Such an emphatic win was unexpected, not least because Spurs were dealing with injuries at key positions and a lack of depth. But also Chelsea is a really good team, one of three Premier league sides that were still undefeated. Well, now there are two.
For todays theme, its time to go back to the holiday well. Its a few days past Thanksgiving, but my guess is that most of you still have some leftovers from that meal in the fridge and are dreading the prospect of throwing it all away eventually. (Though honestly if you dont eat it now youre going to need to).
Here are the player ratings for Tottenhams 3-1 win over Chelsea to the theme of Thanksgiving leftovers.
That (Kewells appointment) was their long term strategy, and having met Harry Kewell last year when we played them at Crawley, he sets his teams up right, good footballing sides, (hes) obviously very knowledgeable of the game.
5 stars: Pie for breakfast No, this doesnt involve any fancy cookery or transformation of Thanksgiving foodstuffs from ordinary to something new, but come on, is there anything better than just shoving a cold piece of leftover pumpkin pie in your mouth with your morning coffee on the Friday after Thanksgiving? Or any pie for that matter? No, gentle readers, no there is not. However, if it is the Monday after Thanksgiving and you still have uneaten pie in the fridge then there is something wrong with you.
Christian Eriksen: Played centrally alongside Dier and Sissoko, Christian completely shut down Jorginho and was 34/39 passing in a match where Spurs counterattacked. Two assists, seven chances created. Absolutely outstanding. Eriksen is an 8 now, this is canon.
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Son Heung-Min: Sonny wouldve gotten 5 stars even if the only thing he did all game was score that goal, but he terrorized Chelseas defense the entire match. Six shots, 83% passing, and worked his tail off dragging defenders out of position. Couldve scored at least two more goals. I almost felt sorry for Jorginho and David Luiz on that run. Almost.
Dele Alli: Timed his run perfectly for his headed goal, and also played the pass that sprung Sonny for Spurs third. Created havoc in and around Chelseas box in the free 10 role and even had 2 tackles. Boy, have we missed Dele in the opening part of this season. Welcome back. Please do more of this.
Chelsea news: Sarris been angrier after wins, says Luiz
Its commonplace almost to the point of triteness, but the tried-and-true Friday lunchtime Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches are still delicious. Cold turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and maybe some stuffing in between two slices of homemade bread is a great way of using up that extra food. You can even use those leftover dinner rolls. Just because everyone does it doesnt mean its not still utterly wonderful.
Harry Kane: Scored with a lovely long range shot, and drew the foul that led to Tottenhams first goal. Would have five stars if not for the skied attempt from six yards out. Five shot attempts, three on target — Spurs are better when Kane gets shots off, whether or not he scores from them. Hes back.
0:49 It was a disaster: Sarri rues Chelseas defensive fragility in Spurs defeat – video If he cannot find a way of countering the smothering of his linchpin, then does the clubs £57m summer signing truly justify his selection? It did not feel so much of an issue while Chelsea were stretching their unbeaten league start to 12 matches, but it now feels pertinent to ask. Jorginhos inclusion, after all, has already forced NGolo Kanté into a new role where, in all honesty, he still appears uncomfortable against the better teams, his new responsibilities detracting from the busiest and most effective defensive midfielder in the division. Tottenham were more than happy to permit Kanté his possession in advanced areas, confident his final pass or shot would not wound them. Eden Hazard, upon whom Chelsea lean so much as an attacking force, was forced ever deeper in search of the ball. He limped away, though his ça va through gritted teeth suggested his bruised right ankle would survive another week.
Moussa Sissoko: Sissoko has found a role in this Spurs team that minimizes his weaknesses and emphasizes what he does really well. No shots or key passes but had four tackles (including THAT one, you know which one), 10 ball recoveries, and only one foul. Was great around the box with one big chance — his square ball to Kane in the box (which Kane skied). He was unquestionably outstanding.
Serge Aurier: A great match. Created two chances, and dealt admirably with Chelseas left-sided attack of Marcos Alonso and Eden Hazard. Five clearances, a tackle, a couple of interceptions, a handful of clearances, and very few brain-fall-out incidents or defensive blips.
More teams will presumably follow suit now in attempting to stifle Jorginho at source – it remains to be seen whether Fulham have the personnel to do so next Sunday – and a player who demonstrated pedigree in Italy will have to show an ability to respond. He will not confront teams as well equipped as Spurs every week. Everything about their approach, through midfield and up front, was robust and aggressive, with Allis display so integral. It has not been the easiest start to the campaign for the 22-year-old. There have been niggling injuries to disrupt form, effectively costing him a place in Englands first-choice selection, and unwanted attention off the pitch, but class tends to shine through in the end.
Lets say you have tons of leftover turkey but after a full day of stuffing yourself with that delicious bird the last thing you want to do is actually taste the turkey again the next day. Thats why disguising it in an Indian curry is so brilliant. My family made butter turkey on Friday in the instant pot and it was indistinguishable from butter chicken. Delicious, too.
Toby Alderweireld: I cant recall anything super specific that Toby did that was either really good or particularly bad. He was just his usual super solid defensive self — safe with the ball, able to hoof it out of danger when required. Thats probably underselling his performance.
Maurizio Sarri unsure of Chelsea character, calls collapses strange
Eric Dier: I was super worried about Diers ability to deal with Chelseas midfield trio, but with Dele and Eriksen basically man-marking Jorginho out of play, Dier was able to more easily handle Kovacic and Kante. Got stuck in and really helped disrupt anything that Chelsea tried to get going, especially in the first half.
There have been red cards and diving rows and off-field controversies that flared up recently with camera-phone footage in circulation of the 22-year-old Tottenham star in London, seemingly worse for wear, in the early hours after England duty.
Ben Davies: We give Ben Davies a lot of stick on this website, most of it (we believe) deservedly. But although his passing was not great (25/40) and didnt contribute a whole lot to the offense, he was unquestionably good on Saturday, especially defensively against a very good Chelsea attack. More of this, please.
Heung-min Son reveals why he was really upset despite Spurs fantastic victory over Chelsea
3 stars: Reheating mashed potatoes and gravy in the microwave See, heres the thing: mashed potatoes are good. So good, in fact, that you dont HAVE to do anything fancy to them. Just chuck it and the gravy in the microwave for a couple of minutes and eat right out of the plastic storage container with a spoon. No judgement.
Hugo Lloris: A couple of very good, if routine, stops and one amazing reaction save on an offside Morata, but otherwise didnt have a whole lot to do. Against Chelsea, youll take that.
Tottenhams two-striker setup exposed myth of Chelseas title challenge
Eric Lamela: A late substitute, ran around a bit, was fine. Its nice that you can use Erik Lamela off the bench vs. Chelsea as a human victory cigar, isnt it?
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Juan Foyth: Juan is a 20-year old central defender playing in one of his first Premier League matches against a very good team, and for the most part he was pretty good. A couple of blips — almost gave away yet another penalty that wasnt called, was a little scary in possession early on, and was arguably at least partially at fault for Girouds goal. But otherwise pretty solid in a pressure cooker of a match. This is a great foundation on which to build, and Im becoming more and more confident that with time and experience he could be a fantastic defender.
“Jorginho has been excellent this season, and teams are having to change their system and style to counteract Jorginho, so that shows how good a player he is and how important he has been to Chelsea.
Thanksgiving, more like thanks for giving me these amazing leftover hacks!By So Yummy pic.twitter.com/yDYBt1aur5
“Jorginho will not move from that position. He is Sarris man and he has built his system around him. Kantes not moving because hes signed a massive contract,” Carragher explained to Sky Sports.
1st loss of season exposes Chelseas frailties under Sarri
By Monday morning we know all about the brightest stars of the weekend action – who scored the goals, who made the glaring errors – but often the most important tactical plots have failed to cut through.
Here, Goal looks beyond the obvious headliners and takes a look at five tactical things you might have missed from the Premier League.
David Luiz blasts teammates after shocking defeat to rivals Tottenham
In an unusual 4-2-4, Jurgen Klopp did not have anybody coming short to receive the ball on the half turn, connecting like David Silva at Manchester City or Dele Alli at Tottenham Hotspur. You do not need that sort of playmaker when ripping through the middle at breakneck speed, but now Liverpool have become a more prosaic possession side it is essential they find a playmaker.
Roberto Firmino is that man. He (finally) dropped deep to get the ball in the 67th minute, played an incisive pass forward, and then kept moving to again become the catalyst in the final third for Salahs opener. It was a simple, though intelligent, piece of play that Klopp must encourage in the coming weeks.
The Blues are back in Premier League action three days later in a London derby against Fulham and Luiz hopes they can secure three points to close the gap on their title rivals.
Alan Shearer speaks the truth about NGolo Kante after Tottenham 3-1 Chelsea
Tottenhams performance in their 3-1 victory against Chelsea was outstanding; rather than focus on one thing we learnt, Mauricio Pochettinos tactical masterclass deserves a full exploration. As expected, he followed the blueprint laid down by Everton and instructed Dele Alli to sit on top of Jorginho, limiting his ability to make a forward pass and therefore blunting the visitors. But defensively and offensively it was so much more than that.
Chelsea produced their poorest performance of the season at Wembley, finding themselves trailing 2-0 after just 16 minutes thanks to goals from Dele Alli and Harry Kane.
Pochettinos 4-3-1-2 ensured Spurs dominated in every area. By playing three central midfielders and a front three that alternated in dropping deep, he made sure the visitors were constantly swarmed and overwhelmed by at least four bodies. This was made possible by congregating to the left of centre – in the areas around the weaker technician NGolo Kante – and by pressing aggressively throughout. They raced out of the blocks, highlighting Chelseas frailty against brave opposition.
On the flanks, Pochettino instructed his full-backs to get unusually tight to whoever received the ball, be it winger or full-back; he knew that Maurizio Sarris possession football meant there would be no runners in behind, and therefore no threat from leaving the defensive line. Spurs could sit ultra-narrow and push right onto the wide men, marking Eden Hazard out of the game.
“I hope it is for them because we have to work and improve. Today, we had a lot of problems from the physical point of view, mental point of view, technically we lost a lot of balls in our half. Also, tactically, because we had a big problem in staying compact.”
Moussa Sissoko was utterly brilliant as the engine in midfield, his work-rate and desire symbolic of Spurs team performance. But even better was the roaming interplay of Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son, and Alli. They dropped back to help defend; they picked up loose balls in the too-large gap between Willian and Kante; and they made runs on the outside of the two Chelsea centre-backs, with Son in particular setting the tone of the match from the right. It was a perfect plan from the Spurs manager.
Unai Emery unexpectedly switched to a 3-4-2-1 formation against Bournemouth, possibly because he anticipated Eddie Howe starting with a back three but more likely to offer more protection on the flanks , with Sead Kolasinac having looked vulnerable defensively since his return to the side. It did not exactly work at first, with Bournemouth creating numerous counterattacking opportunities via slide passes through the gaps in the unfamiliar three-man defence, although offensively Arsenals tactics were intriguing. It certainly is not a bad plan B for the future.
Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan tucked inside to play as dual number 10s, which sucked Bournemouth inwards; the Cherries under-stocked midfield meant David Brooks and Ryan Fraser had no choice but to follow them in. This created space for Hector Bellerin and Kolasinac on the overlap, both men having been freed of defensive responsibilities by the system switch. Iwobi to Kolasinac assisted both goals.
The threat of Iwobi in the number 10 space and Kolasinac on the overlap made Howe change his approach. He switched to a 3-4-2-1 for the start of the second half so that a spare centre-back could push up and confront Iwobi. However, when this happened in the 67th minute, Simon Francis was turned and makeshift right wing-back Ryan Fraser lost Kolasinac – who crossed for the winning goal. Howe felt forced into a change that backfired. Emery deserves the credit for this.
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Injury restricted Philip Billing to only eight Premier League starts in 2017-18, but now the 22-year-old Huddersfield Town midfielder is back to his best, linking superbly with Aaron Mooy to control midfield against Wolves on Sunday. Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves might have been expected to dictate the play, but once again Nuno Espirito Santos two-man midfield was simply overwhelmed by the opposition numbers; Huddersfield held 55 per cent possession in a 2-0 win at Molineux.
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Billing was brilliant, using the space created by the presence of Alex Pritchard and Jonathan Hogg (at times, the Terriers had a four-v-two in the middle) to drive forward on the ball. It was his through-ball that set Erik Durm away to cross for Mooys opener, while Billing ended the game having completed two key passes, two dribbles, and four interceptions – all season highs.
Dele Alli Hails Mauricio Pochettino After Tottenham Hotspur End Chelseas Unbeaten Run – NDTV Sports
Mooys double should help the Australia international rediscover his brilliant first touch and long-ball distribution, although here it was his tackling (five in total) and crossing that really stood out.
In Mooy and Billing, David Wagner has the midfield partnership he needs to restore a composed possession game after months of gradually sinking into a defensive shell.
Danny Murphy predicts how Levy feels after Spurs win, praises Aurier
It was not a vintage display from the hosts, but Fulhams 3-2 victory against Southampton nevertheless contained a hint of what is to come under new manager Claudio Ranieri. The Italian is a considerably more direct, assertive coach than his predecessor Slavisa Jokanovic, and it showed at Craven Cottage as Fulham ruthlessly took their chances.
Aleksandar Mitrovics first goal might have looked like the sort of slick passing move of the Jokanovic era, but in fact Fulham would never have scored like that a fortnight ago. They got from their own half to the opposition goal line in just six passes, and four of those were not just forward but completely vertical; Ranieri teams do not mess about.
The second strike was courtesy of two long balls, the first a hoof up to Ryan Sessegnon (who ran straight at his defender) and the second a sweeping cross to the back post for Andre Schurrle to score.
There is plenty of hard work ahead, but Fulham are already showing the sort of urgency and directness the new boss will preach in the coming months.