Wembley curse continues as Tottenham lose to Chelsea

Spurs have now lost seven of their last nine matches at national stadium

Antonio Rudiger and Harry Kane
Antonio Rudiger of Chelsea clears the ball from Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur
(Image credit: Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images)

Tottenham 1 Chelsea 2

Spurs have had more than their fair share of woe at Wembley in recent seasons and so it continued yesterday as they were beaten by two goals from Marcos Alonso. The brace from the Spanish Blue ended Spurs' 19-game home Premier League unbeaten run and reiterated why they've taken a risk in swapping White Hart Lane for Wembley as their new stadium is completed.

Sunday's defeat means Tottenham have now lost seven of their last nine matches at Wembley and the loss to Chelsea was their first reverse in a Premier League fixture since May 2016.

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It doesn't bode well for the rest of the season, although Mauricio Pochettino dismissed suggestions in his post-match interview that they struggle to adapt to the stadium. "It is a perception from the media," said the Tottenham manager. "I said before and will say it again, it is not about Wembley, it is our performance. Playing that way we can win lots of games."

Describing his side's display as superior, Pochettino acknowledged that their opponents had possessed the precision that they lacked. "I am disappointed because we deserved more but they were very clinical with two shots on target and two goals," he said. "We dominated and we were better but if you are not clinical, you can lose like today."

Alonso first unpicked the Tottenham defence on 24 minutes, curling a sumptuous free-kick into the top corner of the net, but the hosts had their chances to equalise in an enjoyable game. Harry Kane struck the foot of the post and Ben Davies had an effort well-saved by Thibaut Courtois in the Chelsea goal, but Tottenham's equaliser came from eight minutes from time when Michy Batshuayi headed Christian Eriksen's cross into his own net.

But barely had the buzz from that goal died down than Alonso worked his way into space in the Tottenham penalty area and fired a low shot past Hugo Lloris. "I want to thank my players because their commitment, their desire and heart they put on the pitch was incredible in what has been a very difficult moment for us," said Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, a reference to last week's home defeat to Burnley. "I am very pleased with the will to fight for every ball and they showed me the desire of last season is still there... this is a perfect response of the champions. We won the league last season, winning 30 games, and that is not easy. We lost in the final of the FA Cup. We have arrived in some problems with bans and injuries but we must be ready to work and focus on the pitch."

No one was more focused than Marcos Alonso, whose two goals earned the Blues their first points of the season. "I don't think I have struck many free-kicks better, not even in training," said the wing-back. "I am very happy for the win. There was a lot of talk in the week and it showed we are together, we worked hard and we 100 per cent deserved the win."

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