Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham: Pochettino does Spurs double with set-piece goals

For one night at least, Chelsea slightly resembled some of the dominant Chelsea sides of the last 15 years as Mauricio Pochettino completed his debut double over former club Tottenham with a 2-0 victory on Thursday.

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It has mostly been a season to forget for Pochettino, with Chelsea (51 points – 8th place) still on the outside looking in at the Europa Conference League race, but the west London faithful were joyful and exuberant at full-time. Just a month ago, Chelsea sat 12th in the Premier League table, but they now trail 7th-place Newcastle by just two points with a game still in hand. As for Tottenham (60 points – 5th), Champions League qualification has all but officially gone, still seven points behind Aston Villa, and a very important summer transfer window awaits.

Something has to give with Spurs’ set-piece struggles

Whereas recent opponents gave Spurs fits by crowding goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario, Chelsea simply took advantage of their nonexistent marking to score the game’s first goal in the 24th minute. Center backs Micky van de Ven and Cristian Romero were deployed at the near post as Conor Gallagher served the ball high and to the back post, where Trevoh Chalobah was being marked (seemingly) by Brennan Johnson, who was taken out of the play by a pick from Marc Cucurella. Chalobah was so open that the ball coming down a couple feet behind him wasn’t a problem; he had all the time and space he needed to contort his body and get creative with his looping header.

After conceding from another free kick in the 72nd — Nicolas Jackson cleaned up the rebound after Cole Palmer smashed the crossbar — five of the last six goals Tottenham conceded came from set pieces. Asked again this week about their failure to defend set pieces of late, Postecoglou felt it was a non-issue for his side.

“If I thought fixing defensive set pieces was the answer to us bridging the gap then I’d put all of my time and effort into that. I think I’ve answered this question and I don’t think it satisfies people, but no I don’t see it as an issue.

Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou

What’s next?

Chelsea will be back in action on Sunday (9 am ET), when they host yet another London derby back at Stamford Bridge, this time against West Ham. Spurs will be away to Liverpool later in the day (11:30 am ET).

Player ratings – Chelsea vs Tottenham

Chelsea vs Tottenham player ratingsChelsea vs Tottenham player ratings

Chelsea vs Tottenham player ratings

Chelsea vs Tottenham highlights, final score: 2-0

Goalscorers: Trevoh Chalobah (24′), Nicolas Jackson (72′)

GOAL – Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham: Nicolas Jackson heads home after another free kick

GOAL – Chelsea 1-0 Tottenham: Trevoh Chalobah heads home as Spurs concede from another set piece (24′)

How to watch Chelsea vs Tottenham live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2:30pm ET Thursday (May 2)
TV Channel: Peacock Premium
Online: Premier League on Peacock

Chelsea starting lineup

Petrovic — Gilchrist, Chalobah, Badiashile, Cucurella — Caicedo, Gallagher, Palmer — Madueke, Mudryk, Jackson

Tottenham starting lineup

Vicario — Porro, Romero, Van de Ven, Royal — Bissouma, Sarr, Kulusevski — Johnson, Son, Richarlison

Chelsea focus, team news

Chelsea’s injury issues have been absolutely bonkers all season long and they’ve lost some more key players recently with Enzo Fernandez, Malo Gusto and now Thiago Silva all going down. Pochettino has had to shuffle his defensive unit all season long but in midfield and attack it has been pretty settled in recent weeks with Gallagher, Caicedo, Palmer, Jackson, Madueke and Mudryk impressing as a unit.

OUT: Enzo Fernandez (groin), Christopher Nkunku (thigh), Levi Colwill (foot), Reece James (thigh), Romeo Lavia (hamstring – out for season), Wesley Fofana (torn ACL – out for season), Lesley Ugochukwu (hamstring), Malo Gusto (knee), Thiago Silva (hip), Carney Chukwuemeka (knee), Axel Disasi (knock), Ben Chilwell (knee), Raheem Sterling (back)

Tottenham focus, team news

Spurs have Udogie out at left back which causes big problems to the way they play, while Timo Werner came off injured against Arsenal so Brennan Johnson is likely to start out wide. Or, Son could start out on the left and Richarlison could play through the middle. Midfield is also intriguing as Hojbjerg and Bentancur got the nod over Bissouma and Sarr for the NLD but the latter duo impressed when they came on and could start against Chelsea.

OUT: Destiny Udogie (thigh), Manor Solomon (knee), Ryan Sessegnon (thigh), Fraser Forster (foot), Timo Werner (hamstring), Ben Davies (calf)

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