Vintage Mourinho stifled both Chelsea and Tottenham as title contenders draw

He certainly put the miles in, Gareth Bale.

After all, one of the highest-paid footballers in the world had to do something to keep warm in the falling temperature.

Up and down the touchline, up and down the touchline, for large parts of the game.

Occasionally, he shared a laugh with compatriot Ben Davies.

And when Jose Mourinho made a second substitution five minutes from full-time, which Welshman did he turn to?

The one with a game-winning moment of class in his locker or the full-back?

Yep, you’ve guessed it.

As Tottenham defended their way to the top of the table, this was peak Jose Mourinho, restricting high-class opposition – the Premier League’s joint top-scorers – to three shots on target and restricting his own team to just one shot on target.

Bale was an unused substitute in the 0-0 draw

Apart from an unlikely goal on the counter-attack, everything went perfectly to plan for Mourinho, including a first league start for Joe Rodon, who overcame early nerves – and got away with a late error – to play his part in an ultra-disciplined defensive performance.

Even Harry Kane has well and truly bought into the Mourinho ethos.

Kane dropping deep to link the play is all part of the cunning game plan but, in this instance, it also left Spurs without an out-ball.

This performance was slightly different to the winning one against Manchester City in that Spurs never really looked like nicking one on the break.

Mourinho will be delighted by Spurs’ defensive display

But clean sheets and four points against two major contenders will have Mourinho purring.

As will the fact that there is now no-one in this Tottenham operation who does not know his role and does not take his defensive duty with the utmost seriousness.

The number of times there were eleven Spurs jerseys in a defensive third of the field was eye-catching if not surprising.

What was slightly more surprising was the lack of imagination shown in trying to dismantle the Spurs system.

Rodon made his first Premier League start, while Werner was kept at arm’s length

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If anyone looked likely to break it down, it was probably Reece James with his incursions and decent crosses and that tells you something.

Too many of Chelsea ’s flair players were just not quite in top gear.

Timo Werner did produce a super-smart first half finish but had edged offside while attempts from Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell disappeared into tier two.

Mount did better with a second half shot that Lloris pawed around the post and the late chance Olivier Giroud put into the Spurs keeper’s hands was gifted to the Frenchman by Rodon.

Spurs managed just one shot on target at Stamford Bridge

Will both sides come away from Stamford Bridge happy with a point? Have your say here.

Having said that, Tottenham’s attacking threat reached its peak early doors when Serge Aurier’s snapshot stretched Edouard Mendy.

Save for a couple of second half corners, that was about it.

But that will not bother Mourinho. His blueprint for this season will not include taking the game to the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool.

His blueprint will involve prioritising not being beaten in certain matches and that was certainly the case here.

It does not make for compelling viewing for the neutral and probably not for some Spurs fans but it is a tried and trusted winning formula for Mourinho.

Just as Chelsea, who were perhaps a touch too wary of Spurs counter-attacking threat, most certainly are, this Tottenham team are title contenders.

And if Mourinho suggests otherwise, do not believe him.

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