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Premier League | Gameweek 26
May 2, 2024 at 7.30pm UK
Stamford Bridge

2 - 0

Chalobah (24'), Jackson (72')
FT(HT: 1-0)

van de Ven (67')

Chelsea strengthen European hopes with win over toothless Tottenham Hotspur

:Headline: Chelsea strengthen European hopes with win over toothless Tottenham Hotspur:
Chelsea boost their European chances and dent Tottenham Hotspur's top-four hopes with a 2-0 Premier League victory over their London rivals at Stamford Bridge.
Sports Mole

Chelsea strengthened their hopes of European qualification while inflicting the latest blow on Tottenham Hotspur's top-four bid with a deserved 2-0 win over their London rivals in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge.

Becoming the latest team to capitalise on the visitors' alarming vulnerabilities from set-pieces, the Blues opened the scoring early doors through Trevoh Chalobah's header, before Nicolas Jackson added the insurance goal from a free-kick rebound.

Fleeting Tottenham chances led to nothing in front of an infuriated Ange Postecoglou, who let rip on the touchline as his side lost their third Premier League game in a row, leaving them seven points below Aston Villa in the final Champions League spot with one game in hand.

As Postecoglou gave his players an earful, Mauricio Pochettino rejoiced in getting one over his former side yet again, overseeing Chelsea's 10th Premier League double over Tottenham as the Blues rose above West Ham United into eighth spot, two points below Newcastle United in the Europa Conference League place.

Chelsea capitalise on shoddy Spurs marking as Postecoglou rages

Finally made to pay for his declining form, James Maddison was sacrificed from the Tottenham XI as Postecoglou changed nearly half of his team, a luxury that Pochettino could not afford amid the hosts' injury crisis.

Despite their 14-strong absentee list, Chelsea came flying out of the blocks against their capital rivals and were inches away from breaking the deadlock in the fifth minute, as Pape Sarr lost the ball in the centre and the Blues launched a rapid counter-attack.

Mykhaylo Mudryk's slick through ball found Jackson, and even though Guglielmo Vicario hesitated, the Italian managed to take the sting out of the shot with an under-the-body save before Micky van de Ven raced back to hack the goal-bound ball onto Cole Palmer's foot and over the top.

The Blues' tails remained up as the first half progressed, and Pochettino's side began to force a few set-pieces - Tottenham's arch-nemesis - and after Yves Bissouma gave away a cheap free kick in the 24th minute, their dead-ball frailties were exposed again.

An inch-perfect delivery from Conor Gallagher was on the money for Chalobah, who stayed onside, peeled away untracked at the back post and expertly directed a looping header over Vicario's arm and into the top corner.

There was a slight hint of a foul on Brennan Johnson from Marc Cucurella as the Spaniard blocked his Welsh counterpart from reaching Chalobah, but the VAR room cleared the centre-back's goal, leaving Postecoglou uncharacteristically apoplectic.

The Tottenham boss ranted and raved at his under-performing players from the touchline, but his outburst did not spark a fire within his side, who remained second best and had some wasted Chelsea chances to thank for the deficit remaining at just the one.

The visitors nearly made up for their latest set-piece misdemeanour in the 38th minute, but Cristian Romero's header from a promising position sailed wide, while Sarr also saw a deflected effort miss the target in added time as Spurs failed to muster a shot on target in the first half.

Jackson continues hot streak against lacklustre Lilywhites

Nevertheless, Postecoglou sent out an identical XI for the second period, where Tottenham immediately showed signs of improvement after receiving the hairdryer treatment, albeit without any real penetration.

The Spurs boss bit the bullet and brought on Maddison for Richarlison just past the hour mark, as Son Heung-min reverted to a central position, but Postecoglou cut a forlorn figure again as the hosts doubled their lead in the 72nd minute.

Another free kick did the damage, although in more unorthodox circumstances, as a sweetly-struck Palmer effort rattled the bar, and Jackson - the hat-trick hero from November's win over Spurs - was criminally allowed to head the rebound into the top corner.

Son and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg both opted not to challenge Jackson in the air, instead attempting to make a magnificent clearance off the line, but the Tottenham teammates got in each other's way as they chased a lost cause.

A late injury to Alfie Gilchrist was a minor not on the Chelsea notebook, but his withdrawal allowed another academy graduate - 17-year-old Josh Acheampong - to come on for his senior debut.

Tottenham huffed and puffed in an around the Chelsea box in added time, but it was too little too late for Postecoglou's men, who now face another daunting away day at Liverpool's Anfield base on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Chelsea now have two full days to recover before another London derby with the team they have just leapfrogged, hosting West Ham on May 5. body check tags ::

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