Tottenham reclaim top spot after a scoreless London derby

The much awaited London derby ended in a cagey and scoreless draw as both teams settled for a point in a game of very few chances. The draw takes Tottenham back to the top of the table, while Chelsea remain third and extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to 14. Jose Mourinho was the happiest of both managers as his Spurs side take a vital away point after having just two days to rest since their win against Ludogorets in Europa League.

Tottenham’s intentions were pretty clear from the opening minute as they allowed Chelsea to dominate possession and counter on the break. Chelsea’s decent start didn’t yield much as Tottenham were compact in their defence with Kane and Son falling back to help their defenders. Spurs had a good opportunity to score through a counter after Son and Kane combined to tee up Bergwijn on the left, but the Dutch international’s effort went over the bar. Werner had a goal disallowed due a marginal offside decision, and Mendy palmed away Aurier’s shot from outside the box as both teams headed into the break at level terms.

Chelsea started the half with more purpose and intensity as Abraham missed a couple of half-chances after being set up Reece James’s cross. Ziyech blazed over a half volley from from the box, as Chelsea continued to apply pressure on Tottenham defenders. Mason Mount, who was Chelsea’s best player on the pitch almost opened the scoring after powering through midfield and unleashing a swerving effort to the right corner, only for the goalkeeper to deny it with a superb fingertip save. Both teams looked content with a point in the final 15 minutes as the managers brought in fresh legs to maintain the scoreline.

However, there were chances at both ends to win it in the stoppage time and both teams failed to capitalise on them. The first chance fell to Chelsea after Rodon’s weak headed pass back to Lloris was intercepted by Giroud, but the France international’s tame volley was collected easily by the goalkeeper. Zouma at the other end played a calamitous square pass which left Spurs with a 3 on 2, but Lo Celso bailed the Chelsea defender out with a wayward shot.

Speaking after the game Lampard said he expected this sort of game plan from Tottenham. The Chelsea manager added “It went as I sort of expected. I thought we’d have a lot of possession. We created enough to win the game. The clean sheet factor against a side set up to counter-attack – that was excellent. We didn’t give Kane or Son a sniff. Goalkeeper makes a great save from Mason Mount. Olivier Giroud gets his chance. He won us the game midweek and is the man you want is those positions so I can’t be too critical. We dominated the game possession wise. This Tottenham team make it hard for you so the way we handled it was brilliant. In the end of the season it will all come together on if this was a good point or not. I am happy with the clean sheet but in actual game play we should win it. The players did everything I asked from them but we didn’t get that last bit. Another day, with the attacking players we have. Sometimes you need a bit of magic from your creative players. The handbrake was a tiny but up but in a good way.”

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