We battled to a 1-2 victory over Tottenham on Sunday. It was a keenly contested affair, with chances at both ends. We could have easily lost as we could have won with a wider margin. Credit to Tottenham for being a worthy opposition. It was our second match of the new league season, and very important we came out victorious.
Prior to the match, tongues were already wagging. Chelsea was ‘on the brink of a crisis’. Losing would only have served as confirmation of the rumours. We already lost our opening game against Burnley, in very controversial circumstances, but we needed to put it all in the past, and play for the future. If we had lost at Wembley, one of two things could have happened— we give credibility to talk of an internal crisis, which would have become evident, although it wasn’t there, because the media would have fed off it. From there on, our season could have taken a turn for the worse. Perhaps a replay of 2015/16.
Losing to Tottenham also might have demoralised the team greatly, especially with many key players unavailable. Belief would have waned, plunging us into depths undesired. Fortunately, Conte was able to get in the minds of his troops, and made sure belief was strengthened right in time.
The issue of our reputation was also at stake. We’ve always been a nemesis of some sort for Tottenham, beating them often in recent years. Our reputation was on the line, and having lost to them once last season, perhaps it might have served as a confidence boost to them if they got one over us early in the new season.
Our lads were strong. They were resilient, and they wanted to play for the club and themselves, and the victory although hard fought, was well deserved. Now, we must not rest on that success. We have to train harder. Work harder, and continue to push, after all we’re still playing catch up.
Next up for us is Everton, and we must take the spirit from Wembley back to Stamford Bridge.