By Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 2 v Spurs 2
Spurs came from 2-0 down to get a respectable 2-2 draw against the Champions of Europe at Stamford Bridge tonight.
The cliche that it was a game of two halves perfectly summed up the evening, with the Blues dancing their way through the north Londoners in the opening 45 minutes.
A host of changes by the home side in the second inevitably resulted in a fractured performance which Spurs took full advantage of.
There was a well observed taking of the knee before the kick off.
But when the whistle was blown, the match erupted into a fierce, testy encounter where there was no such thing as a taking it easy for the for 20 minutes or so in this pre-season friendly.
The quality of play was poor, but with both sides exercising a counter-attack policy, it was inevitable the early exchanges would be midfield dominated.
But with 10 minutes in, Hakim Ziyech tried a trademark cut-in from the right, and curler from distance. Sadly for him and the vocal crowd, the ball sailed into the back of the Shed.
He made up for it five minutes later, when Spurs were dispossessed in midfield by N’Golo Kante. The Frenchman fed the wide man, who raced through the centre of the Spurs half, before arrowing a low drive past Pierluigi Gollini to open the score.
He was inches away on 21 minutes from doubling the lead, but his effort zipped past Gollini’s right post.
Spurs looked bereft of ideas as the Chelsea midfield continued to overpower them. In the continued absence of Harry Kane, their attacking ability looked sorely depleted with Son looking somewhat lost.
Timo Werner was adjudged to be offside on 22 minutes after he skilfully tucked the ball home.
Toni Rudiger saw a powerful header from a Ziyech corner follow Ziyech’s earlier effort into the Shed.
Chelsea head coach opted to bring on Tiemoue Bakayoko and Christian Pulisic at half-time – Hudson-Odoi and Kante made way while Spurs replaced Hojbjerg with Harry Winks.
Within seconds of the restart Bakayoko gave the ball away allowing Spurs to attack. The ball fell to Son, but Trevoh Chalobah was on hand to block the open goal chance away.
But a blistering counter-track four minutes in saw a host of players take their part in Chelsea’s second goal, which ended up with Ziyech slotting home from just inside the Spurs penalty area.
Spurs pulled a goal back after Bakayoko again lost the ball, this time much further up the pitch. But there was plenty of time to stop the Lucas Moura shot which took a massive deflection off Rudiger before looping past Mendy on 55 minutes.
The next raft of substitutions for the Blues saw Tammy Abraham, Davide Zappacosta, Kenedy, Malang Sarr, Tino Anjorin, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Ethan Ampadu come on.
Werner, Alonso, Havertz, Ziyech, Kovacic, Zouma and Rudiger left the field.
A wonderful, tenacious and powerful run by Anjorin, could have seen him rewarded with a goal, but Gollini managed to get a low, deep right hand to the left-footed curler on 66 minutes.
Spurs levelled almost as an afterthought when Bergwijn took advantage of slack defending on the Chelsea right, and he thumped a low drive between Mendy’s legs with 20 minutes left.
Abraham was unlucky not to restore the hime side’s lead – Gollini feet doing the blocking at his near post.
American Matt Miazga got a 10-minute run out at the Bridge, replacing Trevoh Chalobah, while Dane Scarlett and Serge Aurier came on for Bergwijn and Matt Doherty.
The game petered out to a respectable draw.
Mendy, Zouma, Chalobah, Rudiger, Hudson-Odoi, Kovacic, Kante, Alonso, Ziyech, Havertz, Werner.
Subs: Kepa Bettinelli, Sarr, Ampadu, Zappacosta, Miazga, Loftus-Cheek, Bakayoko, Anjorin, Kenedy, Pulisic, Batshuayi, Abraham
Gollini, Doherty, Tanganga, Dier, Reguilon, Skipp, Hojbjerg, Dele, Bergwijn, Lucas, Son
Subs: Whiteman, Aurier, Rondon, Omole, Davies, Carter-Vickers, Sissoko, Winks, John, Clarke, Scarlett
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