Drogba stars as Chelsea brush Spurs aside

Chelsea 3 Tottenham 0

Didier Drogba and Chelsea maintained their extraordinary stranglehold over their London rivals with a victory that restored their six-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

A bright Spurs start, during which Harry Kane hit the crossbar with a header, gave way to Chelsea dominance after a quickfire double midway through the first half.

Drogba, in for the suspended Diego Costa, laid on the first for Eden Hazard and then converted Oscar’s pass for his sixth goal in his last 11 games against Tottenham.

Substitute Loic Remy, who replaced Drogba, added a third as he brushed aside Jan Vertonghen before stroking the ball into the far corner.

The result stretches Chelsea’s unbeaten start in all competitions to 23 games, equalling a club record, and extends Tottenham’s 25-year wait for victory over the Blues.

Spurs initially looked keen to put that embarrassing record to bed as they set about a lethargic Chelsea.

Kane twice went close to scoring, heading against the crossbar from a Vlad Chiriches cross and then picking the pocket of Gary Cahill before shooting wastefully across goal.

It took Chelsea 17 minutes to wake from their slumber and muster a meaningful attack, Cesc Fabregas shooting straight at Hugo Lloris.

But it served as a notice of intent from the hosts as within five minutes they had taken a grip on the match.

Hazard played a neat one-two with Drogba before smashing in a shot under the body of Lloris at his near post – and the Spurs goalkeeper was also at fault for the second goal moments later.

His wayward kick was recovered by Hazard, who fed Oscar and the Brazilian slipped a perfectly weighted through ball into the path of Drogba, who held off Vertonghen before drilling home.

The two goals settled Chelsea down and killed Tottenham’s early bluster and the Blues were in control from that moment on.

Jose Mourinho was forced into a half-time change as Cahill, who had clashed heads with Vertonghen in the opening minutes, was replaced by Kurt Zouma.

It did not upset the solidity of the Chelsea backline and they comfortably kept Spurs at arm’s length in spite of periods of possession.

And any slim hopes of a Tottenham revival were killed off by a brilliant finish from Remy, who turned Vertonghen and caressed the ball through the legs of Ben Davies and beyond Lloris.

Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill (Zouma 46), Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Fabregas (Mikel 75); Willian, Oscar, Hazard; Drogba (Remy 67).
Subs not used: Cech, Filipe Luis, Schurrle, Salah.

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