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Cesar Azpilicueta has praise for Tottenham despite Spurs suffering heavy Chelsea loss

Chelsea eased to a 3-0 win over Tottenham after a brilliant second-half display – but Cesar Azpilicueta still praised Spurs after the match.

Nuno Espirito Santo fielded an exciting side that included Tanguy Ndombele for the first time in the Premier League this season.

The likes of Dele Alli, Cristian Romero, Gio Lo Celso and plenty of others also started for Spurs. They looked good in the first 45 against Chelsea.

But the introduction of N’Golo Kante seemed to change proceedings. Spurs were blown aside, as Thiago Silva, Kane and Antonio Rudiger all scored.

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Speaking after the match, Spanish defender Azpilicueta was still full of praise for Tottenham despite their dismal second-half showing on Sunday.

“Of course, we expected that [from Spurs in the first half]. They are very good in the counter-attack. We lost a few balls and they were dangerous.

“We had a few issues but also created as well and were not clinical enough. Second half, we clearly dominated,” Azpilicueta said, as per BBC Sport.

Azpilicueta on Tottenham: What went wrong, as Chelsea win?

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Spurs looked unfit. Glenn Hoddle spoke after the match of numerous players suffering from cramp, and going off the boil as Chelsea won.

The thing is, if Nuno wants to play with the intensity Spurs played at in the first half – fine. But to do that for 90 minutes, you have to be incredibly fit.

Under Mauricio Pochettino, Spurs were incredibly fit. It allowed them to play on the front foot, attacking football, with a high press.

But with Jose Mourinho, they became defensive and perhaps that allowed a bit of complacency to creep in when it comes to fitness.

Nuno, then, needs to get his players fit again before seeing his system reap the rewards. That will take time – but how much time does he have?

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