Chelsea vs Tottenham: Drama galore as epic battle ends even

·11 min read

LONDON — Chelsea and Tottenham played out a pulsating 2-2 draw in a classic London derby at Stamford Bridge, as tempers flared on the pitch, on the sidelines between Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte and pretty much everywhere else as Spurs snatched a point in the 96th minute.

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At the final whistle both Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel were sent off for their reaction to a handshake, as everyone piled in.

Harry Kane’s header deflected off Reece James and in to make it 2-2 with the last attack of the game after Chelsea had twice led through Kalidou Koulibaly and Reece James.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s shot had made it 1-1, but that was a massive moment of contention as Chelsea believed Havertz was fouled in the build-up.

On Spurs’ late goal to make it 2-2 there was also controversy as a VAR check for a foul on Marc Cucurella by Cristian Romero (who clearly pulled his hair) was waved away and then Spurs scored.

Utter chaos. Just the way we like it in the Premier league.

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What we learned from Chelsea vs Tottenham

This is Tuchel ball: Intensity throughout. Controlling the tempo of the game. Three fluid forwards causing havoc. This is Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea. Many believe they would struggle to finish in the top four this season, and they still might, but this attacking performance suggests they will cause plenty of problems for opponents. Of course, defensively they have to improve and this draw will feel like a defeat.

Spurs’ Plan B is very dangerous: When Spurs went to a 4-2-4 formation and brought on Richarlison to partner Harry Kane up top and it worked. They equalized (twice) created a few big chances and this is a great option for Conte when Spurs are struggling to create chances. After struggling to have any kind of rhythm throughout the game, the switch to a 4-2-4 gave them the chance to actually keep the ball higher up the pitch. Against weaker defenses than Chelsea they will have a field day with this approach.

Chaos ensues in Battle of the Bridge 2022: From the Hojbjerg equalizer which Chelsea were fuming with after they believed Havertz was fouled, it was pure chaos. Tuchel and Conte clashed on the sidelines as the benches were emptied. Tuchel then ran down the sidelines to celebrate Chelsea’s second goal and then there was more pandemonium. After Romero’s hair pull wasn’t punished by VAR, Spurs scored from the resulting 96th minute corner to grab a point. At the final whistle Conte and Tuchel then went at it as they shook hands as a massive brawl broke out. This London derby rarely disappoints. On the pitch it was an intense spectacle and off it there were strong Battle of the Bridge vibes.

Anthony Taylor, officials will be under pressure: Chelsea will feel very hard done by with plenty of decisions throughout the game as Romero should have been sent off for violent conduct on Cucurella and that means Spurs shouldn’t have equalized. The foul on Havertz was 50/50. Bentancur got the ball, and Havertz, but the officials could point to the Spurs man getting a piece of the ball and probably play was too far developed to pull it back and disallow Spurs’ first goal.

Tactical focus

After a slow start Chelsea totally dictated the tempo of this game and for 95 minutes it was a tactical masterclass from Thomas Tuchel. He surprised many by starting Ruben Loftus-Cheek as a right wing-back but it was a masterstroke. RLC tucked inside often, creating overloads in midfield which stopped Tottenham from ever getting control of the game. With Spurs’ midfield locked down, Harry Kane and Heung-min Son were left isolated and that is never a good thing for Tottenham. However, then Antonio Conte switched to a 4-2-4 to wrestle back control of the game to help Spurs rescue a point as they were better going forward and took more risks. On his return to Chelsea, conte showed why he is one of the best.

Stars of the show

Ruben Loftus-Cheek: A surprise inclusion at right wing-back but not only did his job down that flank but also tucked inside to create an extra man in midfield. Spurs couldn’t handle him.

Kalidou Koulibaly: What a home debut for Koulibaly as he scored a beauty, launched into tackles and became a fans’ favorite in the space of 90 minutes. Chelsea’s fans are missing Antonio Rudiger anymore.

Hugo Lloris: Some incredible saves to deny Chelsea and that proved crucial as Spurs grabbed a point.

What’s next?

Chelsea head to play at Leeds on Sunday, Aug. 21, while Tottenham host Wolves on Saturday, Aug. 20.

How to watch Chelsea vs Tottenham live, stream link and start time

Kickoff: 11:30 am ET, Sunday
TV: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

Chelsea vs Tottenham live analysis! – By Joe Prince-Wright at Stamford Bridge

Summary of the game. Pretty much.

GOALLLL! 96th minute equalizer from Harry Kane, as he heads home and the ball flicks off Reece James and in. Chaos here. Pure chaos.

3 minutes to go…

This is what the Premier League is all about!

From the drama of Hojbjerg’s goal amid a possible foul, to the chaos on the sidelines between Conte and Tuchel, to Havertz’s big miss, to Reece James’ goal and then Tuchel’s celebration running down the touchline, this last 10 minutes has been epic.

GOALLL!! This place has gone wild. Kante finds Sterling and he finds a wide-open James to slot home. 2-1. Tuchel goes running down the sidelines to celebrate.

Miss! What a chance for Kai Havertz but he somehow slots wide from a great position. Wow. What a miss.

GOALLLL! Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s low daisy cutter sneaks in and it is 1-1. Huge moment of controversy as Havertz went down before that but nothing was given. Then it all kicks off on the sidelines. Pandemonium. Just chaos as Conte and Tuchel go at it right before the drinks break.

Spurs are looking much better after going to a 4-2-4 system. Conte is feeling it on the sidelines.

CLOSE! x2 Raheem Sterling fires over after a lovely mazy run from Ruben Loftus-Cheek. What a chance for Chelsea to double their lead… Then moments later Harry Kane is played in over the top but he scuffs his shot wide. A huge chance missed. Kane knows it as he slams the ground in frustration.

Richarlison is on for Tottenham. He replaces Ryan Sessegnon. Richarlison and Harry Kane are playing together up top. Tottenham have gone to basically a 4-2-4 formation with Kulusevski on the right and Heung-min Son on the left.

Tottenham hanging in there as Chelsea have them pinned in. Spurs can’t get out. Richarlison is coming on.

The second half is underway and Chelsea are right back on top. Loftus-Cheek continues to cause problems down the right. Spurs have to try and keep the ball better to have any chance of getting back in the game. No substitutes at half time for either team.

Chelsea continue to do all of the pressing and Ruben Loftus-Cheek should make it 2-0, but he can’t get enough on his header at the back post. Tottenham are being dominate.

Water break! That gives us all a breather after that intense start.

It’s all Chelsea now. The home fans are loving it as they go through their renditions of songs making fun of Tottenham. They’re having a lovely time. The Spurs fans in the away end, not so much.

GOALLLL! GOALLLL! That gets the double goal treatment. Wowza. Kalidou Koulibaly with a stunning volley from a corner on his home Premier League debut. Stamford Bridge has just gone bonkers and Chelsea totally deserved that opener after a great spell of pressure. Tottenham kept dropping deeper and deeper. What a moment for Koulibaly who celebrates with Thomas Tuchel on the sidelines. Absolute scenes.

Nearly a great goal from Chelsea! Kante teed up Sterling and his back heel found Havertz who thought he had scored. However, Hugo Lloris with a fine save down low with his foot. What a stop that is.

Chelsea totally dictating the tempo of this game now, but Tottenham are very compact and there isn’t much space for Mount, Havertz and Sterling to operate in. Marc Cucurella is seeing a lot of the ball.

Lovely cross into the box from Kante but it evades Raheem Sterling who was lurking on the edge of the six-yard box.

What a start to this game. The pace is incredible. There’s no way they can keep this up, right?

Here are my thoughts ahead of kick off. Yeah, it’s so hot here the camera started to steam up during filming. It’s a scorcher.

An early chance for Spurs as Son races clear but delays his shot and Chelsea clear. Kane then finds Son but his shot is blocked. Good start by Spurs.

KICK OFF: What an atmosphere here. The teams are out, the flames are flying high and the dislike between these clubs, as always, is very clear.

There is a real party atmosphere here at Chelsea. The new owners are fully in charge and it’s a new season with plenty of expectations. Add in this is a huge London derby and things will be very interesting today.

The lineups are out and it is very interesting. Marc Cucurella starts and it looks he is starting as the left wing-back in a 3-4-2-1 system. Tottenham are unchanged, as expected.

Welcome to a hot and steamy Stamford Bridge for what should be an, erm, hot and steamy London derby! These two always deliver drama, big moments and spirited scraps. Here’s hoping today is no different as two tactical geniuses lock horns.

Key storylines & star players

1W-1D-6L. That’s Tottenham’s dismal record against Chelsea over the last four Premier League seasons (3W-1D-9L if you include all competitions). Even in the best of times for Spurs — in the 2015 League Cup final and the Battle at the Bridge, when Tottenham were chasing Leicester City for the PL title, just to name a couple — Chelsea were a constant thorn in Mauricio Pochettino’s side. Now, Antonio Conte, a Premier League champion with Chelsea himself, is at the helm and Tottenham look stronger and more convincing than perhaps they ever have. With a clear plan finally in place from top down, the squad has been essentially set since the start of preseason, and there’s a confidence emanating from the club that has Spurs supporters believing that this time it really could turn out differently.

In contrast, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is working with far from a full deck these days. Since the end of last season, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen (free transfers), Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku (loans) have all left the club, with Raheem Sterling, Marc Cucurella and Kalidou Koulibaly ($165.4 million combined) arriving as reinforcements. There’s not currently a center forward at the club (remember, they’re both loaned out after being signed for $197 million combined), leaving the attack predictably blunt and unimaginative in a tedious win over the relegation candidate Toffees. And still, Chelsea’s recent dominance over Spurs sows doubt for one side and offers some much-needed hope for the other.

Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup

OUT: Mateo Kovacic (knee), Marcos Alonso (undisclosed)

Tottenham team news, injuries, lineup

OUT: Oliver Skipp (foot), Clement Lenglet (abductor)

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Chelsea vs Tottenham: Drama galore as epic battle ends even originally appeared on NBCSports.com