Tottenham Hotspur Women fought a spirited match against Chelsea Women at Stamford Bridge. The newly-promoted side lost 1-0 after Beth England’s scintillating strike into the top left corner. Nevertheless, the club do not look out of depth and competed well on the pitch.
Tottenham Hotspur Women Promising in WSL Debut Despite Defeat
Early in the match, Spurs were a little over-cautious and cagey. They set up with plenty of players behind the ball and with two banks of four to protect the goal. But, at first, the players looked comfortable in at least competing with the higher level of the Chelsea side. Despite Ria Percival‘s lapse of concentration and Beth England’s ensuing strike, the Tottenham side did begin to grow into the match.
All game the defence remained strong and disciplined. The midfield and attacking play developed as the match progressed. However, this was clearly the difference in the two sides. Whilst Spurs could keep a strong defence, their play on the ball lacked the quality of Chelsea’s. There was often one-touch link-up play involving the likes of Adelina Engman, Ji So-yun and Beth England. This is what was missing from the away team’s play.
Chelsea’s Bethany England won player-of-the-match and rightly so. Her thunderous strike into the top corner won all three points. But, her all-round play was strong both physically and technically. She did not manage to inflict as much damage on the Spurs defence as what may have been expected with a newly promoted side. However, it was definitely a tough welcome for many of Tottenham’s WSL debutantes.
Tottenham often found an outlet in Davison. The winger has bags of pace and dribbling ability with the intent to beat players and move forward. There were many moments where she drifted past opponents with ease. Perhaps the only thing holding her back was her final ball, which was often not quite good enough.
For Chelsea, there were numerous good performances. Millie Bright put in another dominant display at centre-back. Drew Spence battled well in midfield and got some good shots away on the edge of the box.
Most of the Spurs backline deserves some credit. Ashleigh Neville clocked up some miles up and down the right flank and showed good composure on the ball. Siri Worm and Hannah Godfrey made plenty of blocks and clearances.
Tottenham won’t have to face a top-three side in their next three matches. Their next encounter is against Liverpool FC who will provide an exciting encounter with lots of summer transfers. Reading and West Ham United are the other two opponents.
In these matches, the players should be able to grow a little more into the level of the WSL. Keeping a strong defence is important but in these next fixtures, Spurs will need to create and take more chances. Their slow and patient build-up play can sometimes be a little too pedestrian and thus predictable.