Harry Kane strikes again, Tottenham piles misery on Chelsea
Tottenham Hotspur ultimately waltzed to a 2-0 win over Chelsea in a London derby that started cagey and tense in North London but ultimately laid out the sides’ current table positions.
Oliver Skipp and Harry Kane scored second-half goals to lead Spurs to three points that insures their top-four stock to four points better than fifth-place Newcastle, who has two matches-in-hand.
WATCH TOTTENHAM vs CHELSEA FULL MATCH REPLAY STREAM - LINK
Spurs and Chelsea combined for just 1.12 xG -- Spurs collecting 0.71 of it --and the visitors registered the match’s only “big chance” according to our friends at Fotmob.
Chelsea, meanwhile, remains on 31 points and is in danger of dropping out of the top half of the table. The Blues are 14 points off the top four.
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Spurs looking very Conte without Conte (Kane helping quite a bit)
Antonio Conte’s men are not just without Rodrigo Betancur, they’re without Conte -- in person -- as the Italian continues to recover from an operation.
But that has not stopped Spurs from playing in his image, as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Cristian Romero are among the players making sure Tottenham is taking the fight to opponents.
The biggest difference between Spurs and their would-be rivals, like Chelsea, however, is that Tottenham has an absolute horse in Harry Kane and he’s putting the team on his back.
Tottenham has played 14 times since returning from the World Cup break.
Harry Kane has started 14 times since returning from the World Cup break.
Harry Kane has gone 90 minutes 14 times since returning from the World Cup break.
Harry Kane has seven goals and an assist since returning from the World Cup break, and Tottenham is unbeaten when he gets on the score sheet.
Chelsea’s attackers heaping pressure on everyone behind them
We mentioned that Chelsea does not have Harry Kane but right now the Blues would probably accept any number of finishers they’ve sold or watched walk away over the years.
Because Chelsea... just... isn’t... scoring.
Kai Havertz scored in the 64th minute of Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Palace on Jan. 15. He’s since scored zero goals in 493 minutes. Hakim Ziyech has a single assist in 10 Chelsea appearances since the calendar turned to 2023.
Raheem Sterling hasn’t scored since New Year’s Day and Joao Felix has one goal. Both are on limited minutes but it bears repeating that Chelsea’s biggest problem -- by far -- is that their forwards aren’t scoring. And only Felix is showing glimpses that he may find his footing.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mykhaylo Mudryk, Noni Madueke, David Datro Fofana... all nothing.
So it doesn’t matter if Enzo Fernandez looks the real deal or that Reece James is back and looking electric. It matters little that Thiago Silva is organizing the back and Kepa Arrizabalaga -- at least outside of a mistake Sunday -- is near his best.
Graham Potter’s not getting goals. And he’s got talent in bunches. Christian Pulisic must be so frustrated while waiting to heal...
Tottenham vs Chelsea player ratings: Stars of the Show
Harry Kane: If I’m Kane’s agent, I’m just cursing Erling Haaland. And probably Bukayo Saka as the new shiny English focal point. Because Kane is having an absolutely bonkers season and is a Spurs trophy away from being in a World Best XI.
Cristian Romero: If I was walking into an unavoidable fight, I would request this man join me. A wild card. A fireball. A force.
Enzo Fernandez: His huge price tag put to the side, the instant adjustment to the Premier League is uncanny for a player of his age who has been on three teams in three countries across two hemispheres while also playing in a World Cup on another continent.
Eric Dier: His best game in ages. Helps when Romero is bossing things on your right.
Chelsea gets a week to prepare for a visit from Leeds on Saturday. Surely...
Tottenham goes to Bramall Lane to meet Sheffield United in an FA Cup match on Wednesday before visiting Wolves on Saturday in Premier League play.
Graham Potter reaction: On his future, Thiago Silva injury update
“You can’t stop the questions. And while results like they are, you accept it. I haven’t done enough at this club to have too much good faith. I accept that. My job isn’t to worry too much about that. I understand the question but I have to keep focusing on the team and helping the players. They are good lads who want to win, but at the moment we’re suffering, and that is my responsibility.”
On Silva’s injury: “Thiago I’m not sure. Hopefully, it’s not too serious but I’ve not spoken to the doctor to have a diagnosis.”
Cristian Stellini reaction: Spurs forced to grow without Conte around
“Antonio called immediately after the game. He was really happy. Now is the moment and the week that Antonio will be back. We have to give many compliments to the players.”
“It is like a teenager that has to become mature. The team react in this way and they take a lot of responsibility. Everyone, players that play and players that are sometimes not playing. This is why I am glad to stay here and to keep the chair of Antonio warm.”
Oliver Skipp goal video: Unlikely scorer screams home opener
Harry Kane goal video: More misery for Spurs as Chilwell loses Kane
How to watch Tottenham vs Chelsea live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 8:30am ET, SundayTV Channel: USA NetworkOnline: Stream via NBCSports.com
Key storylines & star players
Spurs, well, they remain about Harry Kane. And it will need more from him as other positions in Spurs lineup take a hit. Rodrigo Betancur is out for the rest of the season and controlling the park at times will be about outproducing the opposition’s attackers rather than holding down the center of the park.
Chelsea is not scoring goals, at least not often or at anywhere near the rate we expect from the club that’s given us so many wondrous goals from Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, and others over the years. Hakim Ziyech has been cueing up chances when active and Kai Havertz seems the best bet to go on a heater, but Chelsea’s key pieces have been players like Thiago Silva and Kepa Arrizabalaga at the back end; Chelsea’s scores have largely been the Matrix, zeroes and ones.
Tottenham team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: Rodrigo Bentancur (torn ACL – out for season), Hugo Lloris (knee), Yves Bissouma (ankle), Ryan Sessegnon (thigh)
Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup options
OUT: N’Golo Kante (hamstring), Christian Pulisic (knee), Edouard Mendy (shoulder), Cesar Azpilicueta (head), Armando Broja (knee)