Chelsea responded to their Carabao Cup Final loss against Manchester City `with a confident 2-0 London derby victory over Tottenham on Wednesday evening.
Following the infamous bust-up between Maurizio Sarri and Kepa Arrizabalaga on the pitch at Wembley, Pedro’s goal and a moment of madness from Kieran Trippier fired the Blues to a vital three points.
The Spanish goalkeeper did, in fact, find himself amongst the substitutes as many expected after news broke of him being fined for his actions at the weekend. Emerson, Ross Barkley and Willian were all also dropped from the starting XI as Spurs made four changes of their own.
The game exploded into life from the first whistle and it looked as though the hosts had taken the lead inside six minutes but Gonzalo Higuain’s fine half volley crashed off the post and away to safety after it had left Hugo Lloris rooted to the spot. A half-hearted penalty shout was then waved away as the ball struck Christian Eriksen’s slightly outstretched arm but the appeals were rightly subdued as there wasn’t too much in it.
Chelsea were firmly on top and mistakes were being made all over the park for the visitors with their goalkeeper getting away with a criminally misplaced pass out from the back. Willy Caballero then had to be called into action for the first time to stop Eriksen’s effort at the source but it turned out to be rather unnecessary as Heung-Min Son was flagged offside in the build-up.
The first half finished in stark contrast to the way it began with Tottenham playing the better of the two sides but still unable to fashion any clear-cut chances. Sarri’s side needed to come out fast after the break and that is exactly what they did.
After Higuain saw a goal ruled out by the linesman, his attacking team-mate went on better and put the Blues in front. Cesar Azpilicueta found himself out on the right wing where he sent the ball down to the line to his fellow countryman and following a dazzling run, Pedro fired the ball between the legs of Lloris and into the back of the net. The relief of his manager was portrayed through his overjoyed celebration on the touchline as his side had taken a deserved lead.
The former Barcelona winger then followed up his opening goal with a fantastic, potentially goal-saving tackle where he slid in from behind Eriksen to retrieve the ball and come away with it inside the 18-yard box. Despite the advantage being just one, the home side began to look very comfortable as Spurs lacked their usual bite but a Tottenham player managed to find the net with little over five minutes left.
The only problem with it was that it was in the wrong net as Trippier, under no pressure, slotted the ball past the out-of-position Lloris to put the game beyond the North London side. A goal of comedic value summed up a comedic defensive performance from Mauricio Pochettino’s team but allowed Chelsea to pick up arguably their most important win of the campaign.