Chelsea manager Frank Lampard out-manouevred his one-time mentor Jose Mourinho – but a comfortable win at Tottenham was overshadowed by alleged racist behaviour aimed at visiting defender Antonio Rudiger.

Rudiger was involved in the second-half incident that saw Tottenham’s Son Heung-min sent off.

The striker was dismissed, following a video assistant referee review, for raising his boot in a clash with the German centre-back near the touchline.

Shortly afterwards, Rudiger, 26, appeared to gesticulate that he had received racist abuse from Spurs fans.

Chelsea drew the incident to the attention of referee Anthony Taylor and three subsequent announcements were made over the public address system warning that racist behaviour among spectators was interfering with the game.

The match was also held up when objects were thrown towards Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, capping a miserable afternoon for Spurs and Mourinho against his former club.

It marred an outstanding Chelsea display that halted their recent slide, with the game effectively won inside the first 45 minutes courtesy of Willian’s superb curling finish and a penalty from the Brazilian awarded by VAR after Spurs keeper Paulo Gazzaniga had flattened Marcos Alonso.

Chelsea’s victory strengthened their grip on fourth place and left them four points above fifth-placed Sheffield United. Spurs remain in seventh place – six points adrift.

Unsavoury scenes at Spurs

The attention should be on a superb performance from Chelsea and a tactical masterclass from Lampard, who completely flummoxed Mourinho on what was the Portuguese’s worst day in charge since succeeding Mauricio Pochettino.

Sadly, the subject of players being subjected to racist abuse will once again top the agenda, casting a cloud over Chelsea’s deserved celebrations at the final whistle.

Rudiger appeared to be the target after he was floored by Son’s raised boot which earned the South Korea international a deserved red card just after the hour.

Tottenham fans reacted angrily to Rudiger, who they felt over-reacted, even though he was clearly fouled.

The Chelsea defender signalled to indicate what he had apparently been subjected to by sections of the home support.

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta immediately spoke to referee Taylor; the unsavoury episode concluded with a succession of warnings over the stadium loudspeaker.

Lampard’s joy unconfined

Lampard’s wild celebrations in front of Chelsea’s supporters after the final whistle were a graphic illustration of what he saw as the significance of this victory.

The subplot to this game had been built around the meeting between managerial rookie Lampard, in his first season at Chelsea and only his second in management after a single campaign at Derby County, and Mourinho, the self-styled ‘Special One’.

Mourinho had shared such glories alongside the former England midfield man during his time at Stamford Bridge, where they won two Premier League titles together.

On the pitch at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, there was only one winner: Chelsea were sharp and incisive while Spurs were ponderous and second best in all areas.

Mourinho and Spurs seemed totally unprepared for Chelsea’s three-man defensive system while the deployment of Dele Alli in a variety of positions in the first half hinted at the home side’s disarray.

The Tottenham manager introduced Christian Eriksen for Eric Dier at half-time, but Son’s red card snuffed out slim hopes of a comeback.

Chelsea regained their air of superiority as they returned to form having lost four of their previous five league games.

Man of the match – Willian (Chelsea)

Willian
A mesmerising display by Chelsea forward Willian, whose quick feet, intelligent movement and skill on the ball made him a constant thorn in the Tottenham defence.

‘Does Rudiger have broken ribs?’ – Mourinho on red card tackle

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho: “Today was bad, we didn’t start well. Chelsea started better than us. They scored from a short corner and that disappoints me. We were not focused.

“The second goal is a bad goal to concede. The penalty is a penalty, good decision by VAR.

“The Son situation was handled badly. The ref has to book Rudiger and the reaction from Son is not an aggression. Does Rudiger have broken ribs going to the hospital? Other people call it intelligent by Rudiger.”

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard: “It means a lot to me but it’s about the club and the fans. The fans have come here after a number of losses and they have backed us. They know we are a young team and what we are trying to achieve.

“My players showed they could fight and play against a top team, because Tottenham are a good team. Today we were everything and that’s why we should be celebrating. We are not over-excited, but we are pleased with the performance.

“They are a major rival and it shows the players what they can do under pressure and what they need to do to survive in games. You cannot fault their commitment.”

Mourinho loses old club record – the stats

  • Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho suffered his first home defeat against a team he had previously managed, having won 12 and drawn one of the previous 13 across all competitions.
  • Chelsea have won three consecutive games against Spurs across all competitions for the first time since January 2008 – current Spurs boss Mourinho oversaw two of the three wins in that previous run (2-1 in March 2007 and 1-0 in April 2007).
  • Willian’s penalty was Chelsea’s 100th Premier League goal against Tottenham – in the history of the competition, only Manchester United against Everton (101), Liverpool against Newcastle (101) and Arsenal against Everton (107) have scored more goals against a single opponent.
  • Chelsea kept an away clean sheet for the first time under Frank Lampard in the Premier League, while they won without conceding away from home in the competition for the first time since December 2018.
  • Since Mourinho’s first game in charge of the club, no Premier League team have conceded more goals than Spurs across all competitions (14 – joint-most, along with Arsenal).
  • Spurs’ Son Heung-min was sent off for the third time in the Premier League, making him the first player to be shown three red cards in a calendar year in the competition since Lee Cattermole in 2010.

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