Jose Mourinho hasn’t always got what he wanted in the past few years, but he did manage to fulfil his desires on Sunday afternoon.
Mourinho’s Tottenham travelled to Stamford Bridge wanting a point and that’s exactly what they got, putting in the type of stoic defensive performance that is so hard to find in the modern Premier League.
Set up in a deep low block, every member of the team played their part in this defensive masterclass. From Harry Kane, who dropped into the defensive unit as soon as Spurs lost possession, to Hugo Lloris, who made a fine save to deny Mason Mount in the closing exchanges.
However, it could have all been so different for Mourinho’s charges. Spurs’ start to the game was far from inspirational with their opponents stringing together several dangerous sequences. None were more promising than the one that led to Timo Werner caressing the ball past Lloris in the 11th minute.
Fortunately, the footballing gods were smiling on Tottenham and Joe Rodon in particular, whose lax defending led to the chance. Much to the relief of the white corner of the capital, the German’s strike was correctly ruled out for offside. This was exactly the jolt in the back that Spurs needed and things were seriously tightened up thereafter.
Moussa Sissoko’s recovery runs from midfield helped Serge Aurier keep Werner quiet with that early effort turning out to be the only shot the 24-year-old took during the entire game. Rodon was also near-faultless after his early error. He was calm in possession, registered a block as well as two interceptions. Not bad for a maiden Premier League start.
It wasn’t all about defending for Tottenham either. Inside 10 minutes, the Blues were given their first warning of Spurs’ threat in transition. Seconds after Chelsea surrendered possession, a combination of Tanguy Ndombele, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane managed to work the ball to Steven Bergwijn in a flurry of vertical passing and driving runs.
Although Bergwijn did not manage to hit the target, it was a sign of his side’s danger and it would not be the last time Spurs threatened. Aurier also had a fierce effort kept out by Edouard Mendy early on.
Overall, Mourinho will be ecstatic with the point. Despite Chelsea boasting well over £200m worth of new attacking talent in their ranks, the Blues never seriously looked like scoring after Werner’s disallowed goal.
It’s not often that your side get such an early wake up call without any disadvantages and Spurs’ looked unbeatable after receiving this reprieve.