Tottenham 2-0 Chelsea: Player ratings as Spurs finally beat the Blues
By Sean Walsh
FROM TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR STADIUM - Tottenham claimed their first Premier League win against Chelsea for the first time since November 2018 with a 2-0 victory on Sunday.
The pressure has only increased on Graham Potter after the Blues' abysmal run extended to one win in 11 games in 2023.
Chelsea demanded a penalty with under 90 seconds when Raheem Sterling went down under a challenge from Oliver Skipp, though replays suggested there was little to no contact.
The visitors saw most of the ball in the opening stages and came close to carving out an opening when Enzo Fernandez's ball over the top found the run of Joao Felix, but he was unable to cleanly bring it down and it trickled behind.
Spurs were looking a threat on the counter attack. In their first opportunity of note, Dejan Kulusevski danced away from Ben Chilwell and combined well with Harry Kane to carry the ball up the pitch. The England striker then nutmegged Reece James as he was bearing down on goal before being denied a sensational effort by a last-ditch Kalidou Koulibaly challenge.
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The game's first shot on target came courtesy of Felix, who dribbled his way through the final third before firing straight at Fraser Forster.
Midway through the first half, a neat one-two between Richarlison and Skipp allowed Spurs to create space inside and find Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who rattled the post with a strike from 18 yards.
Towards the end of the first 45, Sterling cut in from the left and let fly from distance, only for Forster to fly through the air and palm his effort to safety.
In stoppage time, Hakim Ziyech was initially sent off after a three-minute deliberation period from Stuart Atwell for violent conduct, pushing Emerson Royal in the chin amid a scuffle. But the referee was then sent to the VAR monitor and reversed his decision.
Tottenham opened the scoring almost immediately after the break. Kepa Arrizabalaga did well to deny Emerson at close range and Chelsea thought they had cleared their lines, only for Skipp to crash in and fire in his first Spurs goal off the underside of the bar from 20 yards.
Spurs sealed the points with ten minutes remaining. An out-swinging corner from Son Heung-min was nodded on by Eric Dier and tapped in at the far post by Kane.
Antonio Conte will have been delighted to have seen his charges move four points clear of fifth-placed Newcastle from the comfort of his home in Italy, while Potter's Chelsea are now only out of the bottom half on goal difference.
Tottenham player ratings
GK: Fraser Forster - 7/10 - A surprisingly calming influence at the back.
CB: Cristian Romero - 8/10 - Gobbled up everything Chelsea threw at him.
CB: Eric Dier - 8/10 - Similarly untroubled for the most part. Grabbed an assist for Kane.
CB: Clement Lenglet - 7/10 - Looked shaky at times but was largely fine.
RM: Emerson Royal - 7/10 - Covered every blade of grass from wing-back. Still a little hesitant in the final third and his crossing wasn't great.
CM: Oliver Skipp - 9/10 - Threw himself into every challenge and usually came out on top. The hero of the day with one hell of a strike.
CM: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg - 7/10 - An excellent partner in midfield for Skipp, sweeping up loose balls and often switching play.
LM: Ben Davies - 6/10 - Got himself into plenty of attacking positions though wasn't always picked out.
RF: Dejan Kulusevski - 6/10 - Much sharper and stronger than in recent weeks though still missing that spark in the final third.
LF: Richarlison - 6/10 - Rough around the edges but his pressing and work rate caused problems for Chelsea.
CF: Harry Kane - 9/10 - Marked tightly by Fofana which forced him to come deeper. Rewarded for his all-round performance with a goal.
Son Heung-min (79' for Kulusevski) - 7/10
Pedro Porro (89' for Richarlison) - N/A
Cristian Stellini - 8/10 - Tottenham managed the game like a big club should.
Chelsea player ratings
GK: Kepa Arrizabalaga - 5/10 - Booed by home fans for time wasting in the first half. Got a hand on Skipp's strike.
RB: Reece James - 5/10 - Pinned Richarlison down at one end but was kept quiet by him at the other as well.
CB: Thiago Silva - N/A - Fortunate to have escaped punishment for striking Romero with his elbow. Withdrawn with a knee injury early in the first half.
CB: Kalidou Koulibaly - 6/10 - Made a few stretching tackles. Not his fault Chelsea fell apart.
LB: Ben Chilwell - 5/10 - Barged around at will by Kulusevski.
CM: Ruben Loftus-Cheek - 5/10 - Failed to establish his authority in the middle of the park.
CM: Enzo Fernandez - 6/10 - Clearly has technical excellence but it was only evident in spurts.
RM: Hakim Ziyech - 4/10 - Man-marked Davies off the ball but didn't provide a lot on it.
AM: Joao Felix - 5/10 - Like Fernandez is so clearly talented but his game needs refining. Lost the run of Skipp for the opener.
LM: Raheem Sterling - 4/10 - A threat early on but was taken out of the game soon after by Emerson and Romero.
CF: Kai Havertz - 4/10 - Lacked any sort of presence up front.
Wesley Fofana (19' for Silva) - 6/10 - Like Koulibaly was largely fine and not at fault for either goal.
Denis Zakaria (62' for Ziyech) - 4/10
Mason Mount (62' for Loftus-Cheek) - 4/10
Mykhailo Mudryk (83' for Sterling) - N/A
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (83' for Felix) - N/A
Graham Potter - 2/10 - Another week, another loss, this time at a place where Chelsea were previously invincible. The clock is ticking.