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Eden Hazard scored a late equaliser..

Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham: Five things we learned

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While for most the game will be remembered for its crowning of Leicester City as Premier League Champions, Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham also saw an admirable fight back from the Blues.

It proved the kind of battling performance that the Stamford Bridge side has been flirting with this season but hasn’t shown too often. Besides, it saw Chelsea fire home two goals against the league’s strongest defence.

Bearing this in mind, here are five things we learned from the draw and comeback from a Chelsea perspective:

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Chelsea still have guile

You’d be mistaken to think by early May in such a tumultuous season that Chelsea would be out of gusto; Monday night showed otherwise. The Blues battled their way to a point via overcoming an imposing two-goal deficit.

It proved a reminder that their fighting spirit of last season still flickers through. This passion and desire has also been shown in the away victory at Arsenal and through late equalisers against Manchester United and Everton.

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If Blues fans are looking for evidence that 2016-17 could see Chelsea back in business, they should look to this battling spirit. It may have arisen inconsistently this year but with some troubleshooting, the Blues could be back firing on all cylinders.

Showings such as these, when the west London side appeared down and out exemplifies that form is temporary but class is permanent.

Time up for Matic

Even the mid-season managerial switch hasn’t worked for Nemanja Matic. The Serbian midfielder has endured a nightmarish season and a non-descript performance against Spurs hasn’t helped his case.

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Playing alongside John Obi Mikel, Matic performed noticeably worse than his counterpart with erratic passes and touches galore. His effort couldn’t be faulted but against a team such as Spurs, such lack of pace cost him dearly.

The Independent handed him just a 5/10 for his performance in another bland display. Unless the 27-year-old starts pulling his socks up, it’s becoming clear that he should be a man to fall forfeit to Antonio Conte’s axe this summer.

Hazard must stay

Albeit having laid dormant for the majority of the season, Eden Hazard has come alive in recent weeks. It proves a timely reminder that Chelsea shouldn’t be rash in wanting to offload the Belgian after just one poor campaign.

Entering the play at half time, Hazard turned the game on its head and added an attacking edge to the Chelsea outfit. Moreover, it proved his immaculate top corner finish that saw the home side claw the game back to 2-2.

Supporters would argue with was an anomalous performance but it showcased the talent they know he all harbours. Such a devastating showing would see both Conte and Chelsea vastly unwise to sell the 25-year-old.

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Under a new manager, a different regime and with a clean slate, Hazard is almost certain to shine again next season.

Pedro can’t cope

Perhaps Chelsea’s weakest performer on the night proved Spanish winger Pedro. It saw the latest display of the wideman’s fragility amidst the physicality of the Premier League.

While Danny Rose’s tough tackling descended into blatant fouls later into the fixture, the Englishman still kept Pedro very quiet. The 28-year-old has crumbled in the big games this season and albeit recent improvements, against strong full-backs such as Rose he has flopped.

Guus Hiddink’s decision to substitute the Spaniard at half-time exemplified his unspectacular performance and Hazard proved a far more fruitful influence on the flank. It’s yet to be seen whether Pedro will eventually adjust to English football but he’s certainly taking his time.

Diego Costa is key

There is simply nobody quite like Costa in European football. In a game that will be best remembered for its fiery encounters, Chelsea’s Spanish striker directed his aggression to on-the-ball affairs as opposed to the mass scuffles (by his standards, anyway).

The Spaniard’s unending battling and sly movement saw him a constant nuisance to Spurs. While he carved out very few goal scoring chances himself, his constant hacking and fighting ensured the Tottenham defenders were jaded by the time Hazard drew the game level.

Real Madrid defender Pepe has even admitted this week that Costa was his toughest ever opponent and that’s coming from a man whose faced Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. The club simply can't afford to lose the 27-year-old.

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While Chelsea could easily secure a more prolific goal scorer in the summer, they cannot afford to lose the unique asset of Costa. His temperament can cost him on occasions but his unrivalled passion and drive sees him the perfect forward for Premier League football.

The Stamford Bridge side can certainly gather a lot of positives from a fighting display against a title chasing side and with Conte fast approaching, the Italian will likely build on this. Nonetheless, the same niggling issues linger for the Blues as they face an uncertain future going into 2016-17.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Chelsea
UEFA Champions League
Tottenham Hotspur
Didier Drogba
Eden Hazard

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