Acosta salutes visitors for taking punches

Trevoh Chalobah and Nicolas Jackson scored as Chelsea dealt a huge blow to Tottenham’s Champions League hopes with a 2-0 win over Mauricio Pochettino’s old club at Stamford Bridge.

Exactly eight years after the memorable ‘Battle of the Bridge’ between the sides, which saw nine Spurs players booked in a fiery 2-2 draw that confirmed Leicester City as champions, Chelsea inflicted further misery on their rivals.

Spurs paid for poor defending midway through the first half when Chalobah headed in Conor Gallagher’s free-kick, before Jackson struck in the 72nd minute when Cole Palmer rattled the crossbar from another dead ball.

Ange Postecoglou’s side have been far from their best and have now lost three games in a row in the Premier League. They remain fifth, seven points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa with just one game remaining.

Chelsea, meanwhile, climb above West Ham to eighth place, just three points behind Manchester United in sixth.

The Blues came agonizingly close to taking a fifth-minute lead when Jackson raced through goal to curl home his try under Guglielmo Vicario, but Micky van de Ven raced back to clear the lead off the line and Palmer was able to grab the rebound don’t get away with it.

Chelsea were ahead after 24 minutes, however, when Chalobah met Gallagher’s deep free-kick with a header into the top right corner. The goal was confirmed by VAR after a check for a possible foul by Marc Cucurella.

Mykhailo Mudryk went close with a curling effort as Tottenham continued to toil. The visitors’ best chance of the first half came when Cristian Romero headed Pedro Porro’s free-kick wide.

Ange Postecoglou cut an animated figure before half-time and his side improved after the restart, but Chelsea could have gained a second when Palmer fired over after a promising break.

Chelsea doubled their lead with 18 minutes to play, with the opportunistic Jackson heading into an unguarded net after Palmer’s free-kick clattered against the woodwork while Vicario was at full steam.

Tottenham never seemed to respond from then on, and they now need a minor miracle to secure a place in the top four.

Pochettino pursues former employers

Having also overseen Chelsea’s memorable 4-1 win in November’s return leg at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Pochettino completed a league double against his former employers.

He is the first coach to ever beat Spurs home and away in a single Premier League campaign, having previously coached them in the competition.

The Argentinian’s first season at Stamford Bridge may not have gone entirely to plan, but green recovery points could emerge in the final weeks of the season.

After a run of one win in fourteen Premier League home games between March and November last year (seven draws, six defeats), Chelsea – who next face West Ham – have now won eight of their last ten at home (one draw). , one defeat).

Set pieces cost Spurs

Tottenham have a set-piece problem. Arsenal ruthlessly took advantage of some weak ball from their neighbors to score two goals from corners in Sunday’s north London derby, and on Thursday it was two free-kicks that canceled out Postecoglou’s men.

Prior to this match, Spurs have conceded 12 goals, excluding penalties, in the Premier League this season. Only Manchester United (15.3) and Burnley (14.9) had allowed opponents from such situations a higher cumulative expected goals (xG) than their 14.3.

They haven’t learned their lesson, Emerson Royal and Brennan Johnson getting nowhere near Chalobah as he headed home from a routine delivery to the back post for the opener.

Those slim margins could prove incredibly expensive, with Tottenham now far behind top-four rivals Aston Villa, with tough games against Liverpool and Manchester City ahead.