The big news ahead of Chelsea’s much-win clash against Spurs this evening was Maurizio Sarri’s choice of goalkeeper, with Kepa axed in place of Willy Caballero.
But that sideshow has done nothing to take the shine of this brutal London derby, which has seen a surprise Man of the Match performance from Blues forward Pedro.
The former Barcelona man has often been criticised by Chelsea fans this season, mainly because he’s not Callum Hudson-Odoi.
But at Stamford Bridge tonight, he was in top form, not only by netting the opener but also by showing off his seldom-seen defensive ability.
For the goal, before the hour mark, Eden Hazard is able to pick out Cesar Azpilicueta on the right wing just before the hour mark.
He shifts it further down the line towards pacey Pedro, who delightfully dribbles into the area, drops his shoulder to flat-foot Toby Alderweireld and fires his shot towards the bottom right corner, surprising Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris at his near post.
It goes straight through his legs.
Terrible defending from Alderweireld, too.
Then just minutes later, Pedro produces another moment of magic – this time in defence.
A play between Erik Lamela and Son Heung-min in the Chelsea box sees the ball end up at the feet of Christian Eriksen, who makes space to shoot.
But from absolutely nowhere, Pedro charges in from behind and nicks the ball from Eriksen with a wonderfully timed sliding-tackle.
He then dribbles away from the Chelsea area with some glitzy footwork.
That’s how it’s done, Toby.
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