Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham: Hakim Ziyech stunner helps Blues get back on track with comfortable derby victory

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 (AP)
(AP)

Chelsea returned to winning ways in the Premier League with a dominant 2-0 win over Tottenham at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues went into the London derby without victory in their last four league matches, a run that has seen them slip out of the title race, and they were frustrated in the first-half as the teams went into the break level.

But Hakim Ziyech and Thiago Silva got on the scoresheet early in the second-half and Chelsea never looked in danger of giving up their advantage, as they cruised to a third win over Tottenham in less than three weeks. Spurs have come away from Stamford Bridge with victory in just one of their last 37 visits.

Antonio Conte’s intentions were clear an hour before kick-off, when he named a side that had only Harry Kane and Steven Bergwijn tasked with providing a threat going forward. The 4-4-2 lineup saw Matt Doherty on the right of midfield, in front of Japhet Tanganga, as the Italian prioritised solidity over adventure.

He would have therefore been incredibly alarmed after just 40 seconds, when Mason Mount put a good cross into the box and found Romelu Lukaku but the Belgian sent an effort over the bar under no real pressure.

Ziyech regularly found space and sent a couple of long-range efforts at goal, one of which was parried out by Hugo Lloris. Chances on the break were few and far between for Tottenham, but one came as things opened up for Harry Winks. His shot was a tame one though and easily saved.

Matt Doherty survived a brief VAR check for a potential red card, after he painfully caught Malang Sarr on the ankle.

Lukaku continued to look off the pace, and took a big swing at thin air as Mount played another good ball towards the near post and Chelsea’s frustrations started to grow.

Their mood was helped by Paul Tierney, who disallowed Kane’s strike after 40 minutes. The striker controlled a low cross from Ryan Sessegnon, but the referee deemed Kane had fouled Thiago Silva before finishing well, and VAR did not come to Spurs’ rescue.

That decision looked even more pivotal when Chelsea took the lead within two minutes of the second-half getting underway. It was worked wide to Ziyech, who used Cesar Azpilicueta’s overlapping run as a decoy to cut inside onto his left foot and send a stunning curling effort into the top corner as Lloris watched it fly past him.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

The Blues were in complete control now and doubled their advantage less than ten minutes later. Mount whipped in a dangerous free-kick and Silva got the flick on to send the ball beyond Lloris and into the far corner.

Conte immediately turned to Lucas Moura in an attempt to provide some more creativity, but it was Chelsea who continued to look the more threatening.

Oliver Skipp was fortunate not to concede a penalty as he seemingly rugby tackled Azpilicueta to the ground, before Lukaku turned into space brilliantly but fired straight at the goalkeeper.

Kane played a nice ball into Bergwijn on the edge of the box but he could only send a bobbling effort straight at Kepa Arrizabalaga, before Kane went close himself as his header from a corner was really well saved. There was to be no repeat of Tottenham’s late heroics against Leicester.

While Thomas Tuchel can head into the upcoming break confident that his side won’t be dragged back into a fight for the Champions League spots, Conte knows what Spurs do off the pitch in the coming days may well decide how they fare in that battle.

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