Off the magic of late heroics against Leicester and facing a Chelsea team not playing their best, Tottenham Hotspur again falls to the Blues in aggravating fashion.
A day that started with high hopes for Tottenham as they looked to climb into fourth place in the Premier League, ended in the way it usually does against Chelsea, in disappointment. In what has become the typical story against the Blues, few breaks come Tottenham’s way, just one moment of mindless defending gets punished, and Spurs fall as a result.
Tottenham was hard done in the first half
Spurs started with an interesting set-up going with some sort of 4-4-2 formation trying to contain Chelsea. It was an approach that worked for most of the first half, although Tottenham was struggling on both edges.
Despite very little possession, Spurs finished the half with as many shots on target – one – as Chelsea did. Further, Tottenham had the ball in the net but some “clever” play left Spurs again asking questions about how decisions are made.
First, Steven Bergwijn was clearly fouled in the build-up play about 25 yards from the goal. Paul Tierney allowed play to continue playing the advantage as he should have done. As Spurs continued the ball went wide and came back into Harry Kane, who controlled the ball and neatly tucked it into the net.
Then suddenly, after Kane had scored, there was a whistle, which many observers thought was Tierney pulling the playback to the foul on Bergwijn in the build-up. But, NO, Tierney had called a foul on Kane for a one-handed shove in the back of Thiago Silva, causing the defender to go flailing to the ground in his best Mo Salah impersonation.
It worked, Tierney bought the “clever” play of Silva – as it was described on US television – and Kane’s goal was chalked off. For the second time in three matches, there was no help from VAR for Kane, and Tierney’s questionable call from 20 yards behind the play stood.
On a day when VAR used minutes to find a foul to award Liverpool a penalty kick and did not even bother to drop real lines the day before on a tight offside call against Manchester United, why should Spurs fans think they will catch a break?
Instead of a little luck on their side with the officials – the lack of consistency means you need it – Spurs went into the break 0-0.