Leave it to Chelsea to abruptly halt Tottenham’s Premier League momentum and squash their buoyant mood in one irritating fell swoop.
One could be forgiven for thinking this time would be different. How many times, as Spurs prepare to do battle with Chelsea, has that pre-match feeling of anticipation and hope turned sour quicker than milk left out in the outback?
Annoyingly, one of Tottenham’s most loathed rivals also happens to be the club’s bogey team. Tottenham have managed one solitary, lonely victory in 36 Premier League matches at Stamford Bridge.
Ironically, Antonio Conte was Chelsea’s manager when Tottenham earned that single success, a 1-3 victory in April 2018 under Mauricio Pochettino’s stewardship. On the good news front, Spurs don’t have to travel to Stamford Bridge until next season, unless the two teams meet there in the FA Cup.
Yesterday’s fiasco was a tale older than time. Yep, pretty damn old. And pretty damn tiring.
Antonio Conte’s starting team was an ominous harbinger. Seeing the combination of Japhet Tanganga and Ryan Sessengon as wingbacks, along with Matthew Doherty in a more central midfield position, was, at Stamford Bridge anyway, a certain recipe for failure.
Tottenham’s voodoo at the Bridge is enough to induce cold sweats and projectile vomiting. Sorry for inciting such a rancid vision, but honestly, when will the suffering end?
This season Tottenham have been outscored 5-0 in three matches against the Blues. Spurs haven’t scored a Premier League goal against Chelsea since Nov. 24, 2018, which was also the Lilywhites’ last top flight victory against our bitterly loathed adversary. That 3-1 win came at White Hart Lane, a memory made more fond by its depressingly sparing nature.
Spurs, thanks to Antonio Rüdiger’s late own goal, scored against Chelsea on Feb. 22, 2020. However, it’s now been three and a half years since one of Spurs’ lads knocked the ball home in a Premier League match against the West Londoners.
It appeared as if Harry Kane ended Tottenham’s miserable goal-scoring drought yesterday. But, of course, in came Paul Tierney’s interjection. The referee inexplicably decided to disallow Kane’s goal, referencing a supposed push by England’s captain on the back of Thiago Silva, who made an absolute meal of it. Must be part of the against-Spurs conspiracy at the Bridge. It’s the only conceivable reason, as that was one weak-ass push. More like when you tap the bell at any place requesting you “tap the bell for service.”
I won’t continue, as an additional cluster of sickening numbers would surely incite a new-found Blue Monday for Spurs supporters. I even get annoyed at seeing the “Blue” in Blue Monday. When I was an impressionable youth learning my way around a playground, blue was my favourite colour. That is no longer the case.
Tottenham’s long, sordid, depressing history of being on the wrong side of results against Chelsea is enough to create a heightened sense of animosity. So much so that the ever-increasing dislike for Chelsea is starting to resemble the antipathy Tottenham supporters reserve for the Arsenal.
And that’s saying a lot. But let’s be clear, even if Tottenham’s malaise against Chelsea continues for another 10 years, Arsenal will always be enemy No. 1.