Tottenham deepen Chelsea’s crisis
Tottenham heaped more pressure on under-fire Chelsea manager Graham Potter as goals from Oliver Skipp and Harry Kane earned Spurs a 2-0 win on Sunday.
Victory consolidates Tottenham’s place in the Premier League top four as they opened up a four-point lead over fifth-placed Newcastle, although the Magpies have two games in hand.
Chelsea remain 10th with their chances of Champions League football next season now seemingly dependent on an unlikely run to win the European Cup for a third time.
Despite splashing over £500 million ($600 million) on new players this season, Potter’s men have now won just twice in 15 games in all competitions.
The former Brighton boss spoke this week of the mental toll that run has taken as he has had to deal with abuse from supporters aimed at his family.
Chelsea’s new owners have remained steadfast in their support of Potter.
But patience must be wearing thin and the Blues chairman and co-owner Todd Boehly was in attendance to watch another toothless display from his club at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Chelsea have scored only one goal in their last six games and never showed any fight for their beleaguered boss after falling behind just seconds into the second half.
Neither side hit their stride in a bad-tempered first period, which the visitors were lucky to finish with 11 men.
After consultation with is assistant, referee Stuart Attwell showed Hakim Ziyech a straight red card for a push into the face of Emerson Royal.
However, Attwell then reversed the decision after viewing the incident on the pitchside monitor.
Chelsea did not take advantage of that let-off as they fell behind just 19 seconds after the break.
Kepa Arrizabalaga saved Emerson’s initial effort, but the Spanish goalkeeper should have done better than turning Skipp’s shot in off the underside of the bar for his first Spurs goal.
Tottenham were again without their manager Antonio Conte as the former Chelsea boss recovers from emergency surgery to remove his gallbladder, but Spurs have a 100 percent record with his assistant Cristian Stellini in charge.
Kane made sure of his side’s first league win over Chelsea in nine attempts when the England captain swept home Eric Dier’s flick on from Son Heung-min’s corner eight minutes from time.