Jorginho gives Thomas Tuchel the bragging rights over Jose Mourinho
Even back in those days he was briefly in charge at Benfica, or rotating the squad at Uniao da Leiria, Jose Mourinho had never before lost two consecutive home league games in his career, although this unhappy precedent for him was more damaging for the manner in which it was inflicted.
This was a dismal first half from Tottenham Hotspur, tempered only by a brief second-half rally in which they improved marginally before finally falling short as one might have anticipated all along. The third league defeat in a row is a body-blow to the Spurs manager for whom the early promise of the season is leaking away from a side that has become hard to watch.
No Harry Kane, of course, but in his absence there was also a lack of imagination that crippled Spurs’s approach. By contrast, Thomas Tuchel’s team wanted the ball at all times, their possession count up around 70 per cent for periods, and all that was lacking was the ruthlessness to kill off the challenge of their opposition. This is seven points from the first three games under the new Chelsea coach, whose side now find themselves up to sixth place and riding the wave of a managerial intervention.
It feels much more critical for Spurs, now eighth and playing West Bromwich Albion on Sunday for a game that Mourinho has to win. If he has to rely on Carlos Vinicius for the goals again then it could be a tense afternoon.
At 0-0 at half-time it seemed like the most severe goalless hammering Spurs had taken in a while, and at 1-0 it started to feel hopeless for the home side even with the break a distant 10 minutes plus extras away.
Mourinho will argue that reaching 327 games of a managerial career that has exceeded two decades before losing two successive league matches says more about his achievements as a coach than his failures. He is right in part but at Spurs now there are echoes of the classic Mourinho collapse, in a team potentially unable to make sense of his defensive priorities.