Soccer-Spurs sink toothless Chelsea to pile more misery on Potter

February 27, 2023 03:18 AM AEDT | By Reuters
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By William Schomberg

LONDON (Reuters) -Tottenham Hotspur bolstered their hopes for a top-four finish and extended Chelsea's miserable run under coach Graham Potter with a 2-0 win over the Blues in the Premier League on Sunday, thanks to second-half goals from Oliver Skipp and Harry Kane.

Seconds after the break, Skipp picked up a poor clearance by Chelsea's British record signing Enzo Fernandez and fired in from more than 20 yards, his shot going in off the bar after Kepa Arrizabalaga could not get enough of a hand on it.

Chelsea, who have now won just two of their last 15 games in all competitions, struggled to respond and in the 82nd minute Kane secured the win for Spurs when he pounced at the far post after a corner by Son Heung-min was flicked on by Eric Dier.

Chelsea failed to score for fourth time in five league games despite spending around 300 million pounds ($358 million) on players in January alone.

The win - the first for the hosts in nine league games against Chelsea - kept Spurs fourth in the table, four points ahead of fifth-placed Newcastle United who have two games in hand.

"Chelsea have been a difficult opponent for us over the last few years," Kane told the BBC. "So it's a really important win to keep us around fourth. Overall I thought we deserved the win."

Chelsea sit in 10th position, 14 points behind Spurs and 10 clear of the relegation zone, representing a calamitous loss of form for a side who won the Champions League under former coach Thomas Tuchel in 2021.

Potter, who took over at Stamford Bridge when Tuchel was fired by Chelsea's American owners last September, gave striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a rare chance off the bench and brought on expensive January signing Mykhailo Mudryrk in his desperate search for a goal.

But Spurs could have won by more, with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg hitting the post in the first half.

Spurs assistant coach Cristian Stellini, deputising for Antonio Conte who is recovering from surgery, said: "Our desire was ... win, play a great game and to fight for every ball and we are happy for the fans, the club and of course for us and Antonio who is still at home."

Stellini told the BBC he expected Conte to be back this week.

Chelsea could have been reduced to 10 men shortly before halftime when winger Hakim Ziyech was shown a red card for his part in a melee, only for the punishment to be downgraded to a yellow card after a VAR review.

($1 = 0.8372 pounds)

(Reporting by William Schomberg, editing by Ed Osmond)


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