Marcos Alonso’s double for Chelsea means more Wembley woe for Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur
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Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur 1 Chelsea 2
A Marcos Alonso brace helped Chelsea defeat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in the Premier League at Wembley Stadium, as the curse of the national arena appeared to strike again.
Michy Batshuayi put through his own net with eight minutes left to make it level in Brent before Hugo Lloris’ late mistake cost his team at least a point.
It saw what could have been a good afternoon for Mauricio Pochettino’s team turn sour, as they lost a home league match for the first time since May 2016.
After another poor result at Wembley, the supposed hoodoo talk will remain for a little longer, but it will need to be put to bed soon.
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Pochettino made two changes to the team which started the 2-0 win at Newcastle United last Sunday.
Kieran Trippier recovered from his ankle ligament injury to replace Kyle Walker-Peters, while Victor Wanyama came in for Moussa Sissoko.
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Spurs lined up in a 4-3-3 formation with Eric Dier, Mousa Dembele and Wanyama together in midfield.
Chelsea were without Eden Hazard, but did hand full debuts to Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alvaro Morata.
Antonio Conte decided to play what appeared a 5-3-1-1 formation at Wembley with Bakayoko, David Luiz and Kante in the middle.
Despite playing European fixtures at the national arena last season, this was Spurs first league match at Wembley and the club did their best to make it feel like home.
Tottenham fans were handed out flags and it helped create an electrifying atmosphere in the build-up to kick-off.
Both teams walked out to a rapturous reception ahead of the first league fixture at the stadium in its past life since December 6 1930 when Leyton Orient hosted Southend United for a Division Three South contest.
Spurs started tentatively, however, and Chelsea really should have taken the lead after just five minutes.
Cesar Azpilicueta, the Blues captain in the absence of the suspended Gary Cahill, crossed in and Morata stole in unmarked, but headed off target.
It was a big let-off for Tottenham, although in the 10th minute they created their first chance of the match.
Harry Kane turned well around 25-yards out, but Thibaut Courtois got down saving and gathering at the second attempt.
The nerves were still present for the hosts, however, as Lloris took too long with a clearance, but managed to grab the loose ball after Morata had blocked his kick.
Pochettino’s men began to settle a bit more with quarter of an hour played and a nice passage of play soon occurred, but ended with Dembele testing Courtois from range.
Yet just as Spurs appeared to be growing into the contest, Chelsea took the lead through an unlikely source.
First Victor Moses won a free kick on the right hand side following a Wanyama tackle and Tottenham could only clear it as far as Luiz.
The Brazilian cut inside Dele Alli and was caught, though went down easily and won Chelsea a free kick in a dangerous position.
Alonso stepped up to take it and from 20-yards, curled over the wall and into the top corner to silence the Spurs fans.
Tottenham did respond impressively and five minutes after the opener went close twice in quick succession.
Dier played in Kane on the right side of the penalty area first and he brushed past Antonio Rudiger before forcing Courtois into a save.
Spurs managed to keep the ball alive and Kane was played in again, yet this time he drilled past the post and the chance was gone.
A flurry of cautions occurred soon after with Rudiger and Dier going in the book of referee Anthony Taylor.
Chelsea managed to halt the flow of the game as the half drew to a close with Luiz and Bakayoko both needing treatment at separate intervals.
There was still time for Eriksen to show his class with a wonderful free kick delivery into the area, but no Tottenham player was able to get a crucial touch.
With three minutes of the first half left Spurs went even closer with Kane nearly grabbing that elusive August goal.
Alli turned majestically around 40-yards out and played in the Tottenham forward, who cut inside, but saw a shot hit the post and bounce away from danger.
It was all Spurs now, as Ben Davies came inside and forced Courtois to tip his powerful strike away for a corner.
Three minutes of additional time were added on at the end of the first 45 and Tottenham’s left-back saw another effort blocked.
From the resulting corner, Jan Vertonghen kept the ball alive on the left and got past Moses before crossing in where Dier poked over when under pressure from Luiz.
Taylor blew for half time soon after much to Spurs’ disappointment, as they were left to rue another set-piece goal by Chelsea.
Pochettino’s men managed to start the second half strongly with Kane wonderfully back heeling into Eriksen’s path after just 60 seconds, but the Dane had his shot blocked.
Spurs continued to pile on the pressure with a succession of corners, but they were unable to seriously test Courtois.
Vertonghen got lucky with 51 minutes on the clock when he caught Moses high and only received a booking, but Tottenham still remained on top.
Trippier got behind the Chelsea backline well five minutes later, but his centre was cut out with Kane lurking.
As the game past the hour mark, Conte’s team were sitting back and letting Spurs dictate the possession.
Tottenham were winning a number of corners, although failing to do much with them, as Chelsea defended resolutely.
Pochettino made his first change with 22 minutes remaining, as Heung-min Son came on for the already booked Dier.
It saw Spurs switch back to their usual 4-3-2-1 formation, but it was Chelsea who took control of the next exchanges.
Willian embarked on a fine run and played in Morata, but his effort was deflected wide after Tottenham’s centre-backs managed to crowd him out.
Chelsea’s Brazilian playmaker was starting to turn it on now, as he went on another mazy run and smashed an effort against the post with 73 minutes played.
It was a let-off for Spurs, though they didn’t seem able to make the most of it, as they started to look tired at Wembley.
Conte then made a strange double substitution with 12 minutes left, as the impressive Willian made way alongside Morata.
Pedro and Batshuayi came on before Sissoko was brought on by Pochettino in place of Davies with 10 minutes left.
Just as time seemed to be running out for Spurs and they looked short of ideas, they were given a helping hand in the 82nd minute.
Eriksen delivered a teasing cross from a free kick on the left and Batshuayi got his header all wrong and diverted past Courtois.
Wembley was alive now and Tottenham scented a chance of claiming the scalp of the Premier League champions.
It seemed like there would be another goal at the national arena and with two minutes left it occurred.
Lloris threw the ball out to Wanyama, but he got disposed by Luiz and the Brazilian passed into Pedro’s path.
The Chelsea substitute slipped in Alonso down the left and he drilled under Spurs’ goalkeeper and in.
Conte went crazy on the touchline and Pochettino showed his frustration, as his side had throw it away.
Vincent Janssen was the final role of the dice for Spurs, as four minute of additional time were added on.
It was to no avail, though, as the full time whistle soon followed to hand Tottenham a disappointing defeat at Wembley.
Spurs’ great record at home comes to an end and Pochettino will be looking for his side to bounce back when Burnley visit next Sunday.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Trippier (Janssen 90), Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies (Sissoko 80); Dier (Son 68), Wanyama, Dembele; Eriksen, Alli; Kane.
Unused substitutes: Vorm, Walker-Peters, Wimmer, Winks.
Chelsea: Courtois; Moses, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, Alonso; Bakayoko, Luiz, Kante; Willian (Pedro 78); Morata (Batshuayi 78).
Unused substitutes: Caballero, Musonda, Kenedy, Tomori, Scott.