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Tottenham vs Chelsea: Defenders attack as Blues wake up

Chelsea punished Tottenham for a sluggish second half, as they dominated the final 45 minutes to earn a deserved win against their London rivals.

Industrious Romelu Lukaku couldn’t solve Hugo Lloris but fortunately for Chelsea, defensive-minded Blues stars had their day in a 3-0 win over Spurs at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.

Thiago Silva, N’Golo Kante, and Antonio Rudiger scored second-half goals as the Blues snapped out of a first-half funk to win again and join Liverpool and Manchester United on a league-best 13 points.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Tottenham’s steady first half was aided by a very good Lloris as well as Cristian Romero, but Harry Kane and Dele Alli were on the field but mostly absent from injury-riddled Spurs’ second-straight loss.

Spurs sit ninth with seven points through five matches.

Man City is Chelsea’s next opponent, a blockbuster that will be discussed all week.

Tottenham vs Chelsea final score, stats

Final score: Chelsea 3, Tottenham 0

Goal scorers: Silva (49'), Kante (57'), Rudiger (90'+2)

Shots: Chelsea, 20-8

Shots on target: Chelsea, 10-2

Possession: Chelsea, 53%

Three things we learned from Tottenham vs Chelsea

1. Unflappable, decisive Tuchel gets it right: Is it possible Chelsea would’ve turned its first-half performance on its ear had Tuchel not yanked Mason Mount at halftime? Of course, but Tuchel’s willingness to take off a reliable starter at the break sure looks an inspired switch after the Blues struck twice in quick succession early in the second frame. The tactical adjustment worked and the substitute, N’Golo Kante, scored to boot.

2. Cold Kane, Spurs depth leaves no answers after solid first half: Tottenham looked on track for a point after one half, as Cristian Romero and Emerson Royal looked inspired to go with Hugo Lloris’ command between the sticks. Heung-min Son was also firing and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg his typical self.

But Harry Kane was a giant portion of “meh” and the bench had few proven Premier League options that could inspire goals thanks to loads of injuries, something that became problematic if not prohibitive to Spurs’ hopes of winning once Chelsea got its goals.

3. Blues find goals when offense isn’t firing: Romelu Lukaku played well if without finish, while Mount and Havertz struggled and Timo Werner wasn’t clinical in spelling the latter. So the Blues got goals from Silva, Alonso, and Rudiger making the most of a day that didn’t have its typical poise in front of goal (and also was facing a very good goalkeeper in Lloris).

Man of the Match: Marcos Alonso

On another day the left wingback might’ve had a hat trick. Instead, he’ll only appear on the score sheet as the assist on Thiago Silva’s opener but that won’t change his influence on the game. The assist was one of his three key passes to go with four interceptions, and three clearances.

Follow @NicholasMendola