Opinion: Five things we learned from Tottenham’s 3-0 defeat to Chelsea

Dele Alli
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur suffered a disappointing 3-0 defeat to London rivals Chelsea, with the visitors simply overpowering Nuno Espirito Santo’s side in the second half at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. 

Let’s take a look at five things we learned:

Timid second half display – Despite what was a promising and spirited first half display, Spurs just simply fell away in the second period. Nuno caught Chelsea cold in the first half and surprised them with his selection and tactics, which saw Spurs look confident and a lot more positive than we ave seen in recent games. But things reverted to the norm essentially after half time, with Spurs retreating into their shell. An individual error and a deflection within a handful of minutes were enough to send Spurs down a pretty bleak path. 

High energy and pressing – As mentioned above, Spurs looked confident and aggressive coming out of the blocks. It was a different approach from Nuno, who must have told the players to get after Thomas Tuchel’s side from the off. Spurs were keen to close down and hunt in packs, which disrupted Chelsea’s approach. It’s just a shame that Spurs couldn’t capitalise on that positivity in the first 45 minutes, as they were simply torn apart in the second period. 

Ndombele’s creativity shows again – Many were pleased to see Tanguy Ndombele retain his place in midfield after a promising showing against Rennes in midweek. He looked industrious and keen to create something in the middle, while tracking back at times to put in challenges. It was tough because he eventually faded as the game was falling away from Spurs, but hopefully this is another step in the right direction for him. 

Alli’s defensive struggles – Work rate and running aside, Dele Alli had a pretty tough afternoon, particularly on the defensive side. He got caught massively flat-footed for Chelsea’s opener, while losing Thiago Silva in the process. His new position under Nuno places him in an awkward spot where he can’t influence the game as much going forward, meaning he has to refine his defensive side. It can definitely still work for him in midfield, but for him to be successful at Spurs again, he has to make sure he starts getting his defensive aspects on point. 

Romero’s first league start – For his first Premier League start to be in a London derby, it wasn’t a bad showing overall from Cristian Romero. He made a handful of good blocks at points during the match and did very well in the air when challenged by Romelu Lukaku. It hasn’t been the easiest of starts for him at Spurs through injury and the quarantine debacle. He emerged as a minor shining light in Spurs’ poor second half display, and although his fitness is still a minor question mark so far, he definitely has much more to offer through the season. 

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