London. Tottenham Hotspur denied Chelsea a record 14th consecutive Premier League win and loosened their grip on the title race as two Dele Alli headers secured a 2-0 victory at a rocking White Hart Lane on Wednesday (04/01).
After Tottenham's own title dream last season ended in a tumultuous 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge in May, there was a particular satisfaction that they stopped the Chelsea bandwagon.
Arsenal still hold the record for consecutive Premier League wins although their streak included 13 at the end of 2001-02 and one more at the beginning of the following campaign.
"We knew that defeat could happen before the game but I think today I saw a game with a good balance and they scored a goal at the end of the first-half and the second goal in our best moment," Chelsea boss Antonio Conte said.
"It is a pity to stop this run, but Tottenham is a good team, a really strong team and I think is for sure one of the teams that can fight for the title until the end."
Conte's side were not at their best although there was little between the sides in a high-tempo derby that thankfully never descended into the kind of indiscipline that resulted in 12 bookings in the Bridge battle of last season.
The 50th Premier League clash between the London rivals was an engrossing tactical affair with chances at a premium.
In the end it was decided by two carbon-copy goals either side of halftime — both created by the precision of Tottenham's Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen.
Eriksen was a whisker away from giving his side the lead midway through the first half with shot that flew just wide.
Yet it was one of his trademark deliveries that led to Tottenham's opener in first-half stoppage time.
Given too much time to pick his spot, he whipped in a right-footed cross that Alli headed past Thibaut Courtois.
Chelsea upped the pace at the start of the second half and Eden Hazard wasted their best chance when he stooped to head a bouncing ball wide at the far post under no pressure.
Alli showed him how to do it minutes later when Eriksen again sent in a lethal cross and the young England midfielder found too much space to head past Courtois.
After a slow start to the season Alli now has 10 goals and has netted seven in his last four games.
Tottenham's fifth consecutive victory lifted them from fifth to third with 42 points from 20 games, ahead of Man City on goal difference and one point above Arsenal.
Chelsea, who could have set a new record for consecutive wins during a single season, still lead second-placed Liverpool by five points after 20 games with Tottenham seven adrift.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte shrugged off a record-wrecking 2-0 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday, insisting his players must dust themselves down and restart their Premier League title quest.
Two Dele Alli headers meant Chelsea's hopes of winning a 14th consecutive Premier League game — which would have been a record in a single campaign — foundered at White Hart Lane.
Italian Conte, however, said the defeat was very different to the 3-0 reverse they suffered at Arsenal on Sept. 24, since when they have been unstoppable.
"We are disappointed but also we must be pleased for our run as 13 wins in this league is not easy," Conte told reporters.
"But this is a different defeat to the one in September because today we lost the game, but showed that we were a team. Against Arsenal, we weren't a team, today we were."
Chelsea could have gone eight points clear at the top with a first victory at White Hart Lane since 2012 and while five points is still a healthy margin over nearest rivals Liverpool, Conte insists the title race is now wide open.
Tottenham moved up to third, seven points behind, ahead of Manchester City on goal difference while Arsenal are a point further adrift and Manchester United two further back.
"Today we lost against a good team, a really strong team and don't forget Tottenham fought last season for the title," Conte said.
"They are improving, and they are one of the six teams that can fight to win the title.
"We are top of the table because we are working a lot, but for sure this league is very tough and we must continue to work and improve. A defeat can happen against Tottenham, now it's important to restart."
Conte's side had boasted the meanest defense in the league until Wednesday's defeat so the nature of both Tottenham's goals -- carbon-copy crosses and headers — was a surprise.
Tottenham have now conceded the least goals — 14 in 20 games.
"It is strange for us to concede these goals because we are defending well, and they are in a crucial moment," he said.
"At the end of the first half and then in the second half after we miss the chances to score, but this can happen. My priority is to win again. The training doesn't change if you win or you lose. We have to continue to work."