Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham: Conte still waiting for one regular day of Barclays

Date published: Sunday 14th August 2022 6:52 - News Desk

Reece James and Ryan Sessegnon

Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte were both sent off at full-time as Harry Kane snatched Tottenham a 2-2 Premier League draw at Chelsea.

England captain Kane was anonymous until burying a header from an added-time corner, to leave honours even in a tempestuous London derby at a sweltering Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel and Conte were both booked after Piere-Emile Hojbjerg slotted Spurs’ first goal, and the two managers were given their marching orders after the final whistle by referee Anthony Taylor.

The two bosses twice clashed heads, first on the touchline then on the field at the final whistle, in what proved an unwanted postscript to a high-quality and high-octane contest.

Reece James thought he had settled the argument with a cool finish on a baking west London day, slotting home after Raheem Sterling’s fine pass.

Kalidou Koulibaly conjured a thunderous volley from Marc Cucurella’s corner to hand Chelsea the 1-0 half-time lead.

Conte confronted Tuchel in the aftermath of Hojbjerg’s controversial equaliser as tensions and tempers spilled over.

Chelsea were left incensed that referee Taylor waved away the Blues’ appeals for a foul when Rodrigo Bentancur tackled Kai Havertz.

Tottenham powered upfield and scored from the same play, but crucially shortly conceded possession.

Jorginho had the chance to clear, but was robbed in his own box and Hojbjerg angled home a neat leveller.

Blues boss Tuchel remonstrated with fourth official Peter Bankes as it became clear Hojbjerg’s effort would stand.

Former Chelsea manager Conte raced in and the pair briefly touched heads, and then both benches piled in to a messy melee.

Tuchel, his assistant Zsolt Low and Conte were all booked for their aggressions, but after all the fuss, the goal was awarded.

Chelsea set back to their task and James delivered a fine goal, only for Kane to pop up with his sole meaningful contribution of a tough afternoon.

The match launched into a breakneck tempo right from the off, to match Stamford Bridge’s tinder-box atmosphere.

London’s scorching temperatures stifled the air, and Chelsea quickly set about suffocating Spurs.

The Blues squeezed their capital rivals back into their own half time and again with imperious and regimented pressing.

Chelsea also bossed the ball, with Tuchel’s latest match-specific system outfoxing Spurs counterpart Conte.

James shut down Heung-min Son in the right of a back three, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s physical presence and driving runs lit up the right flank from wing-back.

Koulibaly’s powerful volley handed Chelsea the rightful lead, the Senegal skipper lashing home Cucurella’s corner with clear relish.

Sterling’s cute backheel had teed up Havertz for a low strike on goal that Hugo Lloris had flicked around the post with his foot to hand the Blues that corner.

And then two big-name summer signings linked up to devastating effect as the Blues reflected their superiority in territory and possession on the scoreboard.

Spurs’ only real chance of the first half came when Ryan Sessegnon raced clear of the Blues defence, only for Edouard Mendy to deny him with a smart save.

Chelsea dusted themselves down and regained their poise and control however, with Loftus-Cheek doubtless frustrated not to make any contact with Jorginho’s lofted pass when racing in on goal with an attempted header.

Spurs attacked the second-half with renewed vigour, with Son quickly drawing a smart save from Mendy.

Loftus-Cheek’s jinking run ended in Sterling blasting over the bar as Chelsea pressed too.

Then in a flash Kane raced clear of the Blues defence, only to scuff his shot well wide.

Tempers flared when Spurs equalised through Hojbjerg, who drilled home after Jorginho lost possession in his own area, leading to the first clash between the benches.

Havertz volleyed wide from James’ fine cross as Chelsea set about trying to regain the lead, handing Spurs a major reprieve.

Chelsea refused to relent though, and Koulibaly and Kante combined to win the ball high in the Spurs half.

Sterling sent James clear on goal and the England wing-back blasted past Lloris to put Chelsea back in front at 2-1.

Kane nodded home from an added-time corner, after Christian Romero had avoided censure despite pulling Cucurella’s hair.

Tuchel and Conte shook hands walking in opposite directions at the final whistle, and when neither man refused to let go another clash ensued.

Taylor dismissed both men to add an ugly postscript on a relentless, engrossing contest.

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