Chelsea needed to avoid defeat at all costs in their Easter Sunday clash with Tottenham to keep any hopes of a top-four finish alive. However, after going a goal ahead through Alvaro Morata, the hosts were brought crashing back down to earth. Christian Eriksen brought Spurs level before a Dele Alli brace sealed his side’s first win at Stamford Bridge for 28 years.
Blues draw first blood
Morata was selected in the number 9 role, a fortnight after his FA Cup goal against Leicester while Willy Caballero was selected between the sticks to replace the injured Thibaut Courtois. The opening exchanges were dominated largely by the visitors but Chelsea looked dangerous on the break. It was a counter-attack that produced the first decent chance of the game as Morata managed to find Eden Hazard who held off a challenge from Davinson Sanchez and found Willian. The Brazilian flashed a goal-bound shot, taking a deflection on the way through, which Hugo Lloris had to parry wide.
Marcos Alonso then saw his fantastic volley hit the back of the net only for the linesman’s flag to go up, correctly. N’Golo Kante had worked some space on the right-hand side and picked out the Spaniard brilliantly. The Blues then broke the deadlock as Lloris’ awful error of judgement allowed Morata an empty net to head into from Victor Moses’ inviting cross.
Antonio Conte’s side looked for another before half-time but it was their opponents that managed to get on the scoresheet. Moses attempted to clear the ball but it got no further than Ben Davies’ head and Alli unloaded it to the feet of Eriksen. 30 yards from goal, the Danish wizard unleashed a rocket of a shot that dipped and swerved, leaving Caballero to watch in awe as it crashed off the bar and into the net.
After conceding in first-half stoppage time, Chelsea came out the better side but almost gave away a penalty as Moses fell on top of the ball in the box, it would have been harsh. They then had to rely on their stand-in goalkeeper to keep out a bending Heung-Min Son effort.
However, he couldn’t do anything to stop Spurs from taking the lead as two of England’s brightest youngsters combined. Eric Dier sent an incredible ball over the Blues backline for Alli to bring down beautifully before flicking over Caballero who had rushed out of his goal, very promising signs for the country’s World Cup hopes!
Just four minutes later, the visitors’ lead was doubled through that man, Dele Alli. This one was much scrappier after Son flew down the right wing and decided to go alone, ignoring the support from the ex-MK Dons midfielder. His effort was blocked and he was very fortunate to get another chance, which he greedily missed but Alli stayed alive in the box and poked into the bottom corner to send the away fans wild.
The 3-1 lead meant Chelsea had a mountain to climb to earn a result which they couldn’t manage. Alonso squandered a big chance before Jan Vertonghen turned over his own crossbar but it wasn’t enough to trouble the visitors who now have an eight-point lead over their London rivals. It looks like the champions will have to settle for Europa League football next term.