6 Interceptions & 2 headers, as Nemanja Matic proves key in Spurs win

Nemanja Matic

Nemanja Matic was at his usual best as Jose Mourinho's Chelsea brushed aside London rivals Tottenham.

Chelsea extended their unbeaten run to 23 games in all competitions on Wednesday night, with a 3-0 win over Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham at Stamford Bridge. 

Two goals in three minutes from Eden Hazard and Didier Drogba gave the hosts a healthy half-time lead, before Loic Remy added a third with just under 20 minutes remaining.

Just as he has done since his return to Stamford Bridge in January, Nemanjic Matic provided the base for Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side to inflict maximum damage.

With his performances over the current season, he is continuing to prove there is not better defensive-midfielder in the country; against Spurs he only furthered his case.

The Serbian breaks up opposition moves and starts attacks with clockwork efficiency – providing the perfect balance between the Chelsea back-four and front-five. Tactically adept and physically commanding, he denied the likes of Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen space in between the lines all evening.

  PositionTouchesTotal PassesPass Accuracy (%)Aerial WonInterceptionTackles WonDribblesMins Played
Nemanja Matic MF 53 32 81 2 6 1 3 90

Spurs dominated possession (61%) yet rarely troubled Thibaut Courtois in the Chelsea goal. The Lilywhites managed ten attempts, just two of which were on target, and this was largely due to the presence of Matic.

He won two headed duels in the centre of the park, while making one tackle and a match-best six interceptions. Nonetheless, his passing was unusually inaccurate. Here he completed just 82% of his 32 attempts to pick out a team-mate.

While the 26-year-old cuts a dominant figure in defence, he also offers plenty going forward. In his attempts to create space he completed three take ons - bettered only by Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Spurs’ Harry Kane.

It was another fine performance from the Serbian, who continues to play an integral role in Chelsea’s relentless title challenge.

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