Chelsea played a highly tactical and efficient game to frustrate dominant Tottenham Hotspurs at Wembley on Sunday to record their first win of the new campaign.
Reeling from a disastrous season opener against Burnley at Stamford Bridge and the negative vibes surrounding the transfer situation of last season’s club top scorer, Diego Costa; Chelsea was on the wrong end of prediction as on the way to losing their second game on the trot.
Antonio Conte didn’t help matters when he alluded that his team is almost threadbare and that the club needed to be a bit more aggressive in the market. This, despite the addition of Rudiger, Bakayoko and of course, Morata raised enquiries as to what the Italian meant.
Tottenham on the other hand had a great season opener at St. James Park against Premier League returnee Newcastle United. The London club had to wait till the second half to claim the maximum points with two clinical finishes first from Dele Alli and then Ben Davies.
Tottenham were dominant. The quality of their play as well as the performance of last season made them a team to be wary of and Chelsea was deemed to be visiting Wembley at the wrong time.
However, Antonio Conte set up shop to frustrate Tottenham fluency. The tactics was to reduce Kane, Alli and Eriksen influence in attack to the barest minimum.
Chelsea did this excellently well and got forward with intent whenever they had the ball even though Tottenham had more than seventy percent possession.
Eventually, Marcos Alonso was the difference for the Blues as he scored a marvelous free kick in the 24th minutes and snatched the winner in the 88th after a horrific own goal by substitute Mitchy Bashuayi had given Spurs a lifeline in the 82nd.
Antonio Conte’s celebration at the end of the match showed clearly that a burden had been lifted and the Blues are ready to match on again.