Chelsea dent Tottenham’s Champions League hopes with 2-0 win

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Pinpoint headed goals from Trevoh Chalobah and Nicolas Jackson earned Chelsea a 2-0 victory over London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Thursday, dealing a blow to Spurs’ hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Former academy defender Chalobah diverted the ball expertly into the top corner from a Conor Gallagher free kick 35 metres out in the 24th minute.

It gave Chelsea a deserved lead after sustained pressure from the home side with chances for Mykhailo Mudryk, Marc Cucurella and Noni Madueke.

Spurs defender Micky van de Ven kept his side in the match, with last-ditch tackles in the area and a clearance off the line.

Tottenham’s Australian coach Ange Postecoglou looked furious in the dugout throughout the first 45 minutes and his side came out of the second half with greater verve and determination.

But efforts by Son Heung-min and Pedro Porro were blocked and saved.

Senegal’s Jackson calmed home nerves against the run of play in the 72nd minute when he was on hand to head home after a free kick from Chelsea top scorer Cole Palmer hit the bar and bounced down.

The three points, taking them to eighth, were vital for the push by Chelsea, under former Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino, towards a Europa League place after a disappointing season but left Tottenham seven points adrift of the top four.

“We are in a good place,” Pochettino told the BBC. “We have amazing professionals working on set-pieces. The team really showed in the way we wanted to build this way to play.”

He described the first half as fantastic. “Then you have to contain and suffer.”
Postecoglou took responsibility for the defeat.

“I feel like we’ve lost a bit of belief and conviction in our football and that is on me to change that,” he told Sky Sports. “We were nowhere near good enough. That is on me.”

Tottenham have a poor record against their southwest London rivals. They lost the home fixture last November 4-1 and have won only one of their last 10 meetings.