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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Tottenham ends Chelsea’s EPL win streak

Dele Alli celebrates after opening the scoring for Tottenham
Dele Alli notched his third brace in as many matches as Tottenham beat Chelsea 2-0 to end the Premier League leaders’ 13-game win streak and cut into their lead at the top of the table. Alli twice headed home from Christian Eriksen crosses as Mauricio Pochettino’s team finally got the better of Chelsea, the win marking just the second victory in Spurs’ last 14 games against their London rivals.

Tottenham are now 3rd in the table, having leapfrogged Arsenal and Man City with the win, and sit seven points behind the Blues. Eden Hazard nearly got Chelsea off to a dream start in the fourth minute, as a looping long ball freed the Belgian in the Tottenham penalty area, but his left-footed shot wasn’t well struck and rolled wide of Hugo Lloris’ goal. Chelsea looked dangerous on several counter-attacking opportunities in the opening 20 minutes, but the final ball was missing more than once as Tottenham largely kept the Blues attack at bay early on.

Spurs’ best chance of the first half came in the 23rd minute, when Christian Eriksen picked up an errant N’Golo Kante pass, dribbled toward the Chelsea goal and fired a well-hit right-footed shot that skipped just wide of the left post. Diego Costa blazed wastefully over Hugo Lloris’ crossbar in the 35th minute, after Hazard picked out his Spanish teammate at the top of the penalty area. Eric Dier had a good chance at a Spurs opener late in the first half, the England international getting free at the back post and forcing a save from Thibaut Courtois with a headed attempt from a set piece.

Minutes later, Tottenham would find a first, when Eriksen picked out Dele Alli with a curling ball into the area for the 20-year-old to power a header past Courtois to make it 1-0 at half-time. Chelsea came out firing in the second half, with Costa forcing Lloris into a diving save with a shot from distance and Hazard heading a close-range attempt at the back post into the side netting to no avail.

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