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Tottenham 1-2 Chelsea: 5 talking points

Monday 21st August 2017
The Wembley hoodoo for temporary Premier League tenants persists. An entertaining, frenetic clash ended Tottenham 1-2 Chelsea.

Victor Wanyama's woeful performance to Marcos Alonso's response regarding Antonio Conte's doubts, here are five talking points from the game.

Meek Morata

Alvaro Morata talked a big game, saying he wanted to "explode" his career. On this day, he failed to deliver on his promise. While he was on the pitch, the Spaniard was bullied, out-muscled, and out-maneuvered by Spurs' defenders. Morata simply looked off the pace.
His glaring miss on the rare opportunity isolated strikers must take encapsulated his lacklustre performance. Unmarked, unchallenged, with time aplenty, Chelsea's £60 million man inexcusably headed wide from six yards out. It was early but you may never get another chance against a top side. He didn't.

Woeful Wanyama

Victor Wanyama was last season's transfer bargain. At £11 million, the Kenyan was astonishingly good value for the money. In 2016-17, he formed a daunting partnership with Moussa Dembele. Against the Blues, that partnership was a one-man team. Dembele did his part. Wanyama was slow in possession, lazy in tracking back, hardly the powerful dictator he was last season. Although it was one Hugo Lloris knows he should have stopped, Wanyama's poor touch allowed David Luiz to win the ball and spark the sequence that led to Chelsea's winning goal.
All the hard work his teammates had done to level the match was undone. If one was to judge a transfer's value from a single match, it would be Southampton who won a bargain.

Impressive turn-around, Chelsea

Chelsea did not play well, but they ground out a very impressive result. Fielding a much-weakened side, lacking Eden Hazard's dynamism, Cesc Fabregas' craft, and Gary Cahill's authority, the Blues looked cohesive, united. Theirs was an ugly display predicated on counter-attacks and defensive solidarity, but it worked.
Antonio Conte needs such results to keep his champions in the title race until the cavalry arrives, Tiemoue Bakayoko is fully-fit, and Morata is firing on all cylinders.

Amazing Alonso stakes claim

Chelsea's search for new full-backs has been well documented. Conte unsurprisingly looked to Juventus for his prime candidate: Sandro. A deal does not look likely, the Italian giants demanding £60 million. Yet, Chelsea is still looking. A move for Danny Rose has been mooted, some outlets suggesting a deal will be submitted later today.

It's odd Conte has sought a left-back following a season in which Alonso impressed. The left-back's two goals at Wembley--a sumptuous free-kick and a bullet shot under an embarrassed Hugo Lloris cast such a desire only add to the perplexity.
The Spaniard is very accomplished as both a full and wing back. Obviously, he has the attacking potency few others can claim. His attacking instinct is well-balanced with a keen tactical awareness. Alonso is one of the best left-backs in the league, if not the world. It bemuses that Conte does not appear to agree.

Spurs to spend?

Pochettino is targeting a Premier League title. Under Daniel Levy's fiscal prudence, no such title will arrive. Only until Spurs spend money--well-invested money, mind--will they stand a chance. Another striker and another central midfielder are needed, at the least.
Pochettino has constructed a marvellously well-drilled and efficient Spurs team, but rival sides are catching up while the London outfit remains static. Further lack of investment will ruin any progress made by the Argentinian.
Michael Jones

Football & political writer with a predictable love of everything retro. English Literature undergraduate at the University of Exeter, looking to pursue a career in sports journalism. For a collection of my work, visit. http://mikejonesmedia.wordpress.com

Follow me on twitter: @jonesmichael_97

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