Mauricio Pochettino and his Tottenham gamers were serenaded with a painfully acquainted refrain because the misery and chaos that had been released by Chelsea’s victory used to be turned on them at deafening quantity.
“Tottenham Hotspur – it be took train again” thundered from all four facets of Stamford Bridge after Kieran Trippier’s slack comedy maintain goal secured a 2-0 elevate for Chelsea, which lifted the verbalize clouds over the club and manager Maurizio Sarri.
And it had took train again.
The title hopes, which were a lengthy-shot but restful accurate, were snuffed out on the enemy territory where they’d suffered a equal destiny in 2016, when an incendiary 2-2 contrivance containing 12 yellow playing cards secured the Premier League for Leicester Metropolis.
Spurs will now face, in a title context a minimum of, the conventional hackneyed allegations of “bottlers” and “Spursy” – insults to a team and manager who’ve, unless now a minimum of, saved up with the searing tempo position by Liverpool and Manchester Metropolis. It has been an achievement to carry on their shoulders for so lengthy.
- Title now no longer likely, says Pochettino
This is a team with one foot within the last eight of the Champions League as they elevate a 3-0 outcome in Borussia Dortmund, and heading within the true direction for a main four train again – so questions about their courage and personality must descend on stony ground.
Right here, however, in opposition to a reinvigorated Chelsea, there used to be absolute self assurance Spurs looked tired, uninspired – and the body language at the final whistle screamed that they now know the sport is up as they stand 9 ideas at the abet of Liverpool with 10 video games left.
Harry Kane, the talisman, looked ring-rusty after his lengthy wound absence; Son Heung-min might per chance perhaps no longer carry out the slack rescue acts he has specialised in fair within the near previous; Christian Eriksen used to be on the margins, and the power of Jan Vertonghen used to be overlooked.
Pochettino, who did no longer enter the markets within the summer or January, has managed his assets brilliantly, but this used to be an evening when he wanted a razor-keen Kane and it gave the impression his lay-off manner the stout chopping edge is no longer but restored.
Spurs have escaped only within the near previous as they showed resilience to raise slack in opposition to Watford and Newcastle United, and survive a fright in opposition to Leicester Metropolis.
No reprieve this time – and Spurs did no longer deserve one. They didn’t muster a shot heading within the true direction, a shimmering reflection of their lack of punch and creativity.
And their effort will have supreme elevated as it used to be all performed out to the soundtrack of Chelsea’s fans but again revelling in Spurs’ hassle.
This might perhaps per chance perhaps be a nice source of frustration to Pochettino and Spurs that they’ve attain up short within the title hasten but again. The Argentine might per chance perhaps no longer regard the FA Cup and Carabao Cup because the major prizes but he’s desperate to win the step forward within the Premier League and Champions League.
Spurs restful have the supreme trophy of all, the Champions League, in keen focus but they must in discovering freshness in their legs fast and hope for the swift return of the significant-overlooked Dele Alli.
And now, after wins for Arsenal, Manchester United and naturally Chelsea, Spurs need a behold over their shoulders at those coming up at the abet of them within the league.
Spurs meet Arsenal within the north London derby at Wembley on Saturday shimmering a elevate for Unai Emery’s aspect will set the Gunners fair a level at the abet of their arch-rivals, while Manchester United are on a surge after winning again at Crystal Palace.
It completely provides one other helping of spice to the Wembley sport, with Arsenal and their fans all of sudden believing they can haul within the feeble enemy after it looked take care of they were out of glimpse.
In the position of four days, Spurs’ title aspirations were left in tatters because the mood around Chelsea, while no longer precisely a carnival, represented a marked shift.
Sarri used to be on the rack after his maintain fans turned on him throughout the FA Cup fourth-round loss at home to Manchester United, while Kepa Arrizabalaga’s one-man riot at Wembley overshadowed so significant arresting work by manager and gamers within the Carabao Cup final loss to Manchester Metropolis.
In the background lurked recollections of the 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth and the 6-0 humiliation at Manchester Metropolis. The dapper money used to be on Sarri no longer surviving one other mishap right here.
Sarri, properly, punished Arrizabalaga by changing him with Willy Caballero, and Chelsea’s response used to be precisely what he (and arguably more importantly Chelsea’s prime brass) will have demanded and wanted after the carnage of most modern conditions.
And it all went fair true. Sarri infrequently decrease a silent resolve as he paced his technical position, but this elevate and performance manner he can leisure easy for at least about a more days as Chelsea manager.
Spurs, in distinction, drove out of west London shimmering the title must wait a minimum of 1 other year, and the combat is now referring to the tip four and the Champions League.