Goals from Eden Hazard, Didier Drogba and Loic Remy kept all three points at Stamford Bridge, but Spurs were arguably the better team for much the game.
Harry Kane was unfortunate to not open the scoring on two separate occasions, with his header against the crossbar preceding a shot the youngster drilled wide after a strong run. Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason impressed in the midfield against Premier League greats Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic, and it was two moments of individual brilliance - and an error from Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris - that clinched the victory for the Blues.
Having overcome Everton at the weekend after going behind, the Lilywhites never gave up the cause in West London, and they continued looking for the opening despite being two goals down from an early stage. Whilst the third goal all-but killed the game off, head coach Mauricio Pochettino has right to be pleased by the progress shown by his side in recent weeks. Against any other opposition the North Londoners surely would have come away with a result, and they enter Saturday’s game with Crystal Palace with a true gameplan and a seemingly settled starting XI.
Thankfully for Pochettino, that starting XI involves Nabil Bentaleb, who has started to feature consistently following his return from injury. Playing in the middle of the park, Bentaleb will be looking to continue his return to full-fitness with another strong display against the Eagles, and he spoke to the official Spurs website after the close of play yesterday to discuss the defeat at Chelsea’s hands.
“We started well and had some chances but unfortunately we didn’t take them,” the Algerian international admitted.
“It was difficult at 2-0 but we just tried to keep playing. I think we produced some good moments but we didn’t manage to score.
“That’s football, sometimes it goes well, sometimes it goes against you but the important thing is you keep your head up at all times.”
The signs were promising at Stamford Bridge, but Bentaleb outlined the desire to keep improving, with the game against Palace just days away.
The youngster added: “We’ll go back to the training round, work hard and we have another game to prepare for now against Palace on Saturday.
“It’s all about Palace now. We had a good win against Everton, didn’t win tonight and now it’s about picking our heads up and working hard for the next game.”