Oliver Skipp’s first Tottenham goal couldn’t have come at a better time, as the 23-year-old overpowered Kepa Arrizabalaga with a stinging long-range half-volley to put the home side in front.
Barely a minute had elapsed after the interval when Skipp’s defining moment sent Tottenham Hotspur Stadium — at least for those who returned to their seats in time to see the historic moment — into delirium.
There isn’t a player more deserving of that transcendent moment than the homegrown midfielder, who endured a miserable extended period on the treatment table just after gaining prominence in recent seasons.
However, injuries to Yves Bissouma and Rodrigo Bentancur paved the way for Skipp’s return to the first 11.
Before last week’s win over West Ham, Skipp had not played the full 90 minutes in consecutive Premier League matches since early December 2021.
Skipp’s long, arduous road to recovery shows his interminable spirit, dedication, and devotion to the shirt.
And you can see how much his glorious moment meant to his teammates, whose collective reaction was as rapturous as it was euphoric.
While his wonder goal will snatch most of the media attention, Skipp deserves untold plaudits for how he asserted himself for the duration of today’s emphatic, pivotal 2-0 victory over Chelsea.
The opening goal was Skipp’s only attempted shot, but he was at his tenacious and disruptive best throughout, finishing with three tackles and three interceptions but, even more tellingly, covered space at an alarming rate.
Skipp, the man of the match, galvanized the entire group and was one of the key figures responsible for Spurs’ first home victory over Chelsea in the top flight since Nov. 24, 2018, and the first at the new stadium.
Before being sidelined with a particularly debilitating and unrelenting pelvic injury, Skipp was one of Antonio Conte’s most relied-upon and valuable players.
It might seem like a long time ago, but Skipp looks every bit like the player who rose to prominence in recent seasons.
And with Bissouma and Bentancur sidelined indefinitely, Skipp’s presence in the heart of midfield will be instrumental to any Tottenham success in the run-in.
By evidence of his last two comprehensive and indomitable performances, it looks like Skipp has returned to his indispensable best.
And that news is about as wonderful and emphatic as the long-range missile that flew off his boot a few hours ago.