Spurs Pile The Pressure On Graham Potter’s Chelsea Tenure With Derby Day Win

Spurs ran out 2-0 winners in a feisty London derby in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon
15:31, 26 Feb 2023

While the nation gears up for the League Cup final showdown between Manchester United and Newcastle United later today, just down the road the 2008 finalists served up a feisty appetiser. 

It feels somewhat poetic that almost exactly 15 years on from that final, when Jonathon Woodgate’s winner sunk Chelsea and provided Tottenham Hotspur with their last major piece of silverware, these two would collide today.

And, in the 150th league meeting between these sides, it was Spurs who came out on top, running out 2-0 winners at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, piling more pressure onto the shoulders of Graham Potter in the process. 


It’s not hard to see why Potter’s future at Stamford Bridge looks dicey. Chelsea are as close to the relegation zone as the Champions League qualification places, still haven’t beaten a top-half side this season, haven’t won a domestic cup match and find themselves with work to do against Borussia Dortmund after one leg in the Champions League last 16. Not great for a side that splurged £323m in January. 

Potter’s detractors were calling for the Englishman’s head an hour before a ball had even been kicked, with a number of Blues fans on social media deriding the changes made to the Chelsea starting line-up that lost 1-0 to Southampton last weekend. Hakim Ziyech’s inclusion over January mega-signing Mykhailo Mudryk was a particular bone of contention. 

For a moment it looked like those fans might have had good reason to be concerned. The Moroccan was shown a red at the end of the first half for seemingly pushing Emerson Royal in the face. However, the decision was immediately overturned after referee Stuart Atwell went to the VAR monitor and Ziyech was handed a yellow instead. 

It was hardly a game that set the world alight, but you couldn’t knock the work rate of either side in a match bubbling with derby day aggro from the off. 

The visitors began on the front foot and there were claims for a penalty inside the second minute when Raheem Sterling went down under a challenge from Oliver Skipp. But the referee waved away protests, leading to some early irritation between the two sides. 

After 20 minutes, Chelsea were dealt a hammer-blow when Thiago Silva was taken off with a knock and replaced by Wesley Fofana. The Brazilian veteran is a brick wall in the Chelsea backline and his absence was felt quickly after his departure, with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg hitting the post for the home side.

Spurs always looked the most likely to score first and broke the deadlock immediately after the break courtesy of Skipp’s maiden goal for the club. The midfielder sublimely hit one first time from outside the area and, although Kepa was able to get a hand to it, the ball crept in from the underside of the bar. 

Chelsea remained a threat and were denied an equaliser by some great goalkeeping from Fraser Forster. Kai Havertz was played through on goal after some clever build-up play but the goalkeeper was quick off his line to gather the ball from the feet of the German forward. 

Harry Kane wrapped up the win in the 82nd minute when a corner was whipped in as far as Eric Dier. The defender got a head on it and put the ball into the direct path of Kane at the back post for an easy finish. Kane’s last 12 goals in all competitions have all been scored in London and he becomes the first Spurs player to score home and away league goals against Chelsea in the same season since Gary Lineker in 1990-91. 

With the victory, Spurs, who were led by assistant manager Cristian Stelleni, filling in for Antonio Conte while he recovers from surgery, ended a winless run of eight top-flight meetings against Chelsea. They have also claimed four points in a season against the Blues for the first time since 2008/09. 

Chelsea meanwhile have now only won one of their 11 matches in all competitions in 2023, and just two of their last 15 league games. They are on a run of six games without a win in all competitions for the first time since November to December 2012. 

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