Chelsea are drawing 0-0 at White Hart Lane in their London derby with Tottenham Hotspur in what has been a close and entertaining game so far.
The home side started the game the better and took less than three minutes to make forays into Chelsea’s box. Energetic play on an off the ball on both sides the pitch led to a low cross from Dembele on the left that Cahill cleared ahead of Harry Kane who slid in to try and make contact.
That chance set a pattern for the opening few minutes as Spurs sought to assert themselves early and take advantage of their opponents’ poor start to the season, leaving Chelsea to try and break away on the counter attack when possible. Playing without a striker meant that the Blues were switching between Hazard and Pedro at the top of the attacking midfield with Fabregas and Willian looking for space in behind the Spurs defence.
Kane, Chelsea’s scourge last season, had a fierce shot from outside the box saved by Begovic, and Pedro almost found a way through to Lloris’ goal before being strangled of space in the penalty area in a lively 20 minutes caped off by a header over the bar from Hazad that the Belgian should have done better with.
Chelsea’s movement again came close to paying off with a superb shot from Pedro that Lloris did well to tip over. Begovic made a great save at the other end of the pitch from Son’s header, the Spurs man directing his attempt down from Kane’s cross, and then again on 30 minutes when Dembele turned and shot from distance, the Bosnia and Hezegovina international preventing a certain goal in the corner.
Chelsea have looked disciplined and well organised throughout with the exception of the opening few minutes. When without the ball they have held a firm line at the back that has forced Spurs into errors in their approach play that has led to counter attacks. The final ball, as ever, has let them down but there are enough positives to take from this showing to suggest that three points could be there for the taking in the second half.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Dier, Mason, Son, Dembele, Eriksen, Kane.
Subs: Vorm, Lamela, N’Jie, Trippier, Onomah, Wimmer, Carroll.
Manager: Mauricio Pochettino
CHELSEA: Begovic; Ivanovic, Cahill, Zouma, Azpilicueta; Matic; Willian, Oscar, Fabregas, Hazard; Pedro.
Subs: Amelia, Baba, Mikel, Kenedy, Diego Costa, Loftus-Cheek. Djilobodji
Manager: José Mourinho
Referee: Michael Oliver
Venue: White Hart Lane, London, UK.