Chelsea moved joint top of the table - alongside Liverpool - following a 3-0 win at Tottenham where both teams paid tribute to the late Jimmy Greaves.
On the morning of the contest it was announced that the legendary England striker had passed away at the age of 81 and it was fitting that supporters from two of his former clubs joined together to salute his genius ahead of kick off.
It looked like there would be a goal-fest in his honour too as the sides made bright, attacking starts with Spurs in particular penning the Blues back with a high press from their front three.
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However, the much-anticipated shoot-out pitting Harry Kane against Romelu Lukaku failed to materialise and the best opportunity of note in the first period came just past the half hour when Heung-Min Son’s heavy touch allowed Kepa – in for the injured Edouard Mendy – to smother at his feet.
Chelsea came out with a renewed approach following the break and the introduction of N’Golo Kante proved key. Thomas Tuchel's men took the lead four minutes after the restart when Thiago Silva thumped home a header from a left-wing corner before Kante doubled the advantage with a heavily deflected 25-yard strike soon after.
Spurs offered little to suggest they could launch a realistic recovery and in added time Toni Rudiger put the seal on what is a sixth successive away win in London derbies for the first time in their history.
The result means Chelsea move joint top with Liverpool. Spurs are four points further back in seventh.
Chelsea will now switch focus to an EFL home clash with Aston Villa on Wednesday prior to hosting Man City in a mouth-watering league match on Saturday. Spurs visit Wolves in the EFL Cup before visiting Arsenal in the North London derby on Sunday.
Chelsea look ominous. On the day that one of the game’s greatest ever strikers passed on, it was strange that a match between two of his former teams didn’t involve a goal from one of their big-name strikers. Indeed, the only thing missing from another statement performance from Chelsea was a strike from Lukaku, who couldn’t put the icing on the cake despite threatening on various occasions late on.
Spurs caught the Blues out with a clever game-plan in the first half but Tuchel once again demonstrated the adaptability and sheer overall quality of his squad as they went from keeping a dominant Spurs out in the first 45, to completely bossing it in the second. Chelsea now have an identical record to Liverpool at the summit of the table but they have notably already played some of their most difficult away matches on paper. Tuchel’s men have now come away unscathed from Arsenal and Spurs, while their draw at Anfield saw them concede their only goal of the league season so far and they played much of that match with 10-men.
It’s already looking like being an exciting title race and Chelsea are going to be there or thereabouts on current evidence.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Thiago Silva (Chelsea). The veteran Brazilian helped repel Tottenham’s vibrant opening by showcasing his masterful defensive qualities before stepping up and providing a real threat in the opposite penalty box, capping it with the opening goal.
Thiago Silva of Chelsea celebrates, Tottenham vs Chelsea, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, September 19, 2021
Image credit: Getty Images
TOTTENHAM: Lloris 7, Reguilon 6, Romero 6, Dier 6, Emerson Royal 6, Hojbjerg 7, Ndombele 7, Alli 6, Lo Celso 6, Son 6, Kane 5. Subs: Gil 6, Skipp 6, Sanchez n/a.
CHELSEA: Kepa 7, Azpilicueta 7, Rudiger 8, Christensen 8, Thiago Silva 8, Alonso 8, Kovacic 7, Jorginho 7, Mount 6, Havertz 6, Lukaku 7. Subs: Kante 8, Werner 7.
33’ – TOTTENHAM CHANCE! NDombele and Lo Celso combine to free Son, but the forward's first touch is heavy and Kepa is out to make an important block.
47’ – CHELSEA CHANCE! Alonso meets a diagonal ball over the top on the stretch but sees his fizzing volley tipped over the top by Lloris.
49’ - GOAL! – Tottenham 0-1 Chelsea. Thiago Silva thumps a fine header into the bottom corner from Alonso's left-wing corner.
53’ – CHELSEA CHANCE! Dier somehow gets his body in the way to deny Alonso after the full back met a cut back from the right with a firm strike from close-in.
57’ - GOAL! – Tottenham 0-2 Chelsea. Kante's 25-yard strike hits Dier and flies into the opposite corner via the post.
75’ – CHELSEA CHANCE! Almost three! Thiago Silva meets a right-wing corner but Lloris shows great reflexes to push it away.
90+2’ - GOAL! – Tottenham 0-3 Chelsea. Rudiger guides a first-time effort into the bottom corner from Werner's smart cut back.
Aged 36 years and 362 days, Thiago Silva has become the second-oldest Chelsea player to score in the Premier League behind only Didier Drogba, who scored against Leicester City aged 37 years and 49 days in April 2015.
Kanté has scored his first goal in 49 Premier League appearances, last netting against Manchester City in November 2019; three of his last four goals in the competition have come from outside the box.
Chelsea have now won three successive Premier League matches versus Spurs for the first time since 2005.
Tottenham have lost consecutive Premier League matches by a 3+ goal margin for the first time since their opening two games of the 2011-12 campaign (0-3 vs Man Utd, 1-5 vs Man City.
Spurs have lost three London derbies in a row for the first time in 16 years.
Kane has failed to score in his first four Premier League appearances of a season for the first time since 2015-16, with the England striker attempting just four shots in this current campaign.
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