A stunning free-kick and a late winner from Marcos Alonso gave Chelsea their first win of the season in the first ever league match played at Wembley Stadium. While Spurs enjoyed more of the possession, it was the Blues who were simply more clinical in front of goal.
With several suspensions and injuries plaguing his squad, Antonio Conte was forced to change Chelsea’s shape, with several players making their debuts and others playing out of position.
Andreas Christensen, who spent last season on loan at Borussia Mönchengladbach, made his first Premier League start in the centre of a makeshift back three next to Antonio Rüdiger and captain for the day, Cesar Azpilicueta. David Luiz was pushed into a five-man midfield, where he was joined by new signing Tiemoue Bakayoko and the ever-present N’Golo Kanté.
Up front, Alvaro Morata was also given his first start, and it was the Spaniard who could have given his side an early lead, but he made a hash of an easy header from close range in the fifth minute.
Spurs slowly grew into the game and made their presence felt after a nervy start, with both Dele Alli and Moussa Dembele testing Thibaut Courtois from distance.
It took Chelsea until the 24th minute to create another chance – but this one would prove to be an important one. David Luiz was fouled 25 yards from goal, and when Marcos Alonso stood over the ball ready to take the free-kick, the outcome was written in the stars.
David Luiz wins a free-kick in a very dangerous position. Alonso range?
— Chelsea HQ 🏆 (@Chelsea_HQ) August 20, 2017
The Spaniard beautifully lifted the ball over a jumping Spurs wall to find the top right-hand corner, leaving Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal with no hope of reaching the ball.
Going behind didn’t suit the home side and they immediately threatened Chelsea’s goal through Harry Kane, who was denied by Courtois and later by the woodwork. That pressure continued until the break with our lead luckily still intact as the referee blew his whistle
Spurs continued where they left off before before the interval, winning corner after corner without really making life too difficult for Chelsea though.
Our first chance of the second half came from a counter attack, when Willian, who worked his socks off throughout the game, fed Morata with a delightful ball on the edge of the area. The striker made his way into the box with some fancy footwork before letting fly, but his shot was blocked by an onrushing defender.
Willian, involved in yet another move, could have wrapped up the three points himself moments later when his powerful shot struck the post. The Blues were left to rue that missed opportunity with Spurs equalising from an unfortunate own goal by Michy Batshuayi from a free-kick with only eight minutes left to play.
It looked like Chelsea would have to keep waiting for their first win of the season, but a brilliant interception from David Luiz in the middle of the park gave his side one more opportunity to have a go at the Tottenham defence. Pedro latched onto the loose ball, played in Alonso and the Spaniard scored low past Lloris for his second of the match.
As the Chelsea fans celebrated with their team, many Spurs fans had seen enough as they flooded towards the exits to catch an early tube home. Mauricio Pochettino’s men never recovered from that killer blow and the champions used all of their experience to see out the game.
After a week of turmoil, this result and performance is exactly what Chelsea needed going into another tough game against Everton at Stamford Bridge next week.
Chelsea (3-5-2): Courtois, Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rüdiger, Moses, Bakayoko, David Luiz, Kanté, Alonso, Willian (Pedro 78′), Morata (Batshuayi 78′)
Unused subs Caballero, Tomori, Scott, Kenedy, Musonda
Scorer Alonso 24′, 88′
Booked Rüdiger 30′, David Luiz 38′, Alonso 87′