LONDON: Dele Alli scored twice in four second-half minutes as Tottenham Hotspur beat Chelsea 3-1 on Sunday (Monday in Manila) to end a 28-year wait for a Premier League win at Stamford Bridge.
Defeat for the hosts all but ends Chelsea’s hopes of Champions League football next season as Spurs opened up an eight-point lead over their closest challengers for fourth place.
Ending their long wait for a win at their London rivals is just the latest sign of the progress made under Mauricio Pochettino as Spurs look set to seal a place in the Champions League for a third straight season.
And it was even more impressive as they came from behind after a huge error from captain Hugo Lloris gifted Alvaro Morata the opening goal.
Christan Eriksen’s wonder strike leveled in first-half stoppage time, before Alli took center stage to end a barren run by his standards with two smart finishes just after the hour mark.
“It’s a fantastic weekend for us, massive three points, and we are in the best way to achieve the top four at end of the season. That is our challenge,” said Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.
“We are so happy for our fans after 28 years to win again at Stamford Bridge.”
Spurs could even afford the luxury of doing the damage without Harry Kane, who made his return from a three-week layoff with ankle ligament damage 16 minutes from time.
Alli was pushed into a more advanced position than his usual roving role behind Kane and had the first chance but couldn’t direct Eriksen’s cross goalwards.
Chelsea was the side far more in desperate need of the points and that began to show as the first half developed.
Willian and Victor Moses forced Lloris into comfortable saves, whilst Marcos Alonso also saw a goal ruled out for offside.
However, the French number one was clearly at fault when the opener arrived on the half hour mark.
Morata hadn’t scored in the Premier League since Boxing Day, but no one has scored more headed goals in the league this season and he was left with the easiest of tasks to nod into an empty net as Lloris flapped at Moses’s cross.
Eriksen’s shooting ability from long range had been Spurs’ only real threat before the break.
Willy Caballero, deputizing for the injured Thibaut Courtois, got a strong hand to the Dane’s first warning shot.
However, Caballero was helpless when Eriksen’s fierce dipping effort clipped the bar on its way past him in first-half stoppage time.
The Argentine goalkeeper was forced into a brilliant save from another long-range effort, this time from Son Heung-min, on the hour mark as Spurs started to take control.