DELE Alli struck twice as Tottenham beat Chelsea 2-0 to end the Blues’ 13-game winning run in the Premier League and breathe new life into this season’s title race.
The 20-year-old scored with a header in each half as Spurs edged a hard-fought contest at White Hart Lane to move within seven points of leaders Chelsea and just two behind Liverpool in second.
Antonio Conte’s side suffered their first defeat since September 24 after a disappointing display in which they only briefly threatened to rally once falling behind on the brink of half time.
Alli doubled Spurs’ advantage nine minutes after the restart and was substituted to a standing ovation shortly before the end of a contest which ensures Tottenham also climb above north London rivals Arsenal ahead of this weekend’s FA Cup third round matches. Mauricio Pochettino made three changes to the team that beat Watford with Kyle Walker, Jan Vertonghen and Moussa Dembele introduced but most significantly, Spurs used a back three for only the third time this season.
The 3-4-1-2 shape was a close approximation of Conte’s 3-4-3 system which has yielded such a dramatic upturn in fortunes that Chelsea surged clear at the top of the table since losing at Emirates Stadium.
The Blues made two changes of their own with Pedro and Nemanja Matic replacing Willian and Cesc Fabregas and the first half was something of a stalemate until Alli struck in stoppage time. Eden Hazard wasted a good early opportunity, flashing a left foot shot wide after Matic’s clever lofted pass before Christian Eriksen fired inches wide from the edge of the box but chances were in short supply.