Chelsea and Tottenham are not the best of friends in Northwest London. Their fixtures between the two clubs have produced animosity beyond ninety minutes on the rectangular pitch, as they are into the mix as they contend for every competition that they have played in.
It is not surprising that tempers flared up big time in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge, when opposing managers Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel nearly came to blows twice in the match, with the pair being sent off by referee Anthony Taylor as their mental gamesmanship went one level too many.
In the first half, the lone action came Kalidou Koulibaly, who opened his Blues account with a thumping volley from a Marc Cucurella corner to draw first blood in the 19th minute.
The initial dust-up occurred during the midway point of the second half after Pierre-Emile Højbjerg’s equalizer, in which the Italian’s celebration irked the German gaffer, who had bumped the former who went straight to the Chelsea dugout causing them to get into Taylor’s book.
Tuchel complained that the goal by the Dane should not stand, as he pointed out that the officials missed the prior foul by Rodrigo Bentancur on Kai Havertz.
In the 77th minute, Chelsea retook the lead through Reece James, as Tuchel run past Conte in celebration with no further incident.
However, the biggest fireworks were saved at full-time mere seconds after Harry Kane’s late equalizer, with their one-upmanship now blown into an altercation after a handshake gone awry, leading to them being set apart by their respective dugouts before the referee gave them their marching orders.
The said fracas at the touchline, which remains a trending topic on social media, mirrors the original “Battle of the Bridge” six years ago when the Blues’ comeback from two goals down to force a similar 2-2 draw gave Leicester the unlikeliest of the Premiership triumphs at the expense of the Spurs.
But do you think it’s all over? If you ask Conte, nope, not yet.