EPL review: Did the top four just become a top three?


Chelsea have not been playing well recently but have still been picking up points, maintaining their unbeaten start. They showed a softness even in beating Crystal Palace 3-1. The lack of a killer instinct came to the fore even more obviously when they failed to score at home to plucky Everton.

Chelsea fans were already aware that while the league table doesn’t lie, it can eventually change its truth. Today at Wembley, some home truths came out at the home of English football.

The 3-1 loss to London rivals Tottenham did more than cost local pride in a derby, one which is more febrile than it really ought to be. It saw Spurs leapfrog them in the table and exposed to a wider public at least one flaw that had been apparent to Chelsea watchers this season.

That tough conclusion is that David Luiz is no longer good enough at this level. He was responsible in part for both goals when they failed to beat Manchester United at Stamford Bridge, and when outclassed by Liverpool.

Watching Spurs’ second goal today will be tough viewing for Blues boss Maurizio Sarri. Harry Kane’s shot from outside the box was neither fierce nor intimidating. Kepa’s view was blocked by Luiz who deliberately avoided a ball he should have easily blocked, nonchalantly pulling his rear end out the way. By the time Kepa saw the ball, it was too late.

That is not to say Chelsea were not also second best in other departments today but some of that can be put down to Spurs having a resurgence. Christian Eriksen started today and his omnipresence made Spurs a far more potent side than they are in his absence. If he can stay fit, there is still hope for this side, if not to catch Manchester City but at least to see off Arsenal and catch Liverpool.

Best of all for Tottenham fans is that Korean superstar Son Heung-min scored an incredible individual goal today, hopefully signalling that he is at last in sight of his wonderful 2017/18 season form.

Tottenham still need to strengthen in the next window.

But the need doesn’t look quite so great as it did this morning.


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