LONDON, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Chelsea enjoyed a timely return to form to outplay Tottenham Hotspur in a 2-0 away victory in the Premier League as Frank Lampard outwitted his former mentor Jose Mourinho in their managerial battle on Sunday.
Willian struck both Chelsea goals in the first half as Chelsea consolidated fourth place while Tottenham’s dismal afternoon went from bad to worse as forward Son Heung-min was shown a red card just past the hour mark.
Chelsea coach Lampard, who won two of his Premier League titles in Mourinho’s first reign at Stamford Bridge, conjured a game plan that allowed his side to dominate from start to finish, aided by a shoddy home performance.
Willian punished some slack defending to open the scoring after 12 minutes and a labouring Tottenham barely created a decent chance in response.
A rush of blood to the head for Tottenham keeper Paulo Gazzaniga gifted Chelsea a penalty, awarded by VAR, just before halftime to put Chelsea in complete control.
Tottenham’s hopes of a revival were scuppered when Son needlessly kicked out at Antonio Rudiger and was shown a red card, with the decision again being made by VAR.
The hosts could also find themselves in hot water after an object was thrown at Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and Rudiger appeared to suggest he had been victim of racial abuse.
Chelsea’s win, after four defeats in their last five Premier League games, means they have tightened their grip on fourth place, opening up a four-point lead over fifth-placed Sheffield United with Tottenham six points back in seventh spot.
It was the first time in 14 matches at home against one of his previous clubs that Mourinho had suffered a defeat. (Reporting by Martyn Herman Editing by Ian Chadband)