LONDON – Dele Alli scored twice to deny Chelsea an historic win record and send Tottenham back into the top four with a 2-0 victory over their fierce London rivals.
The midfielder nodded home two crosses from Christian Eriksen – both at the back post – to stop the Blues winning for a top-flight record 14th consecutive game.
The league leaders went close through Eden Hazard in the first half and Diego Costa in the second, but Spurs have cut Chelsea’s lead at the top to five points and opened up the title race.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino decided to match Chelsea like-for-like with wing-backs, and Kyle Walker and Danny Rose won the battle against Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso, who have been so instrumental to Antonio Conte’s successful system.
Hazard should have fired the Blues in front after just five minutes when he beat the offside trap and was played through one-on-one with Hugo Lloris, but he shot wide of the far post.
Walker and Rose were menacing on either flank and Pedro was lucky to escape with just a yellow card when he came in late on the Spurs left-back, stirring back up some resentment from the ‘Battle of the Bridge’ last season.
Pedro and Costa then exchanged heated words after Costa failed to play the forward into a shooting position, as Chelsea grew frustrated at being unable to threaten the Tottenham’s goal.
And Spurs had a deserved breakthrough on the stroke of the interval when Walker played in Eriksen to cross for Alli to nod home for the fourth consecutive game.
Chelsea came firing out of the traps in the second half and could have equalised through either Costa, who forced Lloris to tip wide from long range, or Hazard, who missed a close-range header at the far post.
But Alli made no mistake and doubled Spurs’ lead on 54 minutes when Eriksen picked out another well-timee run into the box, and he headed beyond Thibaut Courtois into the far corner – his third brace in as many matches.
Chelsea looked forlorn and bewildered, as Pedro found space but headed an Alonso cross feebly at Lloris, and Conte threw on Willian, Cesc Fabregas and Michy Batshuayi.
But Tottenham held on for a memorable, fifth straight win to move third in the Premier League and just two points behind second-place Liverpool.
Tottenham: Lloris (7), Dier (7), Alderweireld (7), Vertonghen (7); Walker (8), Wanyama (7), Dembele (7), Rose (8), Alli (9), Eriksen (8), Kane (7)
Subsused: Winks (6), Sissoko (5), Son (5)
Chelsea: Courtois (6), Cahill (6), Luiz (7), Azpilicueta (6); Moses (6), Kante (7), Matic (6), Alonso (6); Pedro (7), Costa (6), Hazard (7)
HARARE—The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has fired the entire Warriors technical team headed by former Dynamos kingpin Kalisto Pawusa.
In a statement signed by ZIFA vice president Omega Sibanda, the association ...
HARARE,-- The Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) president Gianni Infantino on Friday met Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and pledged support towards development of football in the country.
Infantino was accompanied ...
Fans of TLC will rejoice to hear that the r’n’b ’90s much-loved girl group are due to unveil their long-awaited final album this summer. The manager of surviving members Rozonda ‘Chilli’ Thomas and Tionne ‘T-Boz’ […]