Chelsea's winning run ends at 13 in a row, an incredible record bettered only by Arsenal, who won 14 across two seasons in 2002. The Blues, though, have always had a bigger prize on their mind: the Premier League title.


The fact Chelsea are even competing for the title after such a disastrous 10th-place finish in 2015-16 is incredible, and the whole squad can hold their heads high despite a painful, Dele Alli-inflicted defeat. Antonio Conte's side remain top of the table and five points clear.

The Blues have not suffered a humbling like this - or, indeed, any loss at all - since another disappointing day in north London, against Arsenal, in September. That 3-0 reverse convinced Conte to speed up his revolution by reinventing the team in his image and introducing his favoured 3-4-3 formation, but this time there will be no such drastic changes.

That extends to the transfer market, where Chelsea's should not rush into any business and instead allow their existing players to continue to write a remarkable story from the shame of 10th place to the title.

Conte's side enjoyed good spells on Wednesday night but couldn't sustain them for as long as Tottenham, who were also better with their final ball and finishing to earn the win at White Hart Lane.Pedro, Diego Costa, Victor Moses and N'Golo Kante all had rare off days against a team finding their groove to retake a position as one of Chelsea's closest challengers for the title.

Dele Alli channeled his inner Frank Lampard again, scoring his sixth and seventh goals in four games, and Christian Eriksen also turned in the kind of starring performance that he has not produced often enough of late.

Victor Wanyama and Moussa Dembele were dominant in midfield and Mauricio Pochettino and his team of scouts and analysts conjured up a masterplan finally downed Chelsea's winning machine, successfully exploiting the space between Victor Moses and Cesar Azpilicueta for both goals.

Chelsea's earlier control in the first half had failed to produce a goal. Their approach was similar to that which was so successful against Manchester City, yet they lacked the fluidity and finishing ability that they showed at the Etihad Stadium.

Conte struggles for sleep when he sees his teams lose and he threw the kitchen sink at Tottenham in a bid to write history in his first season in England. He threw on Willian for Marcos Alonso, Michy Batshuayi for Moses and Cesc Fabregas for Kante as he aimed to channel the spirit of the stunning comeback in May that ended Spurs' title hopes.

Even the world's best teams lose from time to time, though, and Conte looked calmer than usual as the game slipped away. He has been there, seen it and done it with Juventus, and knows what it takes to bounce back. Pochettino, sensing the importance of three points to his side's season, was, by contrast, tetchy and nervous.
The comeback never arrived but Conte remains well positioned to write another remarkable chapter in Chelsea's history in his first season at the club, and you can't really expect any more than that.


Tottenham's 2-0 win, meanwhile, is the latest tale in a rivalry growing stronger due to closer competitive equality - despite Conte's and Pochettino's mutual friendship.

Liverpool may be rueing a missed opportunity to close the gap by beating Sunderland but do gain a point on Chelsea by one point ahead of a break in the league schedule for the third round of the FA Cup.

After that, a trip to Anfield looms for the Blues and Conte will need to ensure that his players retain the confidence that deserted them last season. Chelsea may have beeen battered and bruised by Tottenham, but there are many more battles of equal and greater importance to come.