Luiz deserves to be dropped after Spurs' stunning win over Chelsea

Aditya Devavrat 00:52 25/11/2018
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Tottenham delivered a stunning statement win on Saturday, beating Chelsea 3-1 at Wembley to end their derby rivals’ unbeaten start in the Premier League.

The result means Spurs have beaten Chelsea in consecutive league games for the first time in 31 years, an astonishing stat that reinforces how far Tottenham have come under Mauricio Pochettino.

Here’s a look at the talking points from the game.


David Luiz has always had his moments of defensive unreliability, but even by his standards, this was a shocking display. Arguably, it was worse than his showing in Brazil’s infamous 7-1 loss in the 2014 World Cup semi-final.

The way he moved out of the way of Harry Kane’s shot for Tottenham’s second goal was unforgivable. It was the sort of lack of responsibility that gets a player relegated to the reserves for a long time. Most managers would have hooked him at half-time just for that.

Maurizio Sarri probably should have, because Luiz was culpable for Spurs’ third, as well. While Son deserves the plaudits for his excellent slaloming run to beat first Jorginho and then Luiz, the Brazilian defender made the Tottenham man’s job easy. His attempted tackle was more just a run past Son with little attempt to steady himself and offer any resistance to the Korean.

The Chelsea manager has, for whatever reason, been loathe to play Andreas Christensen this season, but surely it has to happen after this performance. Even Gary Cahill, who is looking to leave the club, deserves a shot to prove he should be first-choice. Because Luiz definitely shouldn’t be.

Luiz's defending was shocking.

Luiz’s defending was shocking.


If every big game is a referendum for Tottenham, then they come out of this one with their status as contenders this season intact, if not enhanced. They’re still only five points behind league leaders Manchester City, but more importantly, this was the sort of performance in a big game that shows Spurs mean business.

There’s been an air of disappointment around the club despite Tottenham enjoying their second-best start to a Premier League season. The delay over the stadium move, home losses to Liverpool and City, laboured rather than brilliant performances in their wins, and their struggles in the Champions League, where they have just one win in four games, have all led to a sense that the club is stagnating, which in this age is equivalent of being in decline.

But this result, and the performance that came with it, should change that. Spurs absolutely ripped Chelsea apart, in a way that even Liverpool weren’t able to when they faced the Blues earlier in the season. Kane is back in form, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen’s return to fitness has come at the perfect time, and their supporting players – Moussa Sissoko, Son, Erik Lamela, and Lucas Moura, have all stepped up at various times this season. Things are looking up again.

Tottenham look back to their best.

Tottenham look back to their best.


Sarri will no doubt be conducting an inquest of his defence, but he has an equally big problem on his hands further up the pitch. For the second straight game, the opposition focused their attention on Jorginho, and Chelsea looked toothless as a result.

The Brazilian has been looking like one of the signings of the season, for good reason. His control of play in midfield, the way he dictates the tempo and always picks the right pass, have been integral to Chelsea’s revolution under Sarri. The problem is, everyone knows that, and now they’re figuring out how to stop him.

Everton did it last time out, with the Toffees midfield crowding out Jorginho in the middle of the park and denying him time and space on the ball, and Spurs took that blueprint and ran with it on Saturday. Moussa Sissoko and Eric Dier were excellent in shutting him down, and Tottenham controlled the game as a result.

So what does Sarri do next? The second half of this game began with Luiz playing plenty of long diagonals from defence, and it was at least proof that Chelsea do have an alternative, even if long-ball is not Sarri’s style at all. And in fairness, not every team will be able to neutralize Jorginho like this. But the manager needs a way to respond when they do.

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