Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho excelled as Chelsea secured a narrow 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday.
Thomas Tuchel registered his first big London derby win since taking over at Chelsea thanks to a narrow 1-0 triumph over Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday.
It was a devastating evening for the home side, with their manager Jose Mourinho losing back to back home league games for the very first time in his career. It was also Tottenham’s third consecutive defeat in the Premier League, which certainly does not bode well for them, especially with arch-rivals Arsenal on the ascendancy.
Spurs were way too passive in this game, allowing Chelsea time and space to dominate proceedings while applying very little pressure. It proved to be a costly method for Mourinho’s side as they conceded a penalty within the first quarter of the game. Jorginho made no mistake converting the spot-kick, thus giving the visitors the lead.
The second half was a bit more open, but Tottenham failed to find any real openings. They amassed only two shots on target in the entire game, although Chelsea did not fare any better either despite dominating possession. There will be question marks regarding their overall penetration in these early stages of the Tuchel era.
Nevertheless, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at how both the sets of players performed in this marquee encounter in the Premier League at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday.
Hugo Lloris: 7/10
Hugo Lloris had a largely quiet evening despite all the possession Chelsea had. While the Spurs goalkeeper could not keep out Jorginho’s penalty, he only had one notable save to make to deny Mason Mount late in the game.
Serge Aurier: 6.5/10
Tottenham Hotspur were far too passive for Serge Aurier to prove himself to be effective. He hardly had a chance to move forward and provide offensive support for his teammates.
Toby Alderweireld: 7/10
Toby Alderweireld did well to weather the storm that was put forth by Chelsea with all their possession. He was solid in dealing with Timo Werner, barely allowing the German room to penetrate the lines.
Eric Dier: 2/10
Eric Dier was by far the worst performer for Tottenham in this game. The experienced defender committed a silly foul to concede the penalty that led to the winner for Chelsea. He also made another error in the second half, putting Lloris in deep trouble.
— Leo Brewer (@leobrewer10) February 4, 2021
Ben Davies: 6.5/10
Ben Davies had a quiet game in the wide defensive role on the left. However, the Welshman deserves credit for remaining strong defensively.
Moussa Sissoko: 6/10
Not the best of games for Moussa Sissoko, who had his problems imposing his authority in the middle of the park. Harry Winks may have been a better option.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: 6.5/10
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg clearly is better suited to a more aggressive counter-attacking approach and it was evident in his relatively poor display. The Dane could not provide the solidity that was needed in the middle of the park.
Hudson Odoi and Mount's movements have created so many issues for Spurs in this 1st half. Sissoko & Hojbjerg are constantly dropping in the defense to protect their CBs and that's making Spurs' midfield almost nonexistent which Odoi & Mount are looking to exploit by dropping deep
— Nouman (@nomifooty) February 4, 2021
Steven Bergwijn used his pace the threaten the Chelsea defence early on in the game, but his influence waned significantly as the game progressed.
Tanguy Ndombele: 5/10
Tanguy Ndombele arguably had the worst game of the season, barely providing any sort of creativity going forward. His trademark runs into the Chelsea defensive third were also scarce.
Carlos Vinicius: 4/10
Carlos Vinicius had an awful game in the number nine slot. He was indecisive with his offensive play, slowing down a couple of counter-attacks. Really needs to improve if he is to get the nod ahead of Gareth Bale in the next match.
Son Heung-min: 6/10
Son Heung-min struggled to influence the game in the absence of Harry Kane. He often looked left out and isolated, making it difficult for him to make his presence felt in the proceedings.
Erik Lamela: 6.5/10
Erik Lamela’s more dynamic nature made Tottenham a bit more threatening during the final phase of the game. The playmaker also had one effort on target, testing Edouard Mendy.
Lucas Moura: 6.5/10
Lucas Moura fared well after coming on for Bergwijn in the 69th minute. The former PSG attacker used his tricks to deceive defenders on a couple of occasions but wasn’t able to penetrate the opposition.
Edouard Mendy: 6.5/10
Edouard Mendy did not have much to do throughout the entirety of the game as Tottenham amassed only two shots on target. One good to save to deny Erik Lamela, though.
Cesar Azpilicueta: 7/10
Cesar Azpilicueta used his experience to defend the threat of Son. The Spaniard looked rattled with his pace at times but did well to offer the solidity in the defensive third.
Thiago Silva: 7/10
Thiago Silva was looking calm and composed as ever, but his night was cut short by a thigh problem that forced him to come off ten minutes before half-time.
Thiago Silva is forced off with an injury in the 36th minute. pic.twitter.com/eJgIEwS78f
— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 4, 2021
Antonio Rudiger: 7/10
Antonio Rudiger had no real problems dealing with the threat of Bergwijn on the far side. The German international did well to remain strong and keeping Tottenham at bay.
Reece James: 7/10
Reece James made some good forays down the flanks, linking up well with his teammates on the far side. Delivered a few crosses to keep the Spurs defence occupied as well.
Jorginho appears to be a player reborn under Thomas Tuchel. The Italian was the hub of the Chelsea midfield in this game, with his composed passing and possession play. He also scored the penalty that turned out to be the only difference between the two sides.
Jorginho’s first half vs Tottenham –
1 key pass
92% pass accuracy
3/6 ground duels won
2/3 aerial duels won
Impressive in midfield, and an important penalty. pic.twitter.com/1CSuYjsq3i
— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) February 4, 2021
Mateo Kovacic: 8/10
Mateo Kovacic fought hard in the middle of the park, proving to be Chelsea’s ideal answer to Tottenham’s Hojbjerg. His passing was also top-notch, with the Croat playing a key role in helping the Blues dominate the game.
Marcos Alonso: 7/10
Starting ahead of Ben Chilwell, Marcos Alonso did an excellent job on the far side. He ventured forward on multiple occasions and looked composed in possession.
Callum Hudson-Odoi: 6.5/10
Callum Hudson-Odoi offered the occasional spark in the final third, using his pace and trickery to good effect. However, he never really troubled Lloris and was eventually replaced after the hour mark.
Mason Mount: 6.5/10
Mason Mount was also ineffective in the number ten position for Chelsea. The Englishman looked desperate to test Lloris, with most of his efforts appearing to be really tame.
Timo Werner: 7/10
Timo Werner offered a lot of running as one could expect from the German international. He was determined to breach the Tottenham backline but to no avail. Still lacking the goals, but did win the penalty.
🎯 Timo Werner was the only Chelsea player with a pass accuracy below 90% in the first half vs Tottenham
🤷♂️ All too easy for the Blues pic.twitter.com/z4yXqEAQdt
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) February 4, 2021
Andreas Christensen: 7/10
Andreas Christensen was called into action early as he replaced the injured Thiago Silva. The Dane did well to keep things tidy at the back and effectively get used to the pace of the game.
Christian Pulisic: 6.5/10
Christian Pulisic offered sparks of his direct play after coming on for Hudson-Odoi in the 65th minute. Made a couple of eye-catching runs, but failed to deliver the final ball.
N’Golo Kante: 6/10
N’Golo Kante marked his return to the pitch after an absence of four games. Made one foul on Lucas that got him a yellow.