Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte in focus as rivals see red in fiery London derby

·4-min read

Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte came to blows twice during a fiery 2-2 draw between Chelsea and Tottenham.

The first flashpoint with the managers occurred in the 68th minute after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had equalised for Spurs with Conte going chest to chest with his opposite number, who was remonstrating with fourth official Peter Bankes over a contentious Rodrigo Bentancur tackle.

A second incident would happen after referee Anthony Taylor had blown for full-time with a handshake between Conte and Tuchel sparking more fireworks where both received a red card.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at how the two passionate coaches performed at Stamford Bridge.

Selection

Marc Cucurella
Marc Cucurella (left) was handed a full debut by Chelsea (John Walton/PA)

Tuchel: The German handed a full debut to summer signing Marc Cucurella while Ruben Loftus-Cheek was given the nod on the opposite flank with captain Cesar Azpilicueta the man to make way and joined by Ben Chilwell on the bench. Cucurella responded with an assist for the opener and makeshift wing-back Loftus-Cheek dominated his battle with Ryan Sessegnon.

Conte: Spurs boss Conte elected to pick the same XI which beat Southampton comprehensively on the opening weekend with four of his new signings again named among the substitutes. It proved a bad decision with the visitors second-best for the majority of the first half and the Italian forced into a change by the 57th minute.

Tactics

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – Stamford Bridge
Reece James (left) appeared to have been given a different role to play (John Walton/PA)

Tuchel: While Tuchel went with his favoured three in defence and wing-backs formation, Reece James appeared to be deployed purposely close to Son Heung-min in an almost man-marking role, which saw the threat of the South Korean nullified. Loftus-Cheek’s physicality out wide gave him the edge with Raheem Sterling again leading the line in a fluid front three alongside Kai Havertz and Mason Mount that regularly interchanged to cause Spurs numerous problems. If all three had their shooting boots on, the final score would have been different.

Conte: The ex-Chelsea boss stuck with his tried and tested 3-4-3 formation but saw Harry Kane isolated for much of the first half while Son was involved more in a defensive capacity. He did change early after the break with Richarlison’s introduction seeing Tottenham move to a four-man attack and a flat back four. However, shortly after Hojbjerg’s equaliser, Spurs were caught out in their ultra attacking formation when Sterling and James combined in a costly overload on the right as Chelsea reclaimed the lead with 13 minutes left. Tottenham’s cavalier approach did pay off in the end though with Kane’s dramatic late leveller.

Substitutions:

Tuchel: It took until the 73rd minute for Chelsea to make a first change with Azpilicueta brought on for Jorginho and Loftus-Cheek able to move into the middle. This allowed James to go out wide into his familiar wing-back position where he struck what looked set to be the winner. Conor Gallagher and Christian Pulisic added further energy too during the final exchanges. Armando Broja also replaced Havertz, whose height may have been missing for that final corner of a incident-packed London derby.

Conte: Richarlison was introduced after 57 minutes and it saw Tottenham go ultra-attacking in a 4-2-4 formation which paid dividends when they equalised 11 minutes later through Hojbjerg’s low effort, which occurred after Spurs won back possession inside Chelsea’s own box. Yves Bissouma and Ivan Perisic were also sent on and Lucas Moura to create further chaos in the Blues area. It would eventually pay off with Kane able to flick home Perisic’s late corner to salvage a point.

Final impression

Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – Stamford Bridge
Referee Anthony Taylor sent off both managers after full-time (John Walton/PA)

It was honours even on the pitch but the story was off it with both managers fighting fire with fire. Tuchel appeared to have got the last laugh over Conte after his decision to move James into a wing-back position produced a second for the hosts but the Spurs boss was able to celebrate wildly once more in stoppage time at his old club. Perisic made a telling contribution and the new belief installed in Tottenham came to the fore with Kane’s headed equaliser. After both managers were sent off by referee Anthony Taylor after full-time, all eyes will be on the Football Association and what type of punishment they could hand out to the duo.