A 3-0 defeat to Chelsea on Wednesday means Tottenham Hotspur's awful record at Stamford Bridge during the Premier League era stretches on. But on another night, with a little more luck, Mauricio Pochettino's men could have put an end to a hoodoo Spurs fans will want to see the back of.
Tottenham have endured a hit-and-miss campaign to date, but there are signs things are changing for the better, not least the fact their boss appears to have settled on a centre-back pairing with considerable potential.
Summer signing Federico Fazio was the scapegoat for some poor defensive performances earlier this season, but the Argentine is now settling into the back-line and again put in a good individual performance against Chelsea.
Fazio had a passing accuracy of 90 per cent - impressive when you consider the pressure Chelsea's players will always put on an opposing defence. He also made more outfield blocks than any other Spurs defender and won twice as many duels as Jan Vertonghen, Ben Davies and Vlad Chiriches.
|Passing Accuracy||Outfield Blocks||Tackles Won||Effective Clearances||Effective Head Clearances||Duels Won||Aerials Won||Interceptions Won||Mins Played|
Fazio also won more interceptions and more tackles than his fellow centre-back, while he made an impressive 10 clearances in total (six with his feet and four with his head).
In short, Fazio can no longer be used as the scapegoat for Tottenham's defensive struggles. He has settled well and looks impressive when you consider the 27-year-old has only made 11 appearances for the North London club.
In time there is no reason he and Vertonghen cannot develop a partnership every bit as effective as the best the Premier League has to offer.