Chelsea ease past Spurs

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:22

Chelsea ease past Spurs

After Harry Kane hit the bar with an early header, Chelsea broke the deadlock in the 19th minute when Eden Hazard fired past Hugo Lloris from close range.
A poor clearance from Lloris was punished five minutes later when Oscar slipped in Didier Drogba – who started in place of the suspended Diego Costa – to double the advantage.
The result was firmly put beyond doubt in the 73rd minute when substitute Loic Remy slid a shot into the corner.
The victory – Chelsea’s seventh in a row at home in the league this season – keeps the Blues six points clear at the top of the table while Spurs slip down to 10th.
Perhaps the outcome would have been different if Spurs had been able to convert either of a couple of excellent early openings.
After a bright start from the visitors, Kane headed against the crossbar in the eighth minute from Aaron Lennon’s right-wing cross with Thibaut Courtois beaten.
Kane then went close again a few moments later when he dispossessed Gary Cahill, drove into the box and fired a shot across goal inches wide of the far post.
Chelsea had offered little in response at the other end until they took the lead against the run of play in the 19th minute. Hazard played the ball into the feet of Drogba in the box and the striker laid it off nicely for the on-rushing Belgian to collect and fire past Lloris.
While some of the blame for the goal must go to Lennon for not tracking Hazard’s run into the area, there was no doubt the Spurs stopper was at fault for the second.
The keeper’s poor clearance landed straight at the feet of Hazard, who worked the ball quickly forward to Oscar. He slipped in Drogba and the striker held off Jan Vertonghen’s challenge before firing home.
The five-minute double seemed to sap Spurs’ confidence and they created nothing more of note before the break.
Willian saw a couple of shots comfortably saved by Lloris at the other end but in the second half Chelsea were content to sit back and soak up Spurs’ pressure.
The visitors enjoyed plenty of possession but found it tough to break down a solid Chelsea defence and their best chance came from a corner as Vertonghen headed over the bar.
The league leaders looked dangerous on the counter and they put the result firmly beyond doubt in the 73rd minute when Remy broke away and showed good strength to hold off Vertonghen before sliding past Lloris.
It could have been even worse for Spurs as Chelsea continued to threaten on the break but Oscar and Willian could not convert from promising positions.
Nevertheless, there never looked to be any chance of Spurs staging a comeback as the Blues held firm and comfortably saw out the match.
Tony Cottee’s verdict
“It was all too easy for Chelsea. You just look at this team and it’s going to be very difficult to beat them. Are there any weaknesses? Not at the moment. They’ve got a fantastic goalkeeper and one of the strongest defences – Gary Cahill may have to miss a few games so that won’t do them any favours. In midfield, Matic and Fabregas are fantastic and you’ve got the creation with the other midfielders. They have a choice of three players up front. Apart from Manchester City, it’s hard to see which team could beat them.
“With Spurs there was a lot of pass, pass, pass for the sake of it. You need to create in football and you need to have chances. The bottom line is Chelsea took their chances when they needed to.”
Player ratings

Chelsea: Courtois (6), Ivanovic (7), Cahill (6), Terry (6), Azpilicueta (6), Fabregas (6), Matic (6), Willian (7), Oscar (7), Hazard (8), Drogba (7). 
Used subs: Zouma (6), Mikel (6), Remy (7).

Tottenham: Lloris (5), Chiriches (5), Fazio (6), Vertonghen (5), Davies (6), Mason (6), Bentaleb (6), Lennon (6), Lamela (5), Eriksen (6), Kane (7).
Used subs: Paulinho (6), Soldado (6), Chadli (6).
Man of the match: Eden Hazard.

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