England international Dele Alli showed why he is one of the best players in the world at the moment, by scoring a couple of predatory goals against Premier League leaders Chelsea, in their match at White Hart Lane. There are a few more exhilarating sights than watching this Tottenham side, when they are in full flow, urged on by their demanding manager Mauricio Pochettino, who has made a huge impact on the way that they play now.
Dele Alli continued his scintillating form in front of goal by heading a brace to give Tottenham a stirring 2-0 derby victory and halt Chelsea’s record-equaling Premier League winning run of 13 matches.
Tottenham moved up to third place, above Manchester City on goal difference and are now within seven points of Conte’s side, who lead Merseyside outfit Liverpool by five.
Pochettino’s side are enjoying a purple patch of their own in recent times, having won five from five since losing at Manchester United on December 11 and scoring 15 times in the process.
The match started off incredibly physically, with players from both sides running straight at one another and no one backing out of the challenges.
The exact kind of game that a neutral would love to watch and fans of both the teams involved loathe, a fast-paced, very even affair that could swing either way on a moment’s notice, which was wildly entertaining to watch as long as you weren’t too invested in the result.
Tottenham began with menacing intensity but Eden Hazard enjoyed the first clear opening for the leaders in the fifth minute, only to scuff wide from Nemanja Matic’s ball over the top.
Mousa Dembele strode through a succession of Chelsea challenges before his chipped pass ran a shade too far for Harry Kane, while Eriksen was afforded a couple of set-piece opportunities as Spurs increased the pressure.
Pedro was back in the Chelsea playing eleven, replacing Willian, following his suspension, despite the latter’s brace against rivals Stoke City. The Brazilian had been booked for bringing down Danny Rose and found himself part of a heated exchange of views, with striker Diego Costa, after a counter-attack had broken down.
Eriksen flashed a dipping drive just past the post in the 23rd minute and Costa blazed over from the edge of the box 10 minutes before half-time.
Keeper Thibaut Courtois parried Eric Dier’s back-post header, after defender Gary Cahill was cautioned, for pulling back Eriksen and the Denmark international rounded off a highly impressive first half, by setting up the opening goal in stoppage time.
With room to float free, the play-maker delivered an impeccable cross towards Alli, who timed his run to perfection and leaped to guide a header into the top right corner.
Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris did not have much to do prior to the break, though got down to keep out Costa, two minutes after the second half had started, while Hazard also squirted a header wide after the hosts failed to deal with Marcos Alonso’s deep cross.
Once more, Alli emphatically showed the attacking players on the pitch in the 54th minute, exactly how it was done. Eriksen again took on the role of provider and the England star found space in between Victor Moses and Cesar Azpilicueta to beat Courtois at the far post.
Alli was superb and his clever movement and relentless running meant the Blues could not do not do much, although his performance claimed the match ball.
Everyone has hope now of winning the title this term. Clubs like Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United are back in the race, it would seem, though nothing is certain till its done.