By Ian Ladyman for the Daily Mail
Published: 18:28 GMT, 22 December 2019 | Updated: 19:56 GMT, 22 December 2019
Chelsea went home with three points and somebody in the away end went home with Frank Lampard’s coat.
For Lampard and his club, afternoons don’t get much better than this, at least in terms of the football. This was a convincing, emphatic victory that could have been decorated by more than two goals.
Away from the action, racist comments allegedly made by Tottenham fans to Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger late in the game could not have come a worse time.
Willian (middle) was the star of the show as Chelsea downed Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham in Sunday’s feisty London derby
Chelsea took an early lead when Willian skillfully worked the ball on to his right foot and bent his effort into the corner
Tottenham goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga desperately tried to keep it out but could get no where near Willian’s curled shot
Just when we were beginning to think English football was finally getting its message of zero-tolerance through, somebody has emerged to drag us back towards the gutter. All we can hope now is that Tottenham can identify the culprits.
Chelsea and Rudiger will perhaps not dwell on this. They have done their bit by reporting it. For Tottenham the story will linger for a while and so indeed will the smell of his abject performance.
As impressive as Chelsea were here in north London, so their opponents were dreadful. Lampard, facing his former manager Jose Mourinho, perhaps surprised him with a 3-4-3 formation. It allowed Chelsea to gain an early hold they never relinquished.
Lampard’s players were energetic, organised and purposeful. Mourinho’s, by contrast, played as though they had never met each other before.
Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Gazzaniga 5; Aurier 5, Sanchez 5.5, Alderweireld 6, Vertonghen 6 (Winks 74mins 6); Dier 5 (Eriksen 45mins 5), Sissoko 6 ; Son, 5 Alli 6, Moura 6 (Ndombele 74mins 6); Kane 6
Subs not used: Winks, Vorm, Lo Celso, Foyth
Booked: Alli, Gazzaniga, Sissoko, Alderweireld
Sent off: Son (61)
Manager: Jose Mourinho 5
Chelsea (3-4-3): Kepa 6; Rudiger 6.5, Zouma 7.5, Tomori 7.5; Azpilicueta 7 (James 79mins 6), Kante 7, Kovacic 7 (Jorginho 67mins 6), Alonso 7; Mount 7.5, Abraham 7.5 (Batshuayi 79mins 6), Willian 8.5
Subs not used: Christensen, Caballero, Hudson-Odoi, Pulisic
Scorers: Willian (12, 45)
Booked: Zouma, Kovacic, Rudiger
Manager: Frank Lampard 8.5
Referee: Anthony Taylor 5.5
Man of the Match: Willian
Tottenham goalkeeper Gazzaniga failed to deal with the danger as he sprinted off his line and missed the bouncing ball
Gazzaniga’s momentum saw him crash into Marcos Alonso and bring the Chelsea man down inside his own penalty area
Tammy Abraham (right) appealed to referee Anthony Taylor after he bizarrely awarded a free-kick Tottenham’s way
Willian tucked the ball into the corner after VAR overturned Taylor’s decision to award Chelsea a penalty on stroke of half-time
Slightly lucky to win at Wolves a week earlier, Spurs got exactly what they deserved here. Something appeared to be fundamentally wrong and it would appear that the early impact of Mourinho’s appointment is about to dissipate.
With Chelsea heading across London in the middle of the poorest run of Lampard’s brief tenure, Tottenham would maybe have sensed vulnerability. How then to explain such a flat and lifeless performance?
Mourinho suggested later that his team improved in the second half. If they did it wasn’t by much. Certainly Tottenham never coped with the directness and imagination of the Brazilian Willian and the way he opened the scoring in the 12th minute said much about both teams.
With Tottenham full-back Serge Aurier conceding a needless corner, Spurs were then slow to spot a quick exchange of passes between Willian and Mateo Kovacic.
Receiving the ball back in space on the left side, Willian sold Aurier a step-over dummy, shifted the ball inside on to his right foot and curled a firm shot through a crowd of bodies and in to the far corner.
Tottenham were reduced to 10 men when Son Heung-min was dismissed on the hour mark for kicking out in retaliation
VAR looked at the replay and returned a red card verdict for Son’s kick out at Antonio Rudiger after being fouled
Rudiger appeared to suggest fans were making monkey chants towards him following Son’s red card in the second half
It was a superb goal, perfectly struck. But replays appeared to show Dele Alli moving his head out of the way of the ball and the Tottenham player’s afternoon didn’t improve much after that.
Alli was typical of all that was awry with Spurs. While Chelsea’s attacking players Willian, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham seemed to operate with the benefit of mutual understanding, Alli drifted endlessly from his designated position behind Harry Kane in search of the ball.
Such impatience didn’t help Alli and as his frustrations grew so Tottenham grew ever more unbalanced.
Twice the home team threatened just before the half hour. First Kane lifted a shot over from nine yards after a foray down the right by Moussa Sissoko and then the Tottenham captain laid a chance on for Heung-min Son at the far post, only for the ball to fly off target again.
So sporadic were Tottenham’s forward movements that one of those chances had to be taken.
As it was the game was effectively decided when Tottenham goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga rushed foolishly out to clatter in to Marco Alonso in first half added time.
Moussa Sissoko accidentally collided with Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga (left) as he tried to close down the loose ball
Son went and missed a glorious chance to equalise in the first half as he blazed over from close range at the back post
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho showed the signs of a frustrated man on the touchline for much of Sunday’s derby
Referee Anthony Taylor initially penalised Alonso but that felt wrong and VAR replays showed that the Chelsea wing-back had pretty much stopped running by the time Gazzaniga felled him with a raised foot. Willian drilled in the penalty once the decision had been reversed.
Mourinho was already in the home dressing room awaiting his players by the time the ball hit the net. Lampard, meanwhile, stooped to one knee to celebrate with a clenched fist.
Sensing a significant victory, Lampard needed more of the same from his players in the second half while Mourinho needed improvement.
Lampard got his wish while Mourinho got a two-footed prod at Rudiger from Son that saw the Korean sent off just after the hour, again after VAR intervention.
Mourinho seemed unhappy at that decision but it was hard to see why. The offence was as stupid as it was clear and as Son left the field any chances of a Tottenham comeback went with him.
From that point on, things got ugly quickly and that was a shame. By full-time, as Lampard cavorted in front of the away end, we should have been concentrating on a mature and intelligent tactical success by a young English manager.
Dele Alli (left) and Mateo Kovacic (right) had to be pulled apart and separated after a heated clash in the middle of the pitch
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard punched the air in celebration after watching Willian convert from the spot just before the break
Abraham (left) thought he had got a third for Chelsea but the flag had been raised before he slotted in from close range
But by then we had seen Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga pelted with an object and listened to three Tannoy announcements alerting us to something far more sinister indeed.
The investigation in to what may have been said to Rudiger began as soon as the game ended. We will doubtless hear more over the coming days and must hope CCTV at such a modern stadium can be used to close the matter swiftly one way or the other.
Lampard, though, can be forgiven if he doesn’t seek to move on quite so fast. In his days as a player under Mourinho at Stamford Bridge, he could never have imagined a day like this, an occasion when his own courage, intellect and imagination would combine to cut down one of English football’s modern managerial greats.
No wonder Lampard let the emotion flow at the end. Chelsea wins at Tottenham have always meant a lot. This one meant a little bit more.
Tottenham 0-2 Chelsea: Willian shines with a brace as Lampard defeats old boss Mourinho
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