In an incredibly cagey game in the 2020-21 Premier League at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur split points following a goalless draw.
The Blues went into the game in the knowledge that a win would take them to the top of the Premier League table, but instead, the stalemate took Tottenham Hotspur back to the summit on goal difference while Chelsea remain third.
Chances for both Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur were few and far between throughout the match, as the game had the air of a high-stakes chess contest rather than a swashbuckling affair. To tell the truth, a draw was probably the fair result.
On that note, let us have a look at five talking points from Chelsea’s goalless draw with Tottenham Hotspur.
Neither side could really complain about the match ending in a draw. Chelsea did boss possession – ending with 60% of the ball – but as was seen in Tottenham Hotspur’s game with Manchester City, possession isn’t everything.
Against Spurs, Chelsea took 13 shots but only managed three on target while Tottenham Hotspur had five attempts with one on target. Essentially, this was a game of half-chances, and neither side really came too close to scoring; Mason Mount’s long-range effort did draw a fine save from Hugo Lloris, though.
It raises a pertinent question: which side is the happier with a point? On the surface, one will have to say Tottenham Hotspur, as Jose Mourinho’s side moved back to the top of the Premier League table after being on the defensive for large swathes in the game.
However, it was Chelsea’s first test against a tough side in some time, and Tottenham Hotspur are probably the most dangerous counter-attacking unit in the Premier League. So for Frank Lampard’s men to shut down most of that danger was impressive.
Overall, a draw will probably please both Jose Mourinho and Frank Lampard and should send a message to the rest of the Premier League that both teams are bonafide title contenders.
When Toby Alderweireld went down with a groin injury against Manchester City and was ruled out of this match, Jose Mourinho had a big decision to make.
Would he bring Davinson Sanchez back to partner Eric Dier in the heart of Tottenham Hotspur’s defence – a partnership that has looked dodgy in the past – or would he throw a curveball?
Eventually, Mourinho chose the latter – starting 23-year old Joe Rodon alongside Deir – in the process handing Rodon his first Premier League start with Tottenham Hotspur.
It was a huge risk by the Portuguese tactician, as it put a massively inexperienced player up against the most potent goal scorers in the Premier League right now. Thankfully for Tottenham Hotspur fans, Rodon was more than up for the challenge.
The Welsh international won five defensive aerial duels, completed four clearances and managed two interceptions – making him, from a statistical perspective, Tottenham Hotspur’s most effective defender in the game.
Sure, he had a wobble at the very end of the game – more on that later – but overall, it was a hugely impressive debut for Rodon. It should be clear now that in the young Welshman, Mourinho has another defender who can be relied on