Chelsea FC vs Tottenham: What we learned at Stamford Bridge - new challenge for Ziyech; Gollini a livewire

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Chelsea and Tottenham can both take encouragement from an entertaining 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge in the Mind Cup, although the usual caveats about reading too much into pre-season friendlies should apply.

The final scoreline hardly reflected Chelsea's total dominance for the first hour before their initial intensity ebbed away with a raft of second-half changes, helping to spark a Spurs fightback from 2-0 down.

Hakim Ziyech scored either side of half-time for the Blues with crisp left-foot shots but Lucas Moura and Bergwijn salvaged a draw for Nuno Espirito Santo's side, from which they can take encouragement despite a chastening opening 45 minutes at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea could and perhaps should have been clear by half-time as they ran rings around the visitors with a display of keep-ball, met by ‘oles’ by the returning home crowd. 

Familiarly, the Blues lacked a focal point and cutting edge – although Timo Werner was unlucky to have a second goal wrongfully ruled out for offside – but that should all change if Romelu Lukaku signs from Inter Milan, as expected.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

N'Golo Kante was particularly imperious for the hosts, dispossessing Lucas on the halfway line for Ziyech's first goal and tormenting Spurs' three-man midfield, particularly Dele Alli, who continued in a deeper role which does not appear to suit him.

Chelsea appeared to be continuing where they left off from last season, looking every inch like European champions, while Spurs looked like a side preparing for a Europa Conference League play-off against Pacos de Ferreira or Larne FC.

But the Blues’ dominance unsurprisingly slipped after Thomas Tuchel wrung the changes, introducing eight fringe players including Davide Zappacosta, Matt Miazga and Tiémoué Bakayoko. 

Spurs nonetheless deserve credit for taking advantage, with Lucas pulling one back after his shot took a wicked deflection over Eduoard Mendy and Bergwijn firing through the goalkeeper's legs.

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Ziyech continues impressive pre-season

Both clubs spent the hours leading up to the game preoccupied by a star striker, with Spurs desperate not to sell Harry Kane and Chelsea desperate to buy Lukaku.

Neither forward was at Stamford Bridge but their absence was keenly felt, with both sides lacking a clear focal point.

Spurs made do with Heung-min Son and Lucas through the middle, while Werner's combination of wretched luck and wretched finishing continued beyond last season.

In the end, Chelsea relied on Ziyech for firepower and the winger continued his encouraging pre-season with two fine strikes.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ziyech enjoyed an impressive debut season in the Premier League once he got up and running, but he can clearly go up a level in terms of consistency this term.

His challenge for the new campaign is to transfer his form from pre-season to the Premier League but the initial signs are positive.

Gollini a livewire for Spurs

A bright spot for Spurs on a largely difficult evening was the performance of debutant Pierluigi Gollini.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

The goalkeeper, signed on loan from Atalanta last week, made a number of saves in the second half, playing a significant part in Tottenham's fightback.

After half-time, he was extended by a effort by Tino Anjorin and stood up to Tammy Abraham's fierce strike at the near post.

Spurs captain Hugo Lloris will surely start the season as No.1, but Gollini has been signed to challenge the veteran Frenchman and perhaps one day replace him.

Joe Hart, who joined Celtic yesterday, was never likely to put any real pressure on Lloris but Gollini looks like a livewire, who on this scant evidence could prove a canny signing for Spurs.

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