Set pieces once again hurt Spurs in 2-0 loss at Chelsea

Goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario and the Spurs' defense were exploited once again on Thursday, as home team Chelsea scored twice during set pieces en route to a 2-0 victory that leaves Tottenham's hold on fifth place in the Premier League table even more tenuous than before.
Chelsea FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
Chelsea FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League / Catherine Ivill - AMA/GettyImages

Set pieces. Just saying the two words is enough to give Spurs fans pause after the struggles the club has had because of them over the last few seasons.

Much was asked about them to Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou during the build up to yesterday's match against Chelsea, but the Aussie gaffer shrugged the questions off mostly. He wasn't bothered "in the least" by the woes his club have had on the receiving end of them this season. Well, after Chelsea, he should be bothered big time.

Goals by Chelsea's Trevoh Chalobah in the 24th minute and Nicolas Jackson in the 72nd minute led the Blues to a 2-0 win, as they continued to try and march up the table.

The home team is in 8th with 51 points, while Tottenham still sit in fifth place, stuck with 60 points. For all the talk about why finishing fourth doesn't matter to Postecoglou, European football would still be welcome at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium next season.

For as excellent as Big Ange's debut season has been with Spurs, the last few weeks have left a sour taste in the mouths of the club's team.

Losses to Fulham, Arsenal and now Chelsea do not bode well for a home match against a Liverpool team in title contention come Sunday. After beating the Reds 2-1 at Anfield in September (in a match tinged with some controversy, as we all know), Liverpool will be looking for a victory as they try to win the league title in their manager Jurgen Klopp's last season in charge.

After yesterday's display against a team below them in the table, who can blame Liverpool for going into Sunday's match with an intent to kill?

It seems as if this Tottenham team is on its last legs and is ready for the summer break already. Key players like midfielders Yves Bissouma and Pape Matar Sarr, along with captain Son Heung-min, seem drained and lethargic, collectively putting in another poor performance on the pitch Thursday. Although their effort should never be questioned, it begs the question that it should be.

Once Jackson scored that second goal, it seemed as if all life was sucked from The Lilywhites and their manager. Frankly, it was disheartening to see.

Yes, it's been a long season. Yes, it's rough that we have been sapped by injuries at seemingly every avenue. Losing Ben Davies and Timo Werner for the season mere weeks after finding out the squad would be without wunderkind Destiny Udogie would hurt any team, even other 'Big Six' clubs like Manchester City and Arsenal.

But still, the show must go on.

There are four matches left for Spurs in the season's remaining 17 days; Against Liverpool at home, at Burnley and Manchester City, and at home against Sheffield United to close out the campaign.

For all the bluster of not caring about finishing fourth, that still needs to be this team's goal. European football will only help Postecoglou's long term vision for The Lilywhites.

It is time to buckle down, play tough and exciting football, and try to at least notch eight points out of the next four matches. The future of the Big Ange era is riding on how we finish. To Dare is To Do, after all. It's time to dare to dream big, and execute.