Tottenham Smash but Fail to Grab in Nil-Nil Chelsea Draw

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Jose Mourinho, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur congratulates Hugo Lloris (Photo by Matthew Childs - Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: Jose Mourinho, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur congratulates Hugo Lloris (Photo by Matthew Childs - Pool/Getty Images) /
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Tottenham, Chelsea, Kane, Kante
Chelsea’s French midfielder N’Golo Kante tackles Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Harry Kane (Photo by MATTHEW CHILDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Offensive a Bit Off for Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur looked the more likely team to score in the first half of the match, despite not holding a ton of possession. Whenever Spurs had the ball and were able to counter, they were moving the ball well and creating some chances. One of the first came just past 8 minutes into the match as Serge Aurier started the break winning the ball.

Aurier got the ball to Steven Bergwijn, who found Harry Kane in the middle of the park. As Bergwijn drove forward, Kane found the Dutchman in some space just outside the box with a return pass. Not far from where he struck against City in his Spurs Debut Bergwijn got a glimpse of the target. This time there was not the same magic as Bergwijn was moving away from goal leaving the ball sailing high and wide instead of the in the back of the net.

A few minutes later after and offside call wiped out a Chelsea strike from Timo Werner, Aurier was in the attack third making things happen. Doing a little combining with Tanguy Ndombele – who was the best play on the pitch for either side in the first half – Aurier found some space at the top of the box. Serge got a wonderful strike off, but Mendy got down well and fisted it away.

As the half continued what Chelsea did far better than Manchester City was maintain their positions defensively and get numbers back against Spurs on the counter. Dier and Rodon were the far busier pair of center backs. Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma did not face enough pressure from Spurs, particularly Silva who played very deeply, but was alone much of the match as Kane dropped deep to pick up the ball and support Ndombele.

At times Spurs sent Steven Bergwijn to the top of the attack to occupy the defenders but he could not provide the kind of physical presence Tottenham needed to really threaten Silva and Zouma. Had Spurs needed three points or been at home, a move for Carlos Vinicius to go up-top would have made sense. Instead as the time wore on in the second half and Spurs failed to muster a huge attack, José Mourinho went with Ben Davies and trying to preserve the tie, rather than the Brazilian and push for the win.

Tottenham did have one late opportunity as Lucas Moura – a late substitute himself – intercepted a poor pass from Zouma and feed Giovani Lo Celso in the middle of the pitch, just outside the penalty box. As everyone went moving Lo Celso simply held up the ball for a second and saw a moment. Mendy was a bit off his line, but the chipped effort by Lo Celso was ultimately a poor one and the opportunity to steal three points was lost and the match ended deadlocked at zero.

Tough to complain about the result as Spurs will spend another week top of the table, but three points at Chelsea would have been wonderful. However, four points from two matches against Manchester City and Chelsea is about as good as any team in the world can hope for and keeps Spurs unbeaten stretch alive at nine. With the North London Derby coming at the weekend in front of a smattering of fans for the first time since March, coming into the game in first place is a lot better than the alternative. So, like the team, we will just follow the plan and take it game-by-game.