The encounter at Stamford Bridge was a predictably open one with both sides needing a win in a game that was ultimately decided by players who were frequently overlooked by their side.
Rafa Benitez stuck to his trio of Oscar, Eden Hazard and Juan Mata supporting Fernando Torres in the usual 4-2-3-1 formation while dropping Jon Obi Mikel for David Luiz, which was possibly the most important change in his side.
Andre Villas-Boas marked his return to his former club without first-choice striker Jermain Defoe, which meant that Emmanuel Adebayor started up front. Star man Gareth Bale started the game out on the left while Lewis Holtby tucked into the middle behind Adebayor in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Deep Chelsea line nullifies Spurs speed
Talk to any manager about the current Tottenham side and the topic will inevitably turn to their speed. In a side that features pace merchants like Aaron Lennon, Kyle Walker, Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe, it's only logical to use their biggest advantage over their opponents with a set-up that can go from their own box to the opposite end within 10 seconds.
With that in mind, it was interesting to see what Villas-Boas did without Defoe leading the line - Adebayor does not boast the same speed and tends to look for the ball played to his feet, rather than outpacing his opponents like Defoe does.
In the opening minutes, there was a distinct pattern in Tottenham's passing - there was always a backpass in midfield when Chelsea's deep midfielders pressed in, and the player receiving the ball would try to hit a pass into the gap right in front of the Chelsea defense.
The idea behind this was to draw in Chelsea's defensive line and then hit a pass into the space behind, but Benitez's men were disciplined and held a deep line in the final third. This meant that the Tottenham players had less space to run into behind the defense, effectively cancelling out their speed advantage.
On the other hand, Tottenham's reputation for speed helped in Adebayor's goal - the striker was literally uncontested running across half the pitch because of Lennon, who was making the outside run to pull the defenders back to avoid conceding space behind. With that much time and little pressure, Adebayor did well to curl the ball in from distance.
Luiz is better than Mikel
A huge difference in Chelsea's attacking play was in their build-up in midfield.
In previous Tactics Watch pieces, Mikel's limited ability as an attacking player was highlighted due to his slow decision-making and his conservative passing.
While Luiz isn't a maestro passer like Bastian Schweinsteiger or Xabi Alonso, he showed what a primarily defensive midfielder could offer with short passes going forward - the Brazilian was always quick to release the ball forward and followed up by moving into space to offer an extra option up front.
This allowed the Chelsea attack to build up faster - a big difference when compared to Mikel, where opposite midfielders usually concentrated on pressing him deeper in midfield to have an easy way to buy more time for their defence.
Fringe players make the difference
It was also interesting that the decisive moments in the game were made by the lesser-known players in each side.
Ramires' goal for Chelsea came from a very typical Ramires run from deep where he managed to shake off Parker at the edge of the box. The Brazilian has scored plenty of goals in such situations that oppoents should have realised by now how he likes to become the extra unmarked man on the attack with a late run.
Sigurdsson's goal was a brilliant piece of work by Adebayor, who hooked backheel in the box for his team mate to finish. There wasn't much anyone could do in that situation, but it served to highlight that Spurs can offer another dimension on the attack (other than speed) if they want with Sigurdsson, Adebayor and Clint Dempsey's ability around the box.