Tony Cascarino pinpoints the midfielder who tilted balance for Tottenham against Chelsea (not Alli)
By Harry Sykes
Tony Cascarino hailed Christian Eriksen for tilting the balance in Tottenham’s favour in their momentous 2-0 Premier League win over Chelsea on Wednesday night.
Spurs blew the title race wide open by stopping Chelsea’s incredible winning sequence and ensuring their lead at the top was not extended beyond five points.
Two headed goals from man-of-the-moment Dele Alli, who has scored braces in each of Spurs’ last three matches, secured a fifth consecutive league victory for the home side at a raucous White Hart Lane.
But Sky Sports pundit and former Chelsea striker Cascarino pinpointed Denmark attacking midfielder Eriksen as the player who laid the foundations for the notable result in what was a closely fought encounter in which there was little time on the ball for the two teams.
“I often get asked how it is that footballers can play so many bad passes in one match, and the answer is pretty simple,” wrote Cascarino in the Times. “If the opposition are closing you down so that you have very little time and space to pick out a team-mate, then accurate passing or crossing can prove to be extremely hard.
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“That point was illustrated perfectly last night. For most of the first 45 minutes, play was really congested, but the moment that Chelsea allowed Christian Eriksen, the Spurs playmaker, the opportunity to get his head up in midfield he was able to pick out Dele Alli, who headed a fine goal.”
The Denmark international teed up Alli for his second goal early in the second half for what was his seventh league assist of the season and eighth in all competitions.
Like many of his teammates, Eriksen began the season slowly but he has progressed through the gears over the last month and is consistently displaying the form that has made him one of the league’s most creative players.
In addition to his assists, the 24-year-old has also scored seven goals from 26 matches, five of which have come in 19 league encounters.
The result at White Hart Lane means Chelsea lost the opportunity to go eight points clear but have ended the festive period five ahead of Liverpool in second.
Tottenham have leapfrogged Arsenal and Manchester City to be placed third in the table, where they are seven points adrift of their bitter London rivals in first.