More Questions Than Answers For Chelsea Despite Ending Tottenham’s Unbeaten Start
In one of the more action-packed games of the season so far, Chelsea’s 4-1 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium felt rather flattering, when usually a result like this would be euphoric.
The result was the most important thing on Monday night; ending Tottenham’s unbeaten start will be an additional sweetener for Chelsea fans and Mauricio Pochettino. The performance however, left a lot to be desired, as for large parts of the second half the Blues struggled to see off their nine-man opponents.
Chelsea’s best period of the game was their response to going 1-0 down and potentially being out of the game if not for Son’s disallowed second. They weathered Tottenham’s electric start and once settled, were unlucky to not be ahead before Cole Palmer’s penalty. A series of bad luck, with two disallowed goals and two potential red cards not given before their equaliser, gave the sense that perhaps it was not going to be Chelsea’s night.
Yet, it was Tottenham who lost their heads more than Chelsea, ultimately the key difference in the outcome. Ange Postecoglou’s risky high line was not fully exploited; a combination of overhit passes and poor runs from forwards kept the game level until Sterling and Jackson eventually broke through.
For Chelsea supporters, making hard work of what should have been a straight forward victory is a cause for concern. The preexisting goalscoring issues were arguably highlighted more in the victory, despite Nicolas Jackson’s hat-trick. An underwhelming second half performance from an inexperienced team adds emphasis to Pochettino perfecting his game management, which was not helped by his players conceding needless free kicks that gave Spurs opportunities to salvage an unlikely point.
Heading into this Sunday’s home fixture with Manchester City, there should be quiet optimism that Chelsea can get a positive result, given that their best performances so far have come against the top six.
Playing in more open games and surrendering some possession does allow Chelsea to break quickly and cause the opposition problems. At the moment, the squad has plenty of athleticism but lacks goals and creativity, something that can be rectified with the return of Christopher Nkunku and more experienced signings.
Monday night showed both the upside and shortcomings that Chelsea fans have been used to all too many times, but they will happily take the points despite the frustrations.