Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham: Antonio Conte and Tuchel Tuchel are both sent off following Harry Kane’s last-gasp equaliser.
The battle between Chelsea and Tottenham was expected because the two managers are glory-hungry coaches but no one would have thought of the way it got heated up eventually.
Conte and Tuchel had already been booked for a spat in the aftermath of Spurs’ first equaliser, scored by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (68), but spat again as Kane rose unmarked in the 96th minute to head below-par Spurs level for the second time.
As this traditionally violent derby on a blistering hot day in the capital boiled over in the most enthralling of finishes, the managers had to be separated before being issued red cards.
Chelsea had taken a merited lead thanks to Kalidou Koulibaly’s powerful volley (19), but Spurs fought back and equalised when Hojbjerg’s drilled strike punished Jorginho’s slip in the penalty area.
Tuchel was enraged by Conte’s raucous celebration outside his technical area, and the Chelsea manager replied when Reece James (77) restored the hosts’ advantage, racing past the dejected Italian and down the touchline to celebrate with the Chelsea fans.
Tuchel appeared to have the last laugh, but with Chelsea just seconds away from a second consecutive Premier League victory, Kane’s incredible stoppage-time equaliser ignited the spark for the last clash between the two.
Last season, only three points separated third-placed Chelsea and fourth-placed Tottenham, but Spurs travelled across the capital confident of closing the gap and securing only their second-ever Premier League victory at Stamford Bridge after a decisive summer recruitment drive and resounding opening-day win over Southampton.
There were early signs of the visitors’ attacking threat, but Spurs withered in the sweltering west London heat as Tuchel’s tactical masterclass allowed Chelsea to take hold, with the majestic Jorginho and N’Golo Kante anchoring a fluid and threatening 3-4-3 formation that Spurs simply could not grasp.
On 19 minutes, the outstretched leg of Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris prevented Kai Havertz from giving Chelsea a deserved lead, but the deadlock was broken seconds later when Koulibaly was given free reign of the penalty area and emphatically volleyed Marc Cucurella’s corner home.
Chelsea’s domination lasted until the halftime break, but a second goal eluded them, with Koulibaly and Mason Mount both shooting wide.
Spurs had to improve on their fragmented first-half performance after the break, but progress was slow, with Kane putting Heung-Min Son in behind within minutes of the restart, only for Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to parry the South Korean’s scuffed attempt.
Chelsea could have scored soon after, but Raheem Sterling blasted over the bar after Ruben Loftus-Cheek waltzed into the Tottenham area. Kane wasted a golden opportunity to equalise seconds later, scuffing wide after eluding the offside trap.
When Spurs equalised through Hojbjerg, who rifled home after Jorginho unnecessarily dithered on the ball in his area, Conte’s enthusiastic celebration sparked a head-to-head fight with Tuchel.
When Havertz should have restored Chelsea’s advantage, he volleyed over from James’ inch-perfect cross, but the hosts’ pressure ultimately paid off when Sterling switched the ball onto James, who fired first-time into the Tottenham net.
Chelsea were then denied victory when Kane glanced home in the dying seconds after Christian Romero avoided punishment for pulling Cucurella’s hair. Tuchel and Conte were then dismissed by referee Anthony Taylor for refusing to let go of each other after shaking hands while walking in opposite directions.
Thomas Tuchel, manager of Chelsea: “When you shake hands, I assumed we looked into each other’s eyes, but we disagreed, therefore it was emotional. He was overjoyed when they equalized, and things became a little heated, but nothing major.
“Were we both given a red card? It was not required. However, many things were unnecessary. Today’s referee judgement was another blunder.
“It’s upsetting. You enjoy it. We don’t need any feedback right now. It was becoming hotter and hotter. Take a look at it. It’s the Premier League, and the game is on. You like it, don’t you? It’s fantastic. We are emotional consultants.”
“Chelsea demonstrated that they are a very good team. We performed better than last season, but if we want to cause issues for Chelsea [in the standings], we must improve.
“I’m not going to comment on the [Tuchel] problem because that isn’t the most important thing. If there is a disagreement, it is between me and him. It’s natural to come here and struggle, but we also created opportunities to stay in the game.”