Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham: Hakim Ziyech stunner sets the tone for a big win
Hakim Ziyech curls in the opening goal against Tottenham Hotspur: Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Chelsea won their first Premier League win of 2021 with a convincing victory over Champions League chasing Tottenham Hotspur.

Hakim Ziyech took the roof of Stamford Bridge with a sensational opener at the start of the second-half before Thiago Silva doubled the shortly after. 

While it is the first defeat in the league for Spurs boss Antonio Conte, it is also the third time he has lost to his former employers in the past month – following back-to-back disappointments against Thomas Tuchel's men in the Carabao Cup semi-finals. 

This is Chelsea's final league match before they head off to play in the delayed Club World Cup tournament and it was a wonderful way to temporarily sign things off. It was a display reminiscent of the title-chasing team that we all thought they were just a month or so ago. 

Story of the match

Tuchel made two changes from the team that disappointingly drew 1-1 against Brighton & Hove Albion. In came Malang Sarr – who turned 24 today – at the expense of Marcos Alonso, while Matteo Kovacic  replaced N'Golo Kante

Conte surprised everybody by naming six defenders in his starting line-up. Bergwijn was rewarded for his late heroics against Leicester City with a start in attack alongside Kane. 

Of those six defenders, Matt Doherty was tasked with playing on the right-hand side of a 4-4-2 – a formation change no doubt inspired by Tuchel's tactics in the recent match-up. 

Straight from the kick-off, Romelu Lukaku spooned a first-time effort over the bar after Mason Mount picked out the much-talked about forward with a well-timed cross. 

Just a few minutes later, Hakim Ziyech curled a delightful ball to the back post but Callum Hudson-Odoi couldn't get the right purchase on his header, under pressure from Japhet Tanganga

Spurs weathered the early Chelsea storm and created a good opening on 13 minutes through Harry Winks.

The midfielder carried the ball down the centre of the pitch but his left-footed shot felt rather reluctant, and it was a fairly routine save for Kepa Arrizabalaga

Conte would have been pleased with his team's organisation in the early stages, however, his heart must have skipped a beat when Doherty lunged rather recklessly into Sarr.

The Irishman escaped without a card but he could quite easily have seen red. Not the nicest birthday present for the Chelsea defender!

After a lull in the goalmouth action, the hosts began to turn the screw once more on the half-four but, yet again, Lukaku fluffed his lines from a presentable position – failing to make clean contact on another excellent Mount cross. 

Lukaku's wastefulness in a game of this magnitude would always be a cause of concern for the home fans, and their worries were almost realised as Ryan Sessegnon dragged an effort wide after bursting in behind Antonio Rudiger.

Just moments later, Harry Kane thought he had put his team ahead with a calm finish from point-blank range, however, the England striker was adjudged to have pushed Thiago Silva out of the way before he found the back of the net. 

Harry Kane clashes with Paul Tierney after his goal is ruled out for a foul: Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Tuchel would have asked for his men to replicate their strong start to the first-half and Ziyech certainly took that message to heart. 

The Moroccan had been lively from minute one and, just a minute into the second period, he shifted inside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg before bending a delightful strike over Hugo Lloris from just outside the box. Credit should also go to Hudson-Odoi for his progressive run and cross-field pass to create the opportunity for Ziyech. 

Stamford Bridge was in full voice and Ziyech almost scored a quick-fire double from a similar position – forcing Lloris into a smart save. 

Chelsea were starting to run riot and Mount's fierce strike from distance dipped inches over the bar. 

Conte saw the tide turning quickly and summoned Skipp and Moura from the bench but the Italian was forced to endure more heartache before he could make his substitutions. 

Mount's inviting free-kick was emphatically met by the head of Thiago Silva, who guided his effort away from the diving Lloris. 2-0 to the Blues and it was no more than they deserved. 

Tanganga and Sessegnon made way for the visitors and Doherty slotted in at right-back, but there was little they could do to stop the Chelsea train now. Tuchel's team were in full-flow. 

All that was missing for the Blues was a Lukaku goal and the Belgian had another chance to throw that money off his back. He managed to spin in behind Davinson Sanchez but Lloris blocked the striker's effort at his near post. 

Tottenham tried to set up a grand-stand finish as Kane latched onto Winks' corner but Arrizabalaga reacted quickly to make a smart save. It was a rare threat from the visitors in a second-half where their cards truly did fold. 

Chelsea sit 10 points behind Manchester City (57 to 47) – having played a game more than the table-toppers – while Spurs sit in 7th on 36 points. Tottenham do have four games in-hand on Chelsea, however, so they still have it in their hands to break into the top-four. 

The two teams aren't too far away in terms of points but they were miles apart on the field. It was a harsh reminder of reality for Spurs fans. They have dared to dream under Conte's management but the current squad is a long way from any kind of silverware. 

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