Well. Who saw that coming? Not me.
The blitz on Kepa the Keeper’s goal began from the opening seconds and never let up. We forced two corners in the first couple of minutes, squeezed mistakes from their back four as they tried to cope with our aggression and took the lead after eight minutes when Dele flicked home Eriksen’s free-kick through Kepa’s flimsy hands.
We kept the accelerator down and created more opportunities, Son should’ve done better twice, before Harry doubled the lead after 16 minutes when he fired a low, very stoppable shot past a craven Luiz and a static and bewildered looking goalie.
Dele played a dual role, finding space to feed and support Son and Kane when we had the ball but when we didn’t, he followed Jorginho around like he was his new best friend. So much of Chelsea’s play ticks through the Brazilian, but not tonight. Dele cemented his MOTM performance with his goal but even without it his work in staunching the supply to Willian and Hazard arguably was enough to deserve it.
Poch placed Dele at the head of a diamond with Eriksen and the excellent again Sissoko in front of Dier. The system worked to perfection. We were the embodiment of controlled aggression. Son and Kane knew from the off that they had the better of Rudiger and Luiz and never gave them a moment’s peace. Hazard threatened with one shot and might have had a penalty when Foyth challenged him from behind but that was it from the away team.
We could easily have been five up at half time.
Surprisingly, Chelsea changed little after half-time. We were less on the front foot, allowing instead Willian and chums plenty of badly used possession whilst we threatened on the break. After 54 minutes Son took Dele’s pass on around halfway and jet-heeled his way past Jorginho, Luiz and Jorginho again before side-footing in to the corner.
And that was it. The away fans began making for the exits whilst Sarri finally attempted to change things on the pitch – initially in fact he made things worse as Hazard took Morata’s position down the middle and disappeared without trace.
We continued to create openings with both Harry and Dele missing chances. Giroud pulled one back with a header but we saw the game out with no further alarms.
What a stunning performance and result. Chelsea’s first defeat in any competition in this season and they really were lucky that we didn’t get at least double the goals.
Pochettino? He’s magic you know.
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