It’s been nineteen years since a Russian changed the face of the Premier League. West London soccer would never be the same again. On Sunday, a new era began spearheaded by the Tony Boehly consortium, who acquired the club from the beleaguered Roman Abramovich. There was an air of uncertainty among the fans of the club during the off season. Would the new owners be able to support Thomas Tuchel with players to mount another assault at the League title following the loss of influential players? Never in doubt. Two of those signings emphatically put together a move that put Blues ahead in this one. Cucurella found an unmarked Kalidou Koulibaly on the far edge of the box from a corner. Let’s have a little dig at both defenses shall we. There was no marking either territorially or man for man on this play and SAME APPLIES for the Kane equalizer later in the match. The most impressive aspect of Chelsea , same could be said in the first match with Everton, was their ability to control that midfield area. Never overstretched, never jittery, Kante and Jorginho were box office ,that was until they came off. Spurs took the half time talk from Conte and a tweak in formation to get going. When they changed from 3-4-3 to 4-4-2 they had Chelsea on the backfoot. Now pressing is usually a Tuchel thing so it was a masterstroke from Conte to realize he could do it to Tuchel too, thus the Hojbjerg equalizer.
The Chelsea-Spurs rivalry is one that most outsiders don’t understand the gravity of. These sets of players and often their coaches hate each other to the point near riot. When Reece James restored the Chelsea lead with 12 minutes to play, the somewhat overzealous Tuchel lit the match on the rivalry with a Mourinho sprint down the touchline. Conte ironically did the same to a visiting former coach in Mourinho when he came back with Manchester United 5 years ago. Like everyone else when humiliation is reversed and dished out at the humiliator it kind of hurts hey. Thus the ugly spat at the end of the match. Back to the match, Reece James had one of his better matches taking advantage of that hole behind Emerson Royal(or Perisic) most of time. Spurs however were full value for their point, never giving it up and bombarding Eduard Mendy’s goal in injury time with quality crosses from set pieces. Koulibaly had a chance to do a Suarez on the goal line and punch out the ball before crossing the line. Gamesmanship it would be and unsporting but taking one for the team here would have been advisable from my area. Still early days but both sides look good for European places(I hope I don’t give them the commentator’s curse by saying it).