Tottenham Hotspur’s dreams of climbing back to the top of the Premier League standings were spectacularly crushed on Monday when they lost 4-1 at home against Chelsea in a tense London derby that they played with nine men.
Though few could have predicted how it would be accomplished on a mind-boggling night in north London, Mauricio Pochettino got the biggest result of his brief Chelsea stay with a hat-trick from Nicolas Jackson, making it a successful homecoming to Spurs.
After only six minutes, Tottenham, who had not lost before, took the lead thanks to a deflected drive from Dejan Kulusevski. However, a few minutes later, Son Heung-min’s second goal was disallowed for offside.
However, the hosts’ night fell apart in scenes reminiscent of the notorious Battle of the Bridge in 2016, when Chelsea dashed Pochettino’s Tottenham team’s title ambitions.
Following a VAR review for a reckless tackle that led to Cole Palmer’s penalty kick, Cristian Romero was sent off, and Spurs then lost two players to injury.
Ten minutes after the interval, Destiny Udogie received a second yellow card, leaving the hosts scrambling to salvage a point.
After yet another VAR offside check, Jackson’s close-range strike gave Chelsea the lead in the 75th minute, finally making their numerical advantage count.
Robert Sanchez stopped Son’s attempt in dead time, and Eric Dier, a replacement for Tottenham, had an equaliser ruled out for offside. Jackson then sealed the victory with two extra-time goals in front of the jubilant Chelsea supporters.
Spurs are now one point behind champion Manchester City in second place with 26 points from 11 games, following the Australian Ange Postecoglou’s first league loss.
Chelsea improved to 10th place with 15 points after their fourth victory of the year.