Chelsea’s 4-1 win over Tottenham on Monday will long be remembered as one of the most unique and entertaining matches in Premier League history, as ill-discipline and fearless tactics led to Spurs’ first defeat of the season.
In what became an extremely busy night for VAR, which checked a total of nine decisions in just the first half, Tottenham were reduced to nine men after defenders Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie were given their marching orders following reckless tackles.
And to make matters worse for Spurs, influential summer signings Micky van de Ven and James Maddison hobbled off with concerning injuries during the second half to leave Ange Postecoglou with a significant headache at 1-1.
But the Australian head coach, who has been praised so far this season for his progressive and attacking style of football, doubled down on his defensive strategy and deployed an extremely high line in a bid to catch Chelsea offside.
By the end of the game, Mauricio Pochettino’s men were breaking the Tottenham line with ease, and Chelsea striker Nicolas Jackson bagged the simplest of hat-tricks with a goal in the 75th minute and two more in added time.
Mail Sport readers are debating whether Tottenham’s 4-1 defeat by Chelsea was an example of bravery or stupidity, after Ange Postecoglou refused to adapt his approach after two red cards
Tottenham kept using a high defensive line against Chelsea even with nine men on the pitch
Was the strategy brave or downright stupid? Mail Sport readers had their say after the defeat
Despite the sizeable defeat, Tottenham were praised by fans and pundits such as Gary Neville for their attitude after losing two men, as the remaining Spurs players and cavalry from the bench worked tirelessly to keep Chelsea at bay for the majority of the second half.
Since the enthralling clash at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Mail Sport’s readers have debated whether the defeat was an example of Spurs’ bravery or naivety.
‘Great team spirit spurs have, they’ll be back,’ one Mail Sport reader posted on Monday.
‘Brave Spurs,’ another commented. ‘Down to barebones squad and knackered demoralised players. And super cool manager who doesn’t panic on a yellow card. All over guys. First time the manager lost a home game for three years.’
Even some Arsenal fans heaped praise on their bitter rivals after the courageous performance.
‘Wow what a game. Thoroughly enjoyed that,’ a Gunners supporter said. ‘Hard to say as an Arsenal fan, but Spurs deserved to come away with at least a point from that. However Romero is a thug who needs anger management!’
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Cristian Romero was the first to be sent off on Monday for a reckless tackle on Enzo Fernandez
Destiny Udogie was the second Spurs player to be sent off after being shown two yellow cards
More fans piled in after the enthralling clash to give their views on the Tottenham performance
Another reader added: ‘Tottenham always are their own worst enemy against Chelsea. Thuggery at its worse, most crazy match watched ever.’
One supporter, keen to offer a balanced viewpoint on both teams, commented: ‘This is what I saw. Spurs are a very good team already (were the last unbeaten team left in the league), and they blew up the engine tonight by over throttling too early.
‘They will be all right, mind you. Pochettino is finally cleaning up the mess left at Chelsea by their previous managers (it took him 11 full matches) as his players have full belief in his system, and they will improve. Both Chelsea and Tottenham will be in the hunt all the way to the end of the season.’
A Tottenham fan heaped praise on the team and said: ‘Very gutsy performance from Spurs, after a bit of stupidity from Romero and Udogie. Shame that Chelsea won, but still very proud of our boys, who battled all the way and still created chances at the end. Second in the league, better than anybody ever thought we’d be. COYS.’
But other supporters were quick to challenge the idea that Tottenham were brave, insisting their performance was both destructive and naïve.
One Mail Sport reader said: ‘Weird tactics by Ange when they were playing with nine men. High line defense which was so exposed that only Chelsea could manage to not score a dozen. 1-4 seems like a narrow score.’
Postecoglou praised his Tottenham players after Monday’s heavy defeat against the visitors
‘Spurs just self destructed,’ a second simply added.
Agreeing with the last two readers, another said: ‘Very naïve to play such a high defensive line when down to nine men.’
Criticising those who labelled the performance fearless and courageous, a fourth fan commented: ‘Two reds for the thugs but they say brave.’
One reader, perhaps trying to rub salt in the wounds of Tottenham supporters who are still enduring a barren run without silverware, joked: ‘Well done Spurs for winning the effort trophy. It went a bit Spursy.’
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