Spurs will not win the league: Three things learned about Tottenham in defeat to Chelsea

By Editor Wayne Veysey

Football Insider analyses three talking points from Tottenham’s 2-1 defeat against Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday.

Spurs will not win the league

It may seem an absurd over-reaction to rule Tottenham out of winning the league after their first defeat in the competition this season, at what was the 13th attempt. But Spurs have fallen seven points adrift of leaders Chelsea after they extended their miserable sequence of results of Stamford Bridge. Mauricio Pochettino’s side were excellent in the first half as they controlled the game against the division’s in-form team but, once Pedro equalised with the game’s second outstanding goal, there only looked to be one winner. Tottenham were Leicester’s main title challengers last season but it is impossible to see a repeat of a concerted challenge. They are a good side but goals are proving hard to come by and the squad does not appear strong enough to battle for anything other than a top-four place.

Eriksen stands up to be counted

There was little outcry in midweek when Christian Eriksen was omitted from the starting XI against Monaco as Spurs were eliminated from the Champions League. The Dane had not been great in the first three months of the season as even his set-piece expertise appeared to have deserted him. But a breather on Tuesday night paid dividends as the 24-year-old attacking midfielder broke the deadlock at the Bridge with a ferocious strike from outside the area. With his left foot. It was the first goal Chelsea had conceded in the league since 24 September and was Eriksen’s first in the Premier League this season. Spurs have been crying out for goals from their attacking midfielders in recent months and the playmaker had answered the call.

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Dier is not a top defender

How Tottenham have missed the excellence of Toby Alderweireld in their defeats against Monaco and Chelsea this week. Eric Dier has filled in for the last nine matches in the right-sided centre-back role but he lacks the Belgian’s mobility and exquisite reading of the game. This encounter showcased Dier’s shortcomings, particularly when he allowed Pedro oceans of space in which to line up a delightful curler for the equaliser. It appears that the England international is now far more at home in the midfield anchorman role.

In other Tottenham news, Spurs are to open talks with a 24-year-old south American and a four-year deal will be offered.