Football Features

Tottenham 1-4 Chelsea: Player ratings as nine-man Spurs’ unbeaten run ends in drama-filled derby

By Harry Edwards

Published: 22:32, 6 November 2023

Nine-man Tottenham lost for the first time in the Premier League this season as they were beaten 4-1 by London rivals Chelsea.

Dejan Kulusevski gave Tottenham an early lead and they looked on course to blow Chelsea away but the Blues seemed revitalised by one tough tackle that took the game to another level. It took a penalty for Chelsea to equalise through Cole Palmer, with Tottenham going down to 10 men as a result in an action-packed first half.

Tottenham went down to nine in the second half but Chelsea still struggled, though they finally took the lead with 15 minutes left to play through Nicolas Jackson. The Senegalese striker ended the game with a hat-trick thanks to two injury-time goals as Chelsea exploited the numerical advantage and bizarre tactics of Tottenham defending on their halfway line.

Here’s how the players rated at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium:


Guglielmo Vicario – 9 – Produced a good save on Jackson in the first half and was unlucky not to stop the penalty. But he was the hero for Tottenham as Chelsea peppered the balls over the top. If you look “sweeper keeper” up in the dictionary, there will be a picture of Vicario. Phenomenal, even with the late goals conceded. It could have been double figures if it weren’t for Vicario.

Pedro Porro – 8 – The only starting defender who finished the match, Porro was fantastic to keep the left wing locked down as the game stretched. Rendered Mudryk ineffective, which is even more impressive when you consider he looked to have rolled his ankle in the first half.

Cristian Romero – 3 – Was up for the match but not in the right way. Escaped VAR punishment for a kick at Colwill and didn’t last much longer, sent off for a foul inside the box — serious foul play — going through the ball onto Fernandez’s leg. He could have little complaints, even though he tried. “Absolutely ridiculous,” Jamie Carragher called it.

Micky van de Ven – 6 – Looked comfortably in the first half, dealing pretty well with Jackson but then he pulled up with a hamstring injury.

Destiny Udogie – 4 – VAR checked a two-footed tackle on Sterling for a red card, saved by not making full contact. A bit wayward defensively and sent off for committing to a challenge on Sterling

Yves Bissouma – 7 – In the opening stages it was clear that Chelsea had earmarked him as an important player with Gallagher trying to sit tight on him, but they couldn’t keep him quiet. Even when Tottenham fell apart, Bissouma held firm and tried to keep control on the mdfield.

Pape Matar Sarr – 5 – Looked good when Tottenham were on top and set up Kulusevski’s opener. But dropped off as they lost control, though he wasn’t alone.

Dejan Kulusevski – 7 – Opened the scoring, running at Colwill and making the most of the space he was given. Looked to catch Chelsea on the counter as the tactics changed but had to run a lot as Tottenham sat back.

James Maddison – 6 – Helped Tottenham control the game in the opening stages and produced a great pass from deep in the build up to Tottenham’s opener, pass from deep in build up to opener. Came off injured after going down without contact, an innocuous one.

Brennan Johnson – 6 – Looked really good in his time on the pitch, giving James some problems. Could have cooked but was unfortunately the one taken off to deal with the red card.

Son Heung-min – 6 – Threatened to cause Chelsea serious problems early on and thought he had scored in the first half but it was ruled out for offside. Had to feed off scraps but was so close to equalising late on, only seeing his effort saved by Sanchez.


Eric Dier (for Johnson 34) – 8 – Making his first appearance of the season, Dier was thrown in at the deep end but produced a couple of good blocks to stop what appeared to be certain goals in the first half. Thought he had equalised with a fantastic finish but it was ruled out for offside. It was a generally brilliant display given the circumstances.

Emerson Royal (for Van de Ven 45) – 7 – Had a couple of nervy moments with the high line, especially when playing at centre-back, but it was an overall good performance.

Pierre Emile Hojbjerg (for Maddison 45) – 8 – Produced a wonderful goal line clearance in the second half when Chelsea really should have scored. Part of a Tottenham rearguard that was so unlucky.

Rodrigo Bentancur (for Kulusevski 61) – 7 – Should have equalised late on but his header from a free-kick wasn’t good enough. Brought spark to Tottenham’s midfield.

Oliver Skipp (for Sarr 61) – 5 – Was the one substitution that didn’t really work for Tottenham, not really adding too much.


Robert Sanchez – 6 – Beaten by the deflection for the first goal and didn’t really have anything testing to do afterwards until a good late save on Son.

Reece James – 7 – Overrun in the early stages and was fortunate that Son’s goal was offside as he had left Johnson with way too much space. Once the game opened up for Chelsea, James started to flex his muscles and produced a beautiful pass to Sterling for his disallowed goal. VAR checked an elbow on Udogie but it felt like the softest of all the calls in the first half. Smart pass at the right time for Sterling for Chelsea’s second and he was taken off straight after.

Axel Disasi – 6 – He looked nervous at times with the ball at his feet and when faced against Son but fortunately for him it was a largely comfortable match.

Thiago Silva – 7 – The better of the Chelsea centre-backs, Silva’s experience was crucial at times when Tottenham looked to hit the Blues on the counter.

Levi Colwill – 4 – Was defensively poor for Kulusevksi’s goal, giving the Swede too much space and then deflecting the ball past Sanchez. Should have helped take control when Tottenham went down to 10 but got caught up in the emotions of the game, especially late in the first half in a clash with Sarr. Booked and taken off at half time with Pochettino not wanting to take any risks.

Moises Caicedo – 7 – A bit lost in the midfield battle in the opening stages. Thought he’d equalised with a good strike from outside the box but it was ruled out for offside. However, he was the midfielder to step up when Chelsea had the numerical advantage.

Enzo Fernandez – 4 – His biggest contribution to this game was being on the receiving end of Romero’s tackle inside the box. Absent in midfield defensively and his passing wasn’t as impactful as it usually is.

Cole Palmer – 7 – Left James a little lonely defensively, but that wasn’t as much of a problem across the match as it could have been. Just about scored his penalty, though he put enough pace on the shot to beat the goalkeeper. Set up Jackson’s hat-trick goal with a good pass over the top.

Conor Gallagher – 8 – Followed Bissouma in the opening stages, Gallagher’s role changed as Chelsea had the numerical advantage and he was the key man in trying to lift the balls over the top. He ended the game with five chances created and one assist, capitalising on the high line.

Raheem Sterling – 8 – Was trying to be too clever with his turns in the early stages but in the end that proved to be crucial. He was absolutely killing the Tottenham high line and could have been involved in a lot of goals had Vicario been out of form. Had a goal ruled out having somehow managed to squeeze the ball through the defence and goalkeeper, but it did bounce off his hand. Timed his run perfectly to set up Chelsea’s second, finally letting their gameplan work.

Nicolas Jackson – 8 – Was given no support when it was 11 vs 11 and missed a few good chances to score before he actually found the net. It was a night that would still have frustrated Chelsea fans, especially as he struggled with the high line. But all that matters for Jackson is that he ended with a hat-trick, all three pretty similar goals with the defence stretched.


Marc Cucurella (for Colwill 45) – 7 – A smart change, Cucurella was Chelsea’s danger man on his flank, constantly looking to break through the high line with his pace. Had a chance to score on one such occasion but he was thwarted by Vicario.

Mykhailo Mudryk (for Fernandez 58) – 5 – The game was screaming for him given Tottenham’s high line even with nine men but he struggled.

Malo Gusto (for James 77) – 5 – His introduction shook things up in the wrong way for Chelsea, with a few rash moments defensively.

Lesley Ugochukwu (for Sterling 90) – N/A – A late sub.