Dele Alli, Tottenham Beat Chelsea 3-1 in 2018-19 Premier League Match

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist INovember 24, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 24:  Heung-Min Son of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates with teammate Dele Alli after scoring his team's third goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on November 24, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur beat Chelsea 3-1 at Wembley Stadium on Saturday to move above the Blues and into third place in the Premier League table. 

Spurs took the lead after just eight minutes when Christian Eriksen whipped in a free-kick for Dele Alli to head past goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Chelsea had no answers to the hosts' intensity and conceded a second eight minutes later. Harry Kane fired in a shot from range, and the ball flew past an unsighted Kepa after David Luiz moved out of the way.

The hosts added a third after the break. Heung-min Son raced past Jorginho, beat Luiz and then tucked a composed finish past Kepa.

Chelsea did pull one back late on when substitute Olivier Giroud headed home Cesar Azpilicueta's cross, but it was to prove only a consolation as the Blues suffered their first Premier League defeat of the season.


Kante Wasted in New Midfield Role

N'Golo Kante is widely regarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world, and Chelsea demonstrated how highly they value their World Cup winner signing him to a five-year deal on Friday.

However, the arrival of Jorginho over the summer has seen Kante forced out of his preferred position and moved further forward to make room for the Italy international.

Jorginho is a key player for manager Maurizio Sarri after the duo worked together at Napoli, and he has made an impressive start to his Blues career.

Yet his influence has waned in recent games, and he put in a poor display against Spurs:

Simon Johnson @sjstandardsport

#Jorginho having a bad game...looks very leggy, not passing well and offering no protection to #cfc backline #TOTCHE

He offered the Chelsea defence little protection and was thoroughly beaten by Son for Tottenham's third goal, which sealed the game.

Writer Mark Worrall said Kante being moved out of position had a big impact on the game:

Mark Worrall @gate17marco

One of the big talking points about 'Sarriball' has been Jorginho's regista role & Kante being deployed out of position -- For me, so far in this game we are seeing Chelsea's back four exposed in a way they wouldn't be if Kante was in his regular defensive midfield position. FACT

Meanwhile, the Frenchman was having little effect in his position further forward. Matt Law of the Telegraph explained why:

Matt Law @Matt_Law_DT

Clever tactic from Tottenham to let Chelsea give Kante the ball in forward positions. His passing and delivery is his weak point

Kante excels at shielding the defencehis positioning, tackling and work-rate are unrivalled—and his presence in that position was sorely missed against Spurs.

Gary Lineker offered his view:

Gary Lineker @GaryLineker

Son just ran away from Jorginho. So baffling to see him playing in the position of the world’s greatest holding player, whilst Kanté plays on the right. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Sarri has appeared determined to build his team around Jorginho, but in doing so he is failing to get the best out of Kante. 


Securing Eriksen's Future Must be Tottenham’s Priority

Eriksen caused Chelsea all sorts of problems at Wembley. His display was another example of why Tottenham must make securing his future their ultimate priority.

Per Dan Kilpatrick of the Evening Standard, Pochettino said ahead of the game that Tottenham are "working hard" to extend his current deal, which expires in 2020.

The Dane set up the first goal for Alli with an exquisite ball into the penalty area:

EiF @EiFSoccer

What a cross by Eriksen. Impossible to defend that.

He then proceeded to be at the heart of all of Tottenham's best moves. Squawka Football highlighted his contribution:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Christian Eriksen created 7 chances against Chelsea; the most by a player in a single Premier League game this season. Playmaking wizardy. 💫 https://t.co/iHG93bicHL

Eriksen's creativity is key for Spurs, and they simply must keep hold of the 26-year-old if they are to compete for trophies.


Kepa Deserves to be Doubted

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa has had a quiet start to his career at Stamford Bridge.

He has been well protected by the Blues defence for much of the early part of the season, but it was a different story entirely at Wembley, and Kepa's performance will do little to dampen doubts that he is the man to replace Thibaut Courtois in the Chelsea goal.

He managed to get his hands to Alli's headed opener but was not strong enough to prevent the ball flying into the back of the net:

Seb Stafford-Bloor @SebSB

Perfect delivery from Eriksen, fine header from Alli, but that seemed to go very *through* Kepa. 1-0 Tottenham.

He was then left stranded for Kane's second goal. Luiz's decision to get out of the way of the ball left him unsighted, but his positioning was poor:

Nizaar Kinsella @NizaarKinsella

Awful goal to concede from Chelsea. Kepa doesn't dive, seems like bad positioning to me. Clearly unsighted and not helped by poor defending too. Bad in all aspects. #TOTCHE #CFC #THFC

The second goal put Spurs in command of the game, although Kepa responded well to the setback and went on to make some crucial saves.

He could do little about Son's third goal but denied the South Korean and Kane with impressive saves. Sports media company EiF Soccer felt he made up for his earlier errors:

EiF @EiFSoccer

Kepa might have been at fault for Kane's goal, but if it wasn't for him this game could easily be 5-0 in Tottenham's favor after this half. Two absolutely world class saves and a really good one (in the Son 1v1) by Kepa in the first half, who has more than made up for his error.

Kepa became the world's most expensive goalkeeper when he moved to Stamford Bridge in August for £71 million, per BBC Sport.

He's still only 24 and in his first season in the Premier League, but the Spaniard still has plenty of work to do to prove he was worth the huge investment Chelsea made to bring him to Stamford Bridge.


What's Next?

Spurs play Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday and then head to Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday. Chelsea face PAOK in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday and follow that clash up with a visit from local rivals Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday.