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Spurs daze Chelsea, win at Stamford Bridge for the first time in 28 years

By News Express on 01/04/2018

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•Tottenham’s two-goal hero Dele Alli
•Tottenham’s two-goal hero Dele Alli

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino praised Dele Alli for coming through a “tough period” to score two goals as Spurs won at Chelsea for the first time in 28 years,

 

After Alvaro Morata headed in Victor Moses’ cross to give the hosts the lead, Christian Eriksen hit a stunning equaliser on the stroke of half-time as his dipping effort from 25 yards dropped just under the bar and over a stranded Willy Caballero. 

Alli then took centre stage in the second half, putting Tottenham ahead just after the hour mark when he produced a sublime first touch to bring Eric Dier’s ball under control before slotting beyond Caballero.

The England midfielder was well-placed four minutes later to stab in following a goalmouth scramble and wrap up a win that moves fourth-placed Tottenham eight points clear of Chelsea, who are fifth.

It was also the perfect response by Alli after a disappointing couple of weeks with England on international duty.

He failed to make an impact in a 22-minute substitute appearance in the 1-0 win against the Netherlands and was then left on the bench for the 1-1 draw with Italy.

“I’m very, very pleased,” said Pochettino. “It’s been a tough period for him, but for no doubt about his talent, his character.

“I’m so happy for him because he deserved it and he worked hard. In the end, he’s a great talent, only 21 years old, and sometimes we lose the focus on that.

“Sometimes the expectation is too much. There is too much pressure.”

Chelsea full-back Marcos Alonso described this London derby as a ‘must-win game’ beforehand and it was hard to disagree, given the consequences for Champions League qualification.

Antonio Conte’s side had won just three of their nine league games in 2018 prior to Tottenham’s visit but they did have history in their favour.

Spurs had a torrid record at Stamford Bridge in the league, losing 18 of their 27 games since a late Gary Lineker header secured a 2-1 win in February 1990.

It looked as if their miserable run would continue as, despite dominating possession, they fell behind after an excellent ball by Antonio Rudiger found Moses wide right and the wing-back delivered a perfect cross for Morata to score his seventh headed goal of the season.

The balance of play then swung in Chelsea’s favour as they went on the hunt for a second and Hugo Lloris did well to push away a strong Alonso strike.

But Tottenham are a team with momentum. They had not lost in the Premier League since 16 December, winning all four of their previous fixtures, and Eriksen, so often capable of creating something from nothing, delivered a sucker punch with his excellent dipping strike.

From then on, the visitors were in control and Alli’s quick-fire not only put paid to Chelsea's chances of getting a result but possibly their top-four hopes as well.

They will now need to take at least nine points from the 21 available just to overhaul Tottenham’s current total. Given that they have taken just six points from their previous seven games, it would seem a tall task.

“We have to try until the end to catch the teams in the Champions League places and in this case it is Tottenham and Liverpool,” Chelsea boss Conte said.

“We have to try.” (BBC)

Source News Express

Posted 01/04/2018 8:39:47 PM

 

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