Frank Lampard trumped his former boss Jose Mourinho for the second time this season as Tottenham’s woes continue. It was another must-win match for Spurs that they failed to take advantage of in hopes of overtaking their London rivals for a place in the top four.
It is looking like a long and difficult remainder of the season for Mourinho’s men after a lifeless and sluggish performance against The Blues on Saturday, and there were reasons why the Portuguese may have got it wrong at Stamford Bridge.
With Tottenham’s injury list leaving the side with virtually no attacking options, Mourinho felt there was no other option but to play ultra-defensive in the London derby with a 5-4-1 formation.
The Spurs boss was arguably too negative in his approach towards his former club on Saturday. Chelsea’s attacking front offered limited pace with Olivier Giroud starting upfront, meaning Mourinho did not need to play five defenders that ultimately prevented the chance for Tottenham to attack.
It seemed that the Portuguese had set up his squad to defend for the majority of the match while attempting to threaten Chelsea on the counter-attack, which was clearly ineffective. Spurs managed just two shots from open play all game, with their only goal coming from Antonio Rudiger putting the ball into the back of his own net.
Excluding Dele Alli from the starting line-up on Saturday may have been Mourinho trying to prove a point after the midfielder’s antics against RB Leipzig on Wednesday, although, it may not have been the most convenient time to do it.
Despite being in poor form, this was Alli’s best chance to reinvigorate himself. The Spurs midfielder has scored five goals in his last six appearances against Chelsea leading up to the match and may well have been their best chance of getting a result if he had started.
The England international is also Tottenham’s leading scorer this season with seven goals behind absentees Harry Kane and Heung-min Son and could well have been a better alternative to Lucas Moura, who has scored a total of four league goals in the current league campaign.
Saturday was another performance from Lucas Moura where he failed create any threat from the front-line as he struggles to recapture his better form.
Despite not having a lot of attacking options, it was a surprise that Mourinho played Lucas for the full 90 minutes when the likes of Steven Bergwijn were taken off, who could have posed more of a threat in the dying moments of the match when Spurs went searching for a late equaliser.
A player who could skip past defenders with ease last season has seen this become his biggest challenge this season. The Brazilian has become a frustration to watch with his failure to beat defenders and only completed one successful dribble against Chelsea on Saturday while being dispossessed five times, the highest of any player in the Spurs side.