The Battle of the Bridge delivered another thrilling battle between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur as Harry Kane scored late to rescue a point in a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.
As we have come to know from this fixture over the years there have been some fiery moments, and this latest instalment served up drama on the touchline as things got heated between managers Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte. Firstly when Spurs equalised and then again at the final whistle as the pair had to be separated by players and stewards which resulted in referee Anthony Taylor awarding both bosses a red card. As the Premier League celebrates its 30th anniversary this week, it never ceases to deliver with moments like this.
On the field, Chelsea will be left frustrated that they have left the game with a point after they were the dominant side throughout the match. In the first home match of the Todd Boehly era, new signing Kalidou Koulibaly got on the scoresheet with a sensational volley, while he was assisted by fellow new recruit Marc Cucurella. The other fresh face involved in the goals was attacker Raheem Sterling, who teed up Reece James for the second.
Despite the late heartbreak, Tuchel’s game plan was working well in nullifying the threat posed by Spurs’ dangerous front three as his side smothered their opposites in white shirts whenever they had the ball and were quick to dispossess them.
As Chelsea were out the blocks quicker in the first half they had a few half chances as they were knocking on Spurs' door. They came close when Sterling backheeled the ball to Kai Havertz whose low-drilled effort was denied by the boot of Hugo Lloris. They then scored from the resulting corner as Koulibaly was left unmarked and he struck one of the sweetest volleys you will see as it rocketed into the back of the net. The Blues were by far the better side as they suffocated Spurs anytime they were on the ball.
After the break, things weren’t changing for Spurs and manager Conte changed his side’s shape as Richarlison came on for Ryan Sessegnon. They nearly fell two behind when Sterling blazed an effort over the bar after some nice work from Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Then Spurs went up the other end and Harry Kane spurred a great chance to pull his side level, dragging his effort wide of the post.
Spurs soon found themselves back in the match after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg drilled in an effort from outside the box into the bottom corner as tempers flared on the touchline between both benches. Tuchel was clearly aggrieved by contact with Jorginho in the build-up but it wasn’t for too long as his side regained the lead through Reece James. The defender was slipped in by Sterling and he coolly fired the ball past Lloris.
But as is the way with football, the drama never ends. And deep into six minutes of injury time Spurs pulled themselves level again as Kane nodded home from a corner to earn his side a hard-earned point. And what infuriated Tuchel even further was before the second corner which the goal came from, Cristian Romero was seen pulling Cucurella down by his hair which Taylor somehow missed. It may not have been the prettiest game of football from a Spurs perspective but the wild celebrations at the end show us exactly why football is the beautiful game.
*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change