April 1st 2018, the Premier League’s most hyped up match of the week. Tottenham Hotspur F.C. vs Chelsea F.C. took place at Chelsea’s home ground, Stamford Bridge, in London. Pictures of players training from both teams circled around the internet as a ‘sneak peak’ before the match. Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was asked during a pre-match press conference about why he was looking forward to the game: “We’re talking about a really good team, a really good manager, many talented players in this team. I have total respect for Tottenham as they grew a lot throughout the season and looking right now, they are one of the biggest teams in England.”
Meanwhile in Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino said, “Well, it’s the London Derby and the pressure is on both teams. We still have a lot of games to go as this is not a final or a decisive game, this will not put any of the teams in one place or the other because there is a lot of games to play but this is important for your confidence and motivation. To win on Chelsea would be fantastic for everyone but it will be a tough game, they are a great team with great quality but the game will be tough.”
The London Derby
Chelsea’s starting XI:Chelsea started with the formation of 3-4-2-1. Goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois was switched for Willy Caballero due to a hamstring injury. The three defenders are Cesar Azpilicueta, Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger. The four midfielders are Victor Moses, Cesc Fabregas, N’golo Kante and Marcos Alonso. Willian and Belgian magician Eden Hazard are the two attacking midfielders. The striker upfront for Chelsea is Alvaro Morata who was left off of the Spanish national team and trained hard for two weeks since his first 2018 goal against Leicester City.
Tottenham’s starting XI: Tottenham on the other hand, started with a formation of 4-2-3-1. French superstar Hugo Lloris started as goalkeeper. The four Tottenham defenders are Kieran Trippier, Davinson Sanchez, Jan Vertonghen and Ben Davies. Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele are two defensive midfielders. Argentine playmaker Erik Lamela, young prospect Dele Alli and the Danish wonderman Christian Eriksen are the three attacking midfielders. The in-form Korean Son Heung-Min replaced striker Harry Kane who suffered an ankle injury five weeks ago and asked Mauricio Pochettino to put him on bench.
First half: Chelsea starts with a kickoff and eight minutes into the game, there were already a lot of opportunities on goal missed by both teams. As the game carried on for another 22 minutes, Chelsea’s striker Alvaro Morata gave Chelsea the lead in the game with a beautiful header. Victor Moses’ crossed the ball into the penalty box as Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris jumps out of his goal like a monkey and tried to get a grip of the ball. Unfortunately for Lloris, The ball sailed past him and Morata came in with a leap and header into the wide open goal.
Stamford Bridge (Chelsea’s home ground) erupted as this goal gave Chelsea the lead. In the 45th minute, (with two minutes added time), Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen had several good attempts from outside of the box, but were saved by goalkeeper Willy Caballero of Chelsea. The Danish wonderman Eriksen finally gave Tottenham the equalizer as he put the ball in the goal with a devastating strike from outside of the box leaving Caballero on his knees helplessly looking at the ball fly into his own net.
15 minutes into the second half, the ball just zoomed across everybody, past the halfway line and into the foot of Tottenham’s Dele Alli as he finished with his right foot. Fans couldn’t believe that Tottenham is actually leading against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge! However, Spurs have had a meteoric rise in the recent years. Seven minutes later, Son Heung-Min of Tottenham just ran towards the goal with the ball, shot but blocked by Callabero. The whole Chelsea defense scrambled as the ball is inside the box. Son Heung-Min got control of the ball and passed to Dele Alli who finished with his left foot. The Final whistle blew as Tottenham have finally defeated Chelsea at their home turf in 28 years! It was a big moment for Tottenham fans and the football world as this showed how capable Tottenham are to break through their reputation of losing at Stamford Bridge.
After the match, famous football cartoonist 442oons even made a song about Tottenham’s win over Chelsea as it went viral around the internet.
Tottenham have showed great improvement this premier league season and to be honest, even though I am not a Tottenham fan I am still proud as a football fan that a small team that has improved a lot had a mindset of breaking through their history of a losing streak to a team bigger than them. Great Job to the Lilywhites (Tottenham) and congratulations to breaking your 28 year losing streak at Stamford Bridge!