Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham: 3 conclusions to draw from the game | Premier League 2019-20
- A look at three conclusions from Chelsea's win over Spurs over the weekend.
Frank Lampard's decision to field some forgotten players paid off as both Marcos Alonso and Olivier Giroud ended up scoring whereas Ross Barkley got an assist and was unlucky not to score. The Blues started in a 3-4-3 formation with Reece James and Alonso as wing-backs in very advanced positions.
Spurs also lined up with a back-three which turned into a back-five as the match proceeded. They started in classic Jose Mourinho fashion as the majority of the team sat behind the ball and waited for their opponents to build attacks. The plan backfired miserably as Chelsea managed to outsmart the Lilywhites and register a crucial win.
Here, we take a look at three conclusions to draw from Chelsea's win over Spurs.
#1 Chelsea cannot be underestimated against Bayern
Most fans are expecting Chelsea to lose to Bayern Munich, with many predicting a one-sided affair that would lead to the Premier League outfit's demolition. However, the Blues' performance in the London derby was a timely reminder that they have what it takes to beat the best teams in Europe.
Both Bayern and Chelsea have endured poor defensive records this season. However, Chelsea's attacking reserves come up short when compared to the Bundesliga club's tally. Moreover, the Blues' goalkeeping position looks far from settled as Willy Caballero started his third game in a row in place of Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Having said that, Chelsea's mentality against Spurs exhibited the kind of attacking football Frank Lampard believes in. His fundamentals of high pressing and quick passing were evident throughout the game.
The Blues have the momentum on their side as they head into their Champions League tie against Bayern Munich and it will be interesting to see what squad they will use for the fixture.
#2 A three-man defence suits Chelsea
With four world-class centre-backs in the squad, it makes sense for Chelsea to start with a back-three against attacking oppositions. What is even more important is that Blues have failed to prioritise clean sheets and an extra centre-back is needed to strengthen that area
Against Spurs, Lampard fielded a back three of Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta, reminding us of the good old days under Antonio Conte. This was an extremely important tactical decision as it allowed Chelsea's wingbacks to stretch the play and run into advanced positions.
Spurs also lined up with three centre-backs but their wing-backs were rather conservative and were effectively behaving as full-backs, thereby giving the team a back-five shape.
After a string of losses, Chelsea were able to put in a dominating performance using a back- three. This formation suits the skill set of the players currently available in the squad and Lampard should stick with this gameplan as the west London giants strive towards a top-four finish.
#3 Mourinho needs to take a look at Lo Celso's discipline
Giovani Lo Celso made a gruesome challenge during the game as he stomped onto Cesar Azpilicueta's leg and was lucky that to have escaped a red card. The midfielder looked scrappy throughout the game as he was involved in too many risky challenges.
Furthermore, the 23-year-old was also let off for a stud up a challenge where he caught Mateo Kovacic in the abdomen with his boot in the second half. This was another challenge that could have easily gotten him a booking.
Lo Celso finally received a yellow card after a series of incidents involving shirt-pulling, tugging and a couple of other fouls.
Now, it is well known that Mourinho has a taste for tactical fouling and while that is understandable to an extent, the Portuguese gaffer needs to realise that Lo Celso is new to the Premier League and he should take some time to settle in before getting involved in any such challenges.
Published 24 Feb 2020, 08:00 IST