Harry Kane

Spurs 1-2 Chelsea: Alonso leads Blues to win

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  • First PL match at Wembley
  • Bakayoko makes Chelsea debut
  • Alonso nets free kick
  • 81st min o.g. levels the score
  • Luiz, Pedro, Alonso team up for winner

Marcos Alonso scored a brace, the second snapping an 88th minute tie, as Chelsea bested Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Alonso scored a wonderful first half free kick, and David Luiz caused a turnover to help Pedro and Alonso produce an equalizer minutes after a Michy Batshuayi own goal helped Spurs to their lone goal.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Chelsea was lively out of the gate, and Alvaro Morata missed nodding a free header into the goal following Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross.

Harry Kane‘s low strike was fumbled by Thibaut Courtois in the 10th minute, as Spurs registered their first proper chance.

Morata nearly cause Hugo Lloris an embarrassing miscue but the Spurs keeper recovered to avoid the blushes.

Mousa Dembele‘s left-footed shot was flicked over the goal by Courtois for a corner, but int came to nothing as the match put 20 minutes in the books.

Alonso spun his free kick over the wall with vigor, missing a leaping Toby Alderweireld‘s head by inches before dipping hard to beat a flying Hugo Lloris.

Harry Kane then nearly bulled his way to a goal only to see his six-yard drive blocked by Courtois. The 39th minute saw Eriksen spin a perfect free kick toward the far post with not a single Spur finding its path.

Kane cranked a shot off the far post in the 42nd minute.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Kane’s backheeled pass met an outstanding run from Eriksen to start the second half, and Spurs were nearly level. Two corners were handled by Chelsea, and the score remained 1-0 to the visitors.

The match tightened up for a spell and Willian nearly broke it open with a long dribble and pass to Morata, whose shot was deflected out for a corner by Vertonghen. Victor Moses then tore a shot off the crossbar.

Willian then hit the near post moments later.

Spurs found their way level through the own goal, as Bakayoko gave away a dangerous free kick and Batshuayi headed Eriksen’s quality offering inside his own post.

That’s when Hugo Lloris’ quick throw was forced free by Luiz, and Pedro combined with Alonso to do the rest.

Premier League 2017-18 preview – Tottenham Hotspur

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Heading into 2017/18, Tottenham actually enters the Premier League season as a bit of an underdog after opting to go quietly into the summer without hitting the transfer market hard.

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While the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and others went after several of the game’s biggest names and talents, Spurs continued to build its team with youth, and now it’s time to see if Mauricio Pochettino‘s choices have paid off as Tottenham seeks out a PL title.

Best, worst case scenarios – Best-case scenario is quite simple for Spurs… win the Premier League. There were moments last season that showed this team is quite capable of doing so, and the club’s run to end the year was nothing short of spectacular had it not been for a Chelsea side that proved to be a little too much. The talent is there in the squad, and Pochettino is a more-than-capable manager. The task is simply putting it all together.

However, things could come back and haunt Pochettino, such as the club’s lack of spending this summer. Alvaro Morata, Romelu Lukaku and Alexandre Lacazette are just a few of the PL’s top signings of summer, but all have one thing in common; they didn’t land at Spurs. At worst, Tottenham is a top-five or six team, but they’d certainly be disappointed to take a step back after their success in 2016/17.


Best possible XI is…

Lloris

Trippier— Vertonghen — Alderweireld — Rose

Dier — Wanyama

Lamela — Alli — Eriksen

Kane


[ MORE: 2017-18 PL season preview hub ] 

Transfers In: N/A

Transfers Out: Kyle Walker (Manchester City, $58 million), Federico Fazio (Roma, Undisclosed)

Last season:

— 2nd place in Premier League
— Eliminated in Champions League group stage
— Eliminated in Europa League Round of 32
— League Cup 4th Round (lost to Liverpool)
— FA Cup semifinals (lost to Chelsea)

Star player: Harry Kane — There’s really not much the England international can’t do, and Spurs will be relying on him once again this season to be one of the Premier League’s most-dangerous goalscorers. Kane has amassed the 30-goal mark in two of the last three PL campaigns for Spurs, with his 2015/16 total falling just short at 28. There’s no question who this team looks to when they need a goal, and it’s number 10.

Coaches’ Corner: Mauricio Pochettino — Since 2009/10, the worst Tottenham has finished in the PL is sixth. Barring something completely unforeseen, it’s hard to imagine Spurs falling out of that range this season. The Argentine manager has done everything right since arriving at the club in 2014. He’s brought a clear philosophy about raising youth and relying less on spending big in the transfer market to satisfy club needs, and guess what? It’s working.

PST predicts: Say what you will about Tottenham’s transfer market philosophy, but this team is still quite good when looking at past performance and the way the current roster is structured. Could a move or two in January help? Sure. However, there’s no reason Spurs cannot finish top four once again in 2017/18 and contend for the Premier League crown.

Pochettino takes shot at Chelsea’s Morata

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For those who hadn’t circled Aug. 20’s date between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at White Hart Lane on their calendars, we’re going to pause so you can do it now.

Okay, cool.

[ MORE: Iheanacho to Leicester “on” ]

So many are aware that Chelsea boss Antonio Conte publicly questioned Tottenham’s title ambitions last week, saying his fellow London club was “okay” with not winning a title.

That didn’t sit well with Spurs fans, understandably, and those same supporters are probably pretty happy to see Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino throwing a little shade the way of Conte and his big money signing Alvaro Morata.

In a conversation regarding Spurs’ lack of transfer buys — they are one of two PL teams not to buy a player this summer — Pochettino turned the talk to Morata and claimed the Spaniard viewed himself as inferior to Harry Kane. From Yahoo Sport UK:

“[Alvaro] Morata talked about me in the media. He said ‘Mauricio called me’. That was from the beginning, two years ago or more. But he said to me ‘why do you want me if you have Harry Kane?’.

“If you go to find some striker, they will say ‘eh gaffer, you want me for what? To be on the bench? Because it’s Harry Kane. I can’t compete with Harry Kane’. It’s the same with Hugo Lloris or different players.”

We sincerely doubt Morata said he couldn’t compete with Harry Kane, and also imagine that the striker won’t be impressed by Pochettino’s words. The rivalry between the two London sides has been red-hot for better than a year, dating back to Chelsea ruining Spurs’ chances to catch Leicester for the PL title in 2015-16. That game ended in a brawl of sorts. Those are rare, but we’ll get our proverbial popcorn ready for what lies in store at Wembley in 19 days time.

Roma edges Tottenham in wild ICC affair

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Tottenham opened its 2017 International Champions Cup account in style on Sunday, however, the reigning Premier League runners’ up had no such luck at Red Bull Arena.

[ MORE: Chelsea falls 3-2 to Bayern in Singapore ]

Italian giants AS Roma knocked off Spurs, 3-2, on Tuesday night in New Jersey after Marco Tumminello’s 92nd minute finish dismissed a late push by Tottenham.

The sell-out crowd of 26,192 witnessed a largely dominating performance from Roma, who bounced back well from their opening ICC defeat against PSG — which came last Wednesday on penalty kicks.

Spurs fell behind after just 13 minutes when American defender Cameron Carter-Vickers was caught with his hand away from body, thus drawing a penalty kick for Roma.

Perotti stepped up to the spot on the ensuing kick, before burying the attempt for the Italian side’s opener.

Meanwhile, second-half substitute Under pounced on a rebound in the 70th minute to double the Roma advantage.

Spurs looked more dangerous in the second stanza, with Harry Kane and Dele Alli creating more attacking chances for the PL club, but Roma’s back line stood tall on several occasions.

Mauricio Pochettino‘s side finally found a breakthrough with under four minutes remaining after Harry Winks blasted home a close-range shot following a scrum inside the Roma penalty area.

Vincent Janssen did the unthinkable, leveling the match up in stoppage time for Spurs, however, it wasn’t enough as his finish was cancelled out just seconds later by Tuminello.

Tottenham will continue its ICC campaign on Saturday against fellow PL side Manchester City, while Roma turns its attention to defending Serie A champions Juventus the following day in an all-Italy affair.

Below are the video highlights of the clash.

Where does Lacazette rank amongst top PL strikers?

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Alexandre Lacazette is one of the best strikers in the world, but where does his arrival at Arsenal place him in the context of Premier League hit men?

As tempting as it would be to rate each team’s strike corps, we’re wondering where each club’s top striker would place if ranked with the other 19 leading men in the Premier League.

For clarification, we’re going to use an asterisk for wantaway Chelsea striker Diego Costa — whose move to Atleti could be imminent — and count Sergio Aguero of Man City despite Gabriel Jesus‘ deserved status as “next big thing”

[ MORE: Lacazette signing huge for Wenger’s Arsenal ]

We’re also going to count Joshua King of Bournemouth ahead of new Cherries signed Jermain Defoe.

Here’s to our quickly-assembled, non-scientific list. It’s readied for your critical destruction, though we’re only ready to put two team’s top men ahead of Lacazette.

Group One: The New Boys

20. Glenn Murray, Brighton and Hove Albion — An effective Championship scorer.
19. Elias Kachunga, Huddersfield Town — His 12 FLC goals by far his finest season.
18. Dwight Gayle, Newcastle United — Any chance he carries over an electric 2016-17?

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Group Two: More Questions Than Answers

17. Marko Arnautovic, Stoke City — Capable of the sublime, but inconsistent.
16. Troy Deeney, Watford — A finisher, sure, but has reached his ceiling.
15. Andre Gray, Burnley — Make or break year for him.
14. Salomon Rondon, West Bromwich Albion — How would he do outside Pulis’ system?
13. Michy Batshuayi, Chelsea* — Not crazy to see this season as a major breakthrough campaign.
12. Andre Ayew, West Ham United — Health is his most important hurdle.
11. Manolo Gabbiadini, Southampton — Was Puel his elixir, his brief run a lucky one?

(Owen Humphreys/PA via AP)

Group Three: On the precipice

10. Marcus Rashford, Manchester United — Will he ever get a chance to be Man Utd’s main man?
9. Fernando Llorente, Swansea City — A head for goal and a savvy set of pegs.
8. Christian Benteke, Crystal Palace — Zaha and Townsend the perfect complements to his aerial set.
7. Joshua King, Bournemouth — Eddie Howe helped produce 16-goal campaign; Can he do it again?
6. Roberto Firmino, Liverpool — Initially we used Divock Origi as an out-and-out striker, but with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah on the wings, it’s Firmino who deserves the title of the Reds’ top striker.

Group Four: A class of his own

5. Jamie Vardy, Leicester City — He’ll work harder than you, and only needs a yard. But is he next level?

Group Five: The elite

5*. Diego Costa, Chelsea — Just a placeholder in case he stays.

4. Romelu Lukaku, Everton — At times he’s a clumsy one for a top-end hitman, but hard to argue with the 25-gola season.
3. Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal — It’ll take some adjustment, but the Frenchman appears built for Arsenal and the PL.
2. Sergio Aguero, Man City — Only a matter of time before Gabriel Jesus becomes the guy for City, but until then don’t rule out the clinical Argentine.
1. Harry Kane, Spurs — At 23, Kane has 78 PL goals. Alan Shearer had 39 at that point. Yeah, England’s “Next Alan Shearer” is finally here.