian to take the spot-kick, and he made no error in doubling his and Chelsea’s tally. The visitors were in cruise control mode post the interval and their job only became easier when Son Heung-min was sent off for a senseless challenge on Antonio Rudiger midway through the second half. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Frank Lampard’s men, following the 2-0 win.
Kepa Arrizabalaga: 6/10
One of the easiest outings of the season for Kepa, who was barely called into action, with Chelsea thoroughly dominating the game. The Spaniard was forced to make just one save in the entire game and had the best seat in the house as Chelsea eased to a big win over Tottenham.
Antonio Rudiger: 9/10
Starting a third consecutive game, Rudiger finally showed exactly what Chelsea had missed all these months. The German’s typical guile and agility were on full display on the day, winning four duels. Read the game well, while also being assured as ever with the ball at his feet. To add to his credit, he was incredibly level-headed when subjected to racist chants by Tottenham supporters.
Kurt Zouma: 8/10
Much like Rudiger, Zouma was solid at the back and was rarely beaten, winning two aerial duels and dominating Harry Kane with aplomb. Could have done better when playing out from the back, though, completing just 76 percent of the passes he attempted. Did his primary job well enough, however.
Fikayo Tomori: 9/10
Back into the side after recovering from his injury, Tomori was excellent at the back, striking a strong partnership alongside Rudiger and Zouma. The youngster won four duels, made as many clearances and completed 69 passes, always looking reliable with the ball at his feet. A solid return to action.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 8/10
Deployed in the right wing-back role that does not always tend to bring the best out of him. This time around, though, Azpilicueta adjusted his game superbly, and appeared confident as an outlet in the final third. At the back, the Chelsea captain kept a check on Son Heung-min perfectly before being taken off with a hamstring injury late on.
N’Golo Kante: 9/10
An all-action performance by Kante, who was in his elements on Sunday. Ran himself into the ground to harry the opposition off the ball and never shied from carrying the ball forward himself either. A fantastic solo run in the second half was indicative of just how much Kante’s game has grown in recent times. More than just a defensive midfielder who joined Chelsea a few years back.
Mateo Kovacic: 8/10
Another solid display by Kovacic, who has been one of the most consistent players for Chelsea this season. Playing a deeper role than usual, the Croat set a quick tempo to the game, which complemented Willian and Mason Mount perfectly. Also got the assist for Willian’s first goal. Will miss out against Southampton after picking up his fifth booking of the season.
Marcos Alonso: 8/10
Starting as the left wing-back, Alonso produced his best performance of the season. A constant outlet in the final third, the Spaniard supported Willian well. Rather surprisingly, Alonso was solid at the back as well, negating the threat of Serge Aurier ever so well. Won the penalty that sealed the win for Chelsea.
Mason Mount: 9/10
A surprise starter ahead of Christian Pulisic. But, Lampard’s decision to trust his protege was quite superb, with Mount pulling the strings for Chelsea high up the pitch. Worked hard off the ball as well, looking to win the ball back quickly, which in turn helped Chelsea dominate the proceedings. Quite brilliant.
Tammy Abraham: 8/10
Like Mount, Abraham was excellent without directly contributing to either of Willian’s goals. Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez never had a moment’s rest as the English international kept running at them, thereby creating space for Willian and Mount to wreak havoc. Will be eager to get back to scoring ways, though.
In one word, perfect. This was perhaps, Willian’s best ever performance in Chelsea colours. Right from the word go, the Brazilian was up to the task at hand, running at the Tottenham defenders and using Alonso’s duel with Aurier to his advantage by exploiting the space on his flank, creating the most chances in the game (5).
The move for his goal was outstanding to say the least, as Willian dropped his shoulder to feint to his right before bending the ball beyond the crowd inside the box and into the goal. Calm as you like with the penalty, which rounded the win off for Chelsea. Never stopped trying and could have had a hat-trick on another day.
Willian’s game by numbers vs. Tottenham:
90% pass accuracy rate
5 Chances created
2 Shots on target
1 Foul won
A match-winning performance. 🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/dZ2lxarlIg
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 22, 2019
On for Kovacic, Jorginho continued from where the Croat had left off, controlling the game with elan for the final quarter of the game. Had a staggering 96 percent pass completion rate in his cameo.
Reece James: N/A
Given the last 10 minutes, James was a pair of fresh legs who helped see the game out.
Michy Batshuayi: N/A
A late substitution, Batshuayi did not have enough time to make an impact.