Tottenham ground out a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge that lifted them top of the Premier League on goal difference.
Top spot in the Premier League was at stake as Frank Lampard and Jose Mourinho renewed their managerial rivalry, but goalmouth action was in scant supply on an afternoon where defences came out on top.
Tammy Abraham passed up three scoring opportunities in the second half before Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud saw late efforts saved by Hugo Lloris, but Chelsea rarely threatened as Spurs produced a hallmark Mourinho defensive display.
The draw saw Spurs drop points away from home for the first time this season, but the point was enough to move them above champions Liverpool on goal difference at the top of the table. Chelsea, who are now unbeaten in 14 in all competitions, remain two points back in third.
How stubborn Spurs stood firm at Chelsea…
After a cagey first 10 minutes in which Hakim Ziyech’s hopeful early volley was comfortably saved by Lloris, the game burst to life with chances at both ends.
Spurs’ first foray forward saw them efficiently work the ball to the edge of the Chelsea area, where Harry Kane slipped Steven Bergwijn into space, but having skipped inside a defender he lifted his shot over the bar.
Moments later Chelsea thought they had taken the lead in emphatic fashion as Timo Werner capitalised on a slip from Moussa Sissoko and rifled a stunning effort in off the far post, but the German was marginally offside in the build-up and the goal was correctly ruled out.
- Thiago Silva replaced Antonio Rudiger in Chelsea’s only change from the win at Newcastle.
- Joe Rodon made his full Tottenham debut, replacing the injured Toby Alderweireld, as Spurs made one change from the win over Manchester City.
Serge Aurier drew Edouard Mendy into his first save with a fizzing drive through bodies on the quarter hour, which the Chelsea ‘keeper did well to parry away from danger.
The tight, tactical tussle was restored after the flurry of activity, leaving Chelsea and Spurs in need of inspiration to make the breakthrough. Mount very nearly delivered it on 28 minutes as he skipped around two Spurs defenders, but his finish was found wanting as he blazed over from 18 yards.
Chelsea emerged from the interval with a more direct approach in attack, with two fine crosses from Reece James teeing up Abraham for two heading opportunities, but he was unable to convert either while under pressure from the Spurs centre-backs.
Chelsea were fortunate not to be punished as a mix-up between N’Golo Kante and Mendy nearly turned sour, but the Blues goalkeeper was able to hack the ball to safety before the lurking Heung-min Son could pounce on an error.
But with Spurs becoming increasingly passive, Chelsea continued to create. Abraham managed to outmuscle Eric Dier to meet Werner’s cross, only to bundle the ball wide, before Ziyech fired over having cut in from the right.
Mount looked to break the stalemate on 81 minutes but Lloris – who was a bystander for the majority of the game – was alert to tip it around the post. And, in the closing stages, the Frenchman was on hand to deny substitute Giroud from lifting a late winner into the Spurs goal as the points were shared.
Chelsea travel to Sevilla in the Champions League on Wednesday at 8pm, before hosting Leeds on Saturday Night Football at 8pm – live on Sky Sports Premier League.
Spurs travel LASK in the Europa League on Thursday at 5.55pm, before hosting Arsenal in the north London derby on Super Sunday at 4.30pm – live on Sky Sports Premier League.