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Editor's Choice, Featured, Sport

Tottenham deserved so much more on Sunday

Posted: August 22, 2017 at 2:33 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Tottenham occupied Chelsea’s half for large swaths of Sunday’s season home opener at Wembley Stadium, yet still succumbed to a 2-1 loss in the dying moments of the match.

It was a scene reminiscent of the FA Cup semifinal lost in the spring, where Tottenham lost 4-2 to their cross-city rivals under a similar set of circumstances.

In that match, it was Willian in the role of Marcos Alonso. First a stunning free-kick gave Chelsea the lead, before he did the same with a penalty just before half-time.

Between both goals and again afterward, Harry Kane and Dele Alli scored equalizing goals to keep Tottenham very much in the contest. Before the late introduction of Eden Hazard — who scored one goal and assisted another in the final quarter hour of play — Spurs looked the more likely to take and hold a lead.

That result further entrenched the idea that Tottenham were suffering through the first signs of a Wembley curse as if the England national team’s ground was conspiring to see Mauricio Pochettino’s side fail.

Sunday’s match was Spurs’ first Premier League match played at their temporary home, and it was always going to be framed around the supposed curse. Pochettino went out of his way to dismiss the curse, preemptively pointing the finger at himself and his team for any failure to get a result on the ground.

It would be unduly harsh to be too critical of Sunday’s performance, however, even if plenty have tried. Spurs dominated most every metric available, including possession, shots on goal and total passes. They were the better team throughout the match, with Chelsea once again only winning from well-taken free-kicks, uncommon defense errors, and late-game theatrics.

But why did such a similar scenario play out again on the Wembley pitch? Let’s breakdown some of the more common criticisms of Spurs’ performance and see if they hold water.



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