Tottenham’s Champions League hopes crash and burn after sloppy display in 2-0 defeat to Chelsea

Tottenham Hotspur’s Champions League aspiration is more or less dead in the water after another sloppy display that resulted in a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

After suffering back-to-back defeats against Newcastle United and Arsenal, Spurs needed maximum points against their capital rivals to maintain hopes of finishing the season in the top four.

However, it was always going to prove a difficult task for the Lilywhites, considering they had won just one of their previous 33 visits to Stamford Bridge before kick-off.

Buoyed by their dramatic comeback to secure a point against Aston Villa last week, Chelsea stormed out of the gates at the Bridge.

Nicolas Jackson nearly broke the deadlock in the opening stages, but his one-on-one chance was remarkably saved by Guglielmo Vicario. Mykhailo Mudryk also spurned a couple of opportunities in the box.

Chelsea continued to probe for a breakthrough, and their dominance paid off in the 24th minute as Trevoh Chalobah directed a Conor Gallagher free-kick into the top corner.

The one-way traffic continued for most of the first half as Mudryk curled an effort just wide. But Tottenham came agonisingly close to levelling matters when Cristian Romero directed a header wastefully wide from point-blank range.

Tottenham were sloppy in the first half, and their ridiculous high line was picked apart one too many times as Chelsea created chances for fun.

Profligacy from the Blues was the only reason Spurs went into the break with a one-goal deficit. 

However, an angry Ange Postecoglou must have made his feelings known as they emerged from the break with renewed purpose.

Richarlison nearly grabbed an equaliser with an instinctive strike at the near post before Pedro Porro forced Dorde Petrovic into a smart save with a dangerous cross-shot.

With time ticking down and Champions League qualification on the line for Spurs, they continued to search for an equaliser, but it was Chelsea who struck again.

Cole Palmer’s free-kick rattled the woodwork, but Jackson reacted quickest to head the rebound into the far corner, effectively putting the game to bed.

Postecoglou will be hoping for a positive response against Liverpool on Sunday after watching helplessly as his side fell to a third consecutive Premier League defeat that eviscerated their slim hopes of a top-four finish.

Spurs remain seven points behind top-four rivals Villa with just one game in hand and four games left this season.