I suppose there was never really any doubt. Chelsea and Tottenham had already met three times this season and the Blues had won all three encounters. This fourth clash provided the same result once again - and boy did the Blues need it.
Their 2-0 win in the London derby came on the back of Manchester City’s 1-1 draw away Southampton. Pep Guardiola’s runaway league leaders dropped points and it suddenly means the title race is back on for Chelsea and Liverpool.
The Reds beat Crystal Palace 3-1 and have a game in hand and if they win that they will find themselves just 6 points behind City. But for Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea, it was vital that they beat Spurs having fallen away in the title race in recent weeks. They were top of the English Premier League on 1 December but following terrible run of form which brought just 11 points from 27 available, it severely damaged their hopes of becoming champions since the 2016-17 season.
They have fallen to third and the teams below them are not too far behind but this win will restore morale and belief. And with there now being a mini break, it will change everything at Stamford Bridge - the mood of the squad will be lifted and the confidence will be restored.
With just four months of the campaign remaining, Tuchel will want his side to finish the season as strongly as possible and will hope it is enough to topple champions City who have looked a little shaky of late. Their 12-match winning run came to end at St Mary’s and they were fortunate to beat Arsenal, Brentford and indeed Chelsea in recent matches.
Playing Tottenham just before the mini break was the ideal fixture for them; Spurs have failed to score in each of their last six meetings against Chelsea in all competitions. In fact, Spurs have only won one of their last 32 away league games against Chelsea so there was only ever going to be one winner. It was the first Premier League defeat for Antonio Conte as Spurs boss who has done an amazing job since taking over earlier this season.
But Chelsea are now 10 points behind Guardiola’s side and they will feel they can gain more ground on them. What is for certain is that there will be many more twists and turns before the last ball has been kicked.