Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea in North London yesterday was a grudge match for a number of reasons in the Premier League.
First of all, a London derby between the Blues and the Lilywhites is also a fierce occasions, perhaps intensified even further since the ‘Battle of the Bridge’ in 2016.
Tempers were certainly on edge, shown by both the scrap between Dele Alli and Kovacic, as well as the Heung-min Son red card at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
However, the game yesterday evening was also a Jose Mourinho derby, with the Special One managing Chelsea on two previous occasions throughout his career.
After just a month in charge of Spurs, Mourinho has already lost against his two former Premier League clubs in Chelsea and Manchester United.
With one journalist posing that Mourinho’s midfield was out-controlled in the first half, the gaffer admitted that Chelsea were simply better than his boys.
He said (Football London): “They were better than us in the first half. It is not difficult for me to admit it. They played in a system they are very comfortable with. A system they played for two years with Antonio Conte. Lots of their players are very comfortable with it. Alonso, Azpilicueta, Kante, Willan, players very comfortable in this system.
“They created problems for us in the first half, not problems of clear scoring situations but like you say, with the control they had. The game was basically in our half despite them not creating a lot. But in the end you are right and it’s easy for me to admit they were superior. But you look to the goals and they are not a consequence of any superiority.
“The first goal is a short corner with a big mistake. We know how to defend short corners, we train how to deal with short corners. The players involved in the short corner solution were not focused. So you concede a goal with a short corner and you concede a goal with a penalty. So the goals didn’t come from that superiority, they came from mistakes.
“Then in the second half we changed, we felt we needed to change and we had much more control and we were in our best period of the game and one goal would change the emotion of the game because the game on the pitch was already changed. In the first half was in our half and in the first 15-20 minutes of the second half were much more in their half, the game changed.
“We were looking for a goal and instead of a goal comes a red card. Then the game obviously is easy for them to control with players technically good and one player more. Then it was more difficult.”
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