Spurs produced one of their performances of the season on Wednesday night against the league leaders Chelsea, ending their Premier League winning run at thirteen games.
Mauricio Pochettino decided to name his starting eleven in a three at the back formation and match Antonio Conte in that respect. That tactical decision resulted in a very even game in the first half, Eden Hazard coming the closest for Chelsea in the opening stages, flashing an early effort past the post.
It was a first half of very few chances for either side, but it was Spurs who broke the deadlock on the stroke of half-time. Christian Eriksen was left with acres of space on the edge of the box, and was given enough time to whip a great ball into the box. Dele Alli rose the highest in between two defenders, and turned a header beyond Thibaut Courtois to give Tottenham the lead just before the break.
Chelsea came out of the blocks fast at the start of the second half, and Eden Hazard came close again for the Blues just after the break, but headed just wide from close range. Spurs stopped the early Chelsea charge, and it was Christian Eriksen that was the provider again for Spurs. He lofted the ball into the box, and it was Dele Alli who rose the highest to put Spurs two goals to the good.
Spurs defended extremely well in the second half to see out the win and get the three points. The Lilywhites will have Victor Wanyama to thank for an excellent performance. He bossed the midfield, and along with Dembele, cancelled out the influence of Matic and Kante in the Chelsea midfield.
Wanyama won a solid 50% of his tackles in what was a hotly contested midfield battle, and hardly put a foot wrong all game. The Kenyan completed two take ons, made one interception and four clearances. Here is how Spurs fans reacted on Twitter to Wanyama’s performance.
Wanyama is extremely underrated it’s unreal
— ♠♤ (@ffsabdi) 4 January 2017
All the ‘great’ sides have had a midfield enforcer.. Souness, Keane, Viera. Victor Wanyama could just be the difference for Spurs. #motd
— stuart scullion (@stuartscullion) 4 January 2017
Dele will get the plaudits. But Wanyama was my MOM. Absolutely colossal. #COYS
— Big Time (@big_time55) 4 January 2017
— Dean Wright (@deanwright_1982) 4 January 2017
Wanyama tonight showing why he is one of the signings of the summer #beast
— Jack (@jackjenkins19) 4 January 2017
Wanyama & Dembele really did a fantastic job anchoring the midfield today. Nullified Matic & Kante.
— Malik✨ (@EmmyJayyyy) 4 January 2017