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Chelsea down Spurs to strengthen grip on fourth

Olivier Giroud scored his first Premier League goal since April 2019 as Chelsea beat Tottenham 2-1 to tighten their grip on fourth place.

The Frenchman’s strike came in the 15th minute when he drove a half-volley into the bottom corner after Ross Barkley’s shot ricocheted off the post.

Marcos Alonso then extended Chelsea’s lead three minutes after the restart with a low piledriver into the bottom right corner from the edge of the box.

And, it was done in brilliant fashion. Barkley tees up Alonso on the left flank and the Spaniard smashes his first-time shot into the bottom corner with pinpoint accuracy.

There was a moment of real controversy moments later as Giovani Lo Celso appeared to stamp on Azpilicueta, but it went unpunished with VAR deeming there to be no foul – although officials at Stockley Park later admitted they had made a mistake to not send the Argentine off.

Tammy Abraham’s chance to score a point-blank tap-in was brilliantly saved by Hugo Lloris in the 78th minute before Alonso’s free-kick crashed off the bar moments later.

And the game took a tense turn for Chelsea in the final moments as a low ball from Erik Lamela looking for fellow substitute Dele Alli was deflected in by Rudiger.

But Chelsea held on to maintain their top-four berth and now have a four point gap over fifth-placed Tottenham.

Giovani Lo Celso should have been sent off. The VAR officials at Stockley Park admitted they should have sent Lo Celso off for his clear stamp on Azpilicueta and said it was not a VAR error but a human error. For referee Michael Oliver to have not seen it was one thing, but for VAR to then say at the time that a potential season-ending challenge was not worthy of punishment was even more remarkable. – Eurosport

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