LONDON: Chelsea’s dominant second-half performance was rewarded with goals for Thiago Silva, N’Golo Kante and Antonio Rudiger in a comfortable 3-0 victory at London rivals Tottenham Hotspur that sent them joint top of the Premier League on Sunday.
The emphatic scoreline did not look likely in the first half as the home side’s energetic display allowed them to more than match Chelsea. But Spurs simply had no answer when the Blues found another couple of gears after the break.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel’s decision to replace Mason Mount with Kante at halftime proved a masterstroke as the French midfielder helped the visitors seize control and ease to a victory that sent out an ominous warning in the title race.
Thiago’s header gave Chelsea the lead in the 49th minute and when Kante’s deflected shot crept past Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris shortly after there was no way back for the deflated hosts.
Rudiger’s late strike was enough to give Chelsea an identical record to Liverpool with the two sides on 13 points from five games, both having scored 12 goals and conceded one.
On the day Tottenham mourned the passing of Jimmy Greaves, the club’s greatest-ever scorer, their modern-day goal machine Harry Kane had another disappointing day and is yet to add to his 166 league goals for the club this season.
Spurs faded badly after the interval and their abysmal Premier League record against Chelsea now reads: played 59, won seven, drawn 20, lost 32.
After winning their first three Premier League games of the season 1-0 to lead the table, Totenham have now suffered back-to-back 3-0 reverses and have slipped to seventh.
“I was absolutely not happy with the first 45 minutes,” Tuchel said. “There were individual performances which were great in the first half from (keeper) Kepa and Thiago Silva. In general we lacked intent, energy and relentlessness in duels and 50-50 balls. We spoke about it at halftime. In the second half it was a very good performance and a deserved win.”
Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo handed a first league appearance of the season to powerful midfielder Tanguy Ndombele and he impressed in a first half in which the hosts’ energetic football kept Chelsea on the back foot.
Spurs had a series of half chances and wasted a great opportunity when Son Heung-min’s pass released Sergio Reguilon down the left but the Spanish full back could not pick out either of two team mates who were waiting in the area.
Son also had a fleeting chance when picked out by Giovani Lo Celso, yet despite Tottenham’s impressive play there was always the sense that Chelsea had much more in the tank.
And so it proved.
Straight after the restart, Marcos Alonso’s stretching volley forced Lloris into his first save of the match and a couple of minutes later Alonso swung over a corner that Thiago met with a powerful downward header that gave Lloris no chance.
All the belief Spurs had shown suddenly evaporated and they found themselves with a mountain to climb in the 57th minute as Kante’s shot took a cruel deflection off Eric Dier’s foot and dribbled into the corner off the post with Lloris wrong-footed.
Chelsea looked hungry for more goals and they got their third when Timo Werner picked out central defender Rudiger and he dispatched a low shot into the bottom corner.
Lingard, De Gea earn dramatic late win for Man United
Jesse Lingard scored a stunning late goal and David de Gea saved a stoppage-time penalty as Manchester United beat West Ham United 2-1 in a dramatic Premier League match on Sunday.
West Ham had gone ahead on the half-hour mark with a deflected strike from Said Benrahma but the visitors responded quickly, Cristiano Ronaldo heading a Bruno Fernandes cross at Lukasz Fabianksi and following up to tap the ball into the net. Substitute Lingard hit a thumping shot into the top corner in the 89th minute against his former club but West Ham were awarded a penalty moments later for a handball by defender Luke Shaw.
Mark Noble stepped up to take the penalty immediately after coming off the bench but De Gea guessed correctly and dived to turn his spot-kick away.
Manchester United are second in the Premier League standings with 13 points from five games while West Ham are eighth after suffering their first defeat of the season.
It was the first time De Gea had kept out a penalty since April 2016, having let in the previous 40 spot-kicks he had faced including 11 in the shootout in last season`s Europa League final loss to Villarreal. “It was the last minute, I made the save. Going through my head was ‘save the ball’. It’s a massive three points for us,” De Gea said.
“It was a really tough game, both teams had good chances, again a great goal from Jesse. In the dressing room we said the three points were the most important thing.”
There was also a sense of redemption for Lingard, whose stray pass had given away Young Boys last-gasp winner in the Champions League on Tuesday. “Mistakes happen in football, you have to overcome those things,” said Lingard, who scored nine Premier League goals for West Ham last season after joining on loan.
“I got a brilliant reception. I had a good time here but I have to move on with Man United and do my best,” he added.
Both sides showed signs of tiredness after their European exploits, with West Ham winning 2-0 on Thursday in their opening Europa League game away to Dinamo Zagreb.
David Moyes’s side took the lead when Algerian midfielder Benrahma tried his luck from the edge of the area and his shot flew into the net off the back of Raphael Varane. But the visitors responded strongly and levelled when Ronaldo struck a fourth goal in three games since returning to Manchester United, netting twice against Newcastle United and once in the 2-1 defeat at Young Boys.
The Portuguese had another chance in the second half before Lingard’s strike when he was again played in by Portugal team mate Fernandes but Fabianksi thwarted the attempt with his legs.