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How Marcos Alonso proved the match-winner for Chelsea in his complete display against Tottenham

How Marcos Alonso proved the match-winner for Chelsea in his complete display against Tottenham

Chelsea were forced to field an unorthodox line-up at Wembley on Sunday afternoon, with debutant Tiemoue Bakayoko rushed back from injury, David Luiz pushed out of position and two of the back three making only their second Premier League appearances. Fortunately for Antonio Conte, it was one of his consistent top performers who was on form to earn a victory as Marcos Alonso secured a brace to bring the three points back to Stamford Bridge.

Alonso had a quiet start to the game until the 24th minute, when he stepped up to fire a free-kick up and over the Tottenham wall and beyond Hugo Lloris into the back of the net. Tottenham had dominated the first quarter of the tie and looked likely to take the lead on several occasions, but Alonso’s fine effort turned the game on its head.

For much of the game after that, Chelsea found themselves under pressure. Alonso stood out as one of the side’s most effective defenders, dropping back into a left-back role far more regularly than he is used to. Only Cesar Azpilicueta made more clearances than Alonso as the two Spaniards looked to prevent Spurs from getting an opportunity to equalise.

Alonso also used his height, winning more aerial battles than any of his team-mates other than striker Alvaro Morata. His presence at set pieces was especially important as he won header after header. Unfortunately, he could do nothing about Michy Batshuayi’s own goal as he headed past Thibaut Courtois from a Christian Eriksen delivery.

The wing-back was quick to pounce though, as his rapid run down the left flank and into the box gave him the opportunity to rifle the ball underneath Hugo Lloris to give Chelsea their lead again with only minutes left on the clock. That run was not only intelligent but also perfectly timed and accompanied by a superb finish.

Wing-back is thought to be one of Antonio Conte’s top priorities for the last week and a half of the transfer window, but Alonso made it clear on Sunday that almost regardless of who is signed, it will take quite some player to displace the Spaniard from being first choice on the left wing.

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