Hugo Lloris self-destructs at Chelsea to end Tottenham's title hopes


On a night when Maurizio Sarri refused to wave the white flag Spurs did it for him.

Chelsea’s under-fire Italian retained his credibility by replacing Wembley bad boy Kepa with Willy Caballero.

Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris, however, self-destructed to send the north Londoners’ title hopes up in smoke.

First the Frenchman was beaten by Pedro at his near post, then he went AWOL in the dying stages to allow Kieran Trippier’s back pass into his own net.

What a nightmare ninety minutes for Mauricio Pochettino who had demanded a reaction from his men after their surrender at Burnley.

Chelsea’s Pedro celebrates

Should Chelsea now win their game in hand they will be four points behind Pochettino and his men. Is the pressure now getting to the north Londoners?

Harry Kane tangled with David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta, appearing to gesture with his head at the Spaniard in an incident that could be reviewed by the FA.

Even before his goalkeeping gaffes, Lloris failed even to react to two heart-stopping Gonzalo Higuain efforts, one hitting the post and the other flying narrowly wide.

Add to all that the fact that, uncharacteristically, Spurs failed to get a single shot on target. In this kind of wretched form they may now need to be looking over their shoulders.

Tottenham’s Kieran Trippier looks dejected

Chelsea’s hunger and desire, on the other hand, suggested Kepa’s insubordination was not shared by quite so many of Sarri’s players as first thought.

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They took the lead through Pedro who whipped down the right, beating the offside trap and turned Toby Alderweireld inside out before squeezing the ball between Lloris and his upright.

The strike capped a performance that should have seen the Spaniard carried off by his Chelsea team-mates shoulder high.

Pedro drew gasps from both sets of fans with his inch-perfect tackle to deny Eriksen as the Dane powered into the box and prepared to pull the trigger on 63 minutes.

Jorginho in action with Harry Kane

Spurs midfielder Harry Winks had earlier smashed a long-range volley against the Chelsea crossbar two minutes before the break.

Kane fluffed a volley from close range that should have brought his side back into it.

Instead a rotten night for Spurs ended with Lloris suffering that rush of blood after Trippier believed he’s mopped up substitute Olivier Giroud’s header.

In-form Arsenal – 5-1 winners against Bournemouth – rock up at Wembley on Saturday lunchtime. There is no time for Spurs to feel sorry for themselves.

When Pochettino claimed earlier this week that it would take up to ten years to transform the mentality at Tottenham it was a comment clearly made with his tongue firmly in his cheek.

Harry Winks and N’Golo Kante

Before the guy arrived the club had their noses pressed up against the top four glass, wishing they could have a seat at the top table. This has been their third season in a row in the Champions League.

They go into the second leg of their knockout stage game against Dortmund with a 3-0 advantage and one foot in the quarter-finals.

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They are also a club on course to finish above bitter rivals Arsenal for a third season in a row. They were winners at Manchester United last August and they were victorious here at Stamford Bridge for the first time in 28 years.

So let’s not carried away with the doubts about Tottenham’s mentality. They do still also have games against Liverpool and City to come.

What they need, however, is to get their mojo back. They are running out of time.

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