Chelsea eased to a 2-0 away victory over rivals Tottenham as Frank Lampard outwitted former boss Jose Mourinho.
Two first half goals from Willian, and a bizarre decision from the Spurs goalkeeper, left the hosts with a mountain to climb in the second half as they put in a dreadful performance.
Spurs’ Son Heung-Min soon made life even more difficult for his side after getting sent off for foolishly kicking out at Antonio Rudiger. This was where the contest more or less ended and a victory for the Blues sees them move six points clear of Sunday’s opponents at Christmas.
In a VAR-centric evening, Chelsea were very worthy winners, but boy will the Lilywhites be kicking themselves for their sluggish performance.
Let’s go back to the start shall we?
Even before a ball had been kicked the tension was palpable ahead of a blockbuster fixture between two of London’s fiercest rivals. The match was riddled with potential headlines; talks of the top-four race, master Mourinho taking on apprentice Lampard and, of course, pure bragging rights.
Master vs apprentice
Sith vs Jedi 惡♂️
Mourinho vs Lampard
— Goal News (@GoalNews) December 22, 2019
Could be an early indication of the final top four place, let’s see how this goes – attending Tottenham Vs Chelsea at Tottenham Hotspur Football Stadium https://t.co/A7yMCs7o3i
— Paul Anderson (@PaulAnderson57) December 22, 2019
A game with plenty of bragging rights up for grabs.
⚪️ Spurs vs Chelsea
Jose Mourinho vs Frank Lampard gbeng
A spot in the top 4️⃣ at Christmas
A massive game.
— Absolute Chelsea (@AbsoluteChelsea) December 21, 2019
The actual action started at an intense pace…well, if you’re a Chelsea fan.
The Blues continually outfoxed their rivals early on and got their reward through Willian’s sensational strike following a well-worked short corner.
Omggggg Willian I told yall he’s the mf GOAT
— R (@RafaeIV14) December 22, 2019
It appeared that Lampard’s formation change – going with a back five – had dumbfounded Spurs and forced the Lilywhites in to gifting possession back to Chelsea at every opportunity.
But when all was said and done…Tottenham were just woeful.
Spurs are literally struggling to string two passes together here. Chelsea are pressing them and they’re just panicking and hoofing it long. Not good. #totche
— Lukeyash88 (@LukeAshworth5) December 22, 2019
Horrendous preformance from Spurs so far. Shades of Man United’s starts to games with Mourinho. Dire and lethargic
— Abdullah AlAjmi (@abdulajmi) December 22, 2019
We are so slow it’s not true,can’t see us getting into this game.They are up for it,we’re not! Faffing about at the back as usual.This is the old sloppy Spurs.
— Alan CarterTHFC. (@uglyoldgit) December 22, 2019
It looked as if it was going to be a comfortable 1-0 lead for Chelsea at the break. But no, Paulo Gazzaniga decided to make it even more comfortable for the Blues.
The Argentine rushed out of his goal to clear a long ball, before absolutely taking out Marcos Alonso. However, while it appeared a stonewall penalty to all, Anthony Taylor initially awarded Spurs a free kick, before VAR overturned his rather strange call…
Wtf was gazzaniga doing there hahahahahahhaha
— Arvzz☆ (@arvinn4) December 22, 2019
a) Really weird how Gazzaniga just didn’t go for it with his hands, did he forget he was a GK lmao
b) Anthony Taylor is fucking blind man. What a terrible call.
— OleOleOle (@BrockSolidBlue) December 22, 2019
How can you argue against VAR when you’ve got officials making decisions like that on the pitch 臘♂️
— J A M E S B A R N E T T (@JamesBarnettPT) December 22, 2019
Willian eventually stepped up and fired Chelsea in to a straightforward 2-0 half-time lead. Plenty of food for thought for master Mourinho at the break…
The second half was brighter from Spurs but to little avail and things soon went from bad to worse. Out of nothing, Son Heung-Min appeared to kick out at Antonio Rudiger and, eventually following an intervention from VAR, the Tottenham man was sent off.
RED CARD After consulting the VAR, referee Anthony Taylor has awarded a red card to Son Heung-min for a foul on Antonio Rudiger
Spurs 0-2 Chelsea (62 mins)#TOTCHE
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 22, 2019
Son Heung-min was triple captained by one manager in the top 10k this GW. #FPL
— FPLStatistics (@FPLStatistics) December 22, 2019
Deserved red for Son, what a stupid thing to do.
— NepentheZ (@NepentheZ) December 22, 2019
From that moment onward, the game was more or less done and dusted.
This left Twitter some time to revel in Lampard’s managerial greatness…let’s indulge ourselves, shall we?
Add tactical genius to the ‘best midfielder in the prem’ mantle for Frank Lampard
— Wasim (@Malbs11) December 22, 2019
Lampard is a top manager. I’m sold. Mf a Genius
— weeknd fan (@ibxahim_) December 22, 2019
And god bless you Frank Lampard!! The guy is everything Jose could never be.
— Victoria (@VicW26) December 22, 2019
Total & utter tactical masterclass from Frank Lampard, every player out there was willing to run through a brick wall, so pleased with the attitude & the performance, every player was amazing, hopefully this puts to bed that we can’t beat a top club, Merry Christmas everyone
— Lampard Cultist (@MadMontana) December 22, 2019
And others were more interested in having a little dig at Jose…
It’s not even that Lampard is brilliant. It’s just that Jose Mourinho is shit.
— Allegri FC (@AdolfAragorn) December 22, 2019
That was absolutely awful from Tottenham. Mourinho probably the biggest culprit of that – more so than Gazzaniga and Son. We’d have lost that without the penalty and the sending off. Didn’t create a proper chance. #COYS
— Harry Sherlock (@Harry_Sherlock) December 22, 2019
Everything about this game as been woeful. Mourinhos negative tactics, individual performances, fan behaviour has been disgusting. 6 games under mourinho and I’m ashamed to be a spurs fan. After 5 years of pure joy under Poch, I’m done with football again
— Chris Pickles (@PicklesC1988) December 22, 2019
Harsh words, indeed.