Spurs beaten by Chelsea in Wembley late show
Mauricio Pochettino insists his side were 'much better', after west Londoners snatched all three points in final minutes
20 August, 2017 — By Dan Carrier
FA Premier League
SPURS 1 (Batshuayi o.g. 82)
CHELSEA 2 (Alonso 24, 88)
SPURS started life in their temporary Wembley home with a hugely disappointing 2-1 loss to Chelsea this afternoon (Sunday)– leaving boss Mauricio Pochettino frustrated by his side’s inability to get something from the match.
Tottenham had trailed for much of the game after the Blues’ Marcos Alonso fired the league champions into the lead with a well-struck, first-half free-kick.
But they looked set to salvage a point through a Michy Batshuayi own goal in the last 10 minutes, only for Alonso to break Tottenham hearts with a late, late winner after an error by Victor Wanyama sacrificed possession and keeper Hugo Lloris was unable to block a tame shot at his near post.
“I am disappointed, we deserved more,” said Pochettino afterwards. “Our performance was good. I was happy with the performance, we dominated, we created the most chances but the only problem was they were clinical. They shot twice and scored twice. For us it was difficult to score.”
He praised his players’ efforts, however.
“We were much better than Chelsea,” he added. “They tried to contain us, play deep and counter-attack. I am very happy as I feel we were unlucky. I am disappointed but not upset or frustrated because of the way we lost.”
In a game that lacked moments of true quality – both sides looked like they have yet to find this season’s groove – Chelsea started brightly, with new forward Alvaro Morata squandering an early chance when he snuck in between Toby Alderweireld and Keiran Trippier. With the goal at his mercy he could only head wide.
On nine minutes, Harry Kane saw Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois keep a shot out using his knees – and it heralded a good spell for Spurs. The excellent Mousa Dembele got motoring and sent a great shot narrowly over, but despite Tottenham looking livelier, they found themselves a goal behind halfway through the opening period.
Chelsea scored when Alonso guided a free-kick into the top corner of Lloris’s goal, a strike which came against the run of play. Spurs fought back and saw Kane hit a post, Ben Davies force Courtois into an excellent leaping stop and then cranked up the pressure further, creating four or five golden chances as they took control.
The second half panned out in much the same way the first had ended: Chelsea content to sit deep and soak up what Spurs could throw at them. Chances came and went, but none clear enough to truly trouble Courtois as the final ball or shot lacked conviction.
Yet as Chelsea looked like they had done enough, the game was turned on its head.
With nine minutes left, Dele Alli won a free-kick on the left and Christian Eriksen lobbed a hopeful ball into the box. Chelsea substitute Batshuayi tried to clear but could only skim the ball off his head and past his own keeper.
But the drama was not over. As Spurs threw everything forward to snatch the win, Wanyama lost the ball in his own half and suddenly Spurs were ripe for the taking. Chelsea broke and the excellent Alonso hit one in at Lloris’s near post. The keeper should have done better – and it was enough to win the game and leave Pochettino reflecting on a disappointing start to his team’s year long stay at the national stadium.
SPURS: Lloris, Trippier (Janssen, 90), Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Kane, Wanyama, Dier (Son, 67), Dembele, Alli, Eriksen, Davies (Sissoko, 79).
Subs not used: Vorm, Wimmer, Winks, Walker-Peters.
CHELSEA: Courtois, Rudiger, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Luiz, Alonso, Moses, Bakayoko, Kante, Willian (Pedro 78), Morata (Batshuayi 79)
Subs not used: Caballero, Kennedy, Musonda, Scott, Tomori