Five things we learned about Chelsea against Tottenham

Fernando Torres

The Blues came from a goal down to salvage a point against Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side escaped White Hart Lane with a point on Saturday, after a second-half John Terry header salvaged a 1-1 draw against Tottenham.

The Blues now sit third in the Premier League table on 11 points, two behind Spurs. Fernando Torres’ sending off played a part in the result, while the west London visitors had the chances to potentially win all three points in the second half.

Here are five observations about Mourinho’s men from the draw.

John Obi Mikel ineffective and wasteful

Chelsea were second best in the first half, as Tottenham not only nullified their attacking intent but looked the more dangerous team. Christian Eriksen, Mousa Dembele and Gylfi Sigurdsson found space between the Blues’ midfield and defence, an area that John Obi Mikel patrolled in front of the Chelsea back four.

Mikel was also guilty of being wasteful in possession, trying long diagonal passes but only gifting the ball back to Spurs. When Ramires was brought back alongside Frank Lampard in the second half, Chelsea looked like a much more rounded side.

Fernando Torres getting back to his best?

The headlines will be about Fernando Torres’ red card, with the Spaniard not covering himself in glory with a scratch on Jan Vertonghen’s face either. However, the passion and determination of the Spaniard will come as a sign of positivity for the Chelsea fans.

The former Liverpool striker looked like Chelsea’s most dangerous player in the second half. He turned Michael Dawson inside out to fashion a chance for himself and rounded Vertonghen to square for Oscar also. Torres may well be banned now, but has looked like he is getting back to his best over the last couple of performances.

Juan Mata’s quality important for Chelsea

The Spaniard has been out of the first-team reckoning since Jose Mourinho’s return to Stamford Bridge, but came on in the second half here to make a positive impact.

Mata’s delivery from set pieces was inch perfect, one of which led to the Blues’ equaliser. In open play the diminutive Spaniard also looked like a threat, and will surely now play a key role in the side’s quest for honours this term.

Eden Hazard yet to star this term

Much has been made of Mata’s exclusion, but Eden Hazard’s inclusion could well be disputed as a question mark also. With the wealth of talent available for the attacking midfield slots, the Belgian continues to be selected despite not being at his best.

Hazard was largely frustrated by the dogged Kyle Walker before being withdrawn and offered little to the Blues’ attack. Undoubtedly immensely talented, Hazard has failed to live up to his billing so far this season.

Too many players the problem?

Although Chelsea are third in the standings, their start to the new campaign has not been overly impressive. Mourinho has admitted that he is unsure as yet of his best starting XI, which is understandable given the sheer number of players he has at his disposal.

With the likes of £30 million signing Willian and Kevin de Bruyne not even making the matchday squad, Mourinho seemingly has too many players to choose from. With the team constantly being changed, it limits the chance for certain players to gather momentum and form.

image: © wshjackson

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