Let us start this article with some statistics. We have won three of our past four Premier League games against Chelsea. That is us, as for them; they suffered their first league defeat of the season (hurrah!). The last time they had been beaten was on the last day of the previous season, when they were thrashed 3-0 by Newcastle.
We have won consecutive league games against Chelsea for the first time since August 1987. We have won more Premier League London derby matches than any other side since Mauricio Pochettino took charge of the club (22). Dele Alli has scored more goals against Chelsea than he has against any other side (six).
Harry Kane has scored 25 goals in Premier League London derbies, putting him joint-sixth in the all-time list (level with former Arsenal forward Robin van Persie).
But that didn’t stop us being apprehensive when it came to this match. Not the team, I might add, as they were brimming with confidence.
Chelsea had been performing not that brilliantly this season, even though they were undefeated, but it needed a great team (like us) to show the world the error of their ways. And we did with style.
In some of the games this season we haven’t been playing that well, and luck has played a significant part in our performances. But we have been growing in strength. The games that we probably deserved to lose, this season, was against Liverpool & Barcelona. The game against City, even though they won (1-0), it was a close win for them, and we could have easily pulled something spectacular off. The games we should have won, but didn’t, but we were a better side was against Inter Milan, PSV Eindhoven and Watford. PSV; we got our revenge at Wembley, Inter Milan we face this Wednesday and Watford will be coming soon (however, we did get our revenge at Milton Keynes by knocking them out of the League Cup). So, there you have it. A mixture of luck, skill, confidence and teamwork has got us into third in the league. On Saturday’s performance, I believe we’ve got a lot more to show.
The cynics amongst you will say that City has already won the league and that we are out of the Champions League. Not I, though. I am the internal optimist. If we can beat Inter Milan and do something spectacular against Barcelona, then the light becomes, even more, brighter for us. As for City? Yes, they are playing well, but are not indestructible, and a few slip-ups here and there, then anything can happen.
True; at the beginning of the season I did say that I thought we couldn’t make the top-four (the way we had played) and to think we could progress in the Champions League would be a pipe dream, but I also said that it is a work in progress (i.e. things could quickly change, and change they have).
We came out of the starting blocks against Chelsea as if we (well, not ‘we’ as in I and the fans… but we, as in the team), had ants in our pants. Eight minutes into the match and the stadium erupted. Eight minutes on top of the first eight minutes and we were wetting our pants. Alli and Kane put us two up, while Chelsea just looked on nonplussed. As if somebody had taken their favourite toy away from them at Christmas… and then burst into tears.
The whistle went, and the players marched off the pitch; Spurs with their heads held high, the Blues with theirs up each other’s posterior. But we weren’t going to be fooled (that is the supporters), we knew we shouldn’t take anything away from Chelsea and that they would correct their slow-in-thought attitude of the first half, and take the fight to us. So the whistle went for the second half, and we waited for their outburst with bated breath. But the bastards didn’t read their own script and as every minute went by we shone even brighter, while Chelsea sat back, as if they were punchdrunk. We kept firing on all fronts (goals here, there and everywhere, all aimed at their goalmouth), but good goalkeeping from Kepa Arrizabalaga kept them on life support… then… our South Korea forward (“Nice One Son”) picked the ball up on the halfway line, outpaced Jorginho and darted past David Luiz before sliding the ball into the net. The shit had really hit the fan (that is their fans). The Chelsea fans were frozen in their standing positions, but our fans went mental; as if the flooring or their seats suddenly had 50,000 volts running through it to give them the crazies. It has been a while since I’ve seen faces go a very dark red with uncontrolled emotions.
They got a token goal back, but it didn’t really matter… they played in such a way that their manager Sarri said: “I am disappointed because we played very badly. I think we played very badly in all directions – physically, mentally, technically and tactically. I knew we had some problems and with this performance today it was clear to everybody we have problems to solve. I think in the last three or four matches we have started not really very well.”
Finally ending with: “Today I did not like anybody.”
You could see him losing his rag; jumping up and down as if he wanted to run on the field and nut a few – if not all – his players. I believe there is going to be a few swollen testicles in the Chelsea camp today. Some might even have had theirs surgically removed (those that didn’t have any, probably had them sown back on and then again removed). That is why they are called the ‘blues’; poor circulation can turn the skin blue. And there was undoubtedly poor circulation from the Blues when they faced our boys on the Wembley pitch.
Next up in the league for Chelsea is the revitalised Fulham (come on Fulham!). While we got Arsenal.
Moving on… Inter Milan (tomorrow) and after our performance against the Blues, I think we are more than ready to face the Italian team.
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