Tuchel and Conte kick off Chelsea, Tottenham’s latest installment of bridge battle

LONDON — chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur signaled their intention to be London’s best in the 2022-23 Premier League season, but neither were able to pick up a full three points from Stamford Bridge on Sunday, settling for a 2-2 draw . Goals of Peter-Emile Hojbjerg and Harry Kane erased the advances of the Blues won by Kalidou Koulibaly and Reece Jamesand managers Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel had to be separated on several occasions as the first major London derby of the season unfolded in dramatic fashion.

– Report: Late Kane goal saves Spurs draw at Chelsea | Premier League table | Upcoming meetings

ESPN’s James Olley has the reaction to the tense 2-2 tie.

JUMP TO: Player ratings | Better/worse performers | Highlights and Moments | post game quotes | Key statistics | Upcoming meetings

Quick reaction

A new bridge battle

Maybe the heat got to them. Disagreements over refereeing decisions and some exuberant goal celebrations certainly did. But whatever the root cause, Tuchel and Conte – who had nothing but nice things to say to each other before – have sparked a rivalry here that feels just as fierce as some of the Premier League’s all-time greats, ahead be separated twice. , once after Tottenham’s first equalizer (when booked) and again full-time (when they were both sent off).

At times it felt like the infamous ‘Battle of the Bridge’ in May 2016, when Chelsea’s victory over their London rivals wiped out Spurs’ hopes of winning the 2015-16 title, although on this occasion no less of nine Spurs players have been booked and this time. the main protagonists were the two managers.

Perhaps Conte was trying to lead from the front by helping Spurs close what he described in January as a “very big” gap between Tottenham and the top teams, including Chelsea. They were far from their best but stayed in the game to snatch a point through Kane’s header in the 96th minute. What threatened to be a trying afternoon could be a stepping stone to closing that gap. Either way, the Tuchel-Conte dynamic has changed forever.

Kante excels… but suffers another blow

It was around 95 degrees at kick-off – a near-national heatwave forcing the introduction of drinks breaks this weekend – but you wouldn’t have known it by watching N’Golo Kante. After a promising start for Spurs, the 31-year-old France The midfielder helped Chelsea take control of this game by stifling Spurs, pushing them back into their own half for long stretches. However, Kante left with five minutes to go with what looked like a hamstring injury, the latest setback for a player plagued by a plethora of issues including knee and muscle issues, as well as tightness COVID-19.

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He remains absolutely essential for Chelsea to deliver their best collective performances in the big games. Additionally, there could be a noticeable ripple effect for Conor Gallagherwho has been linked with a move away from the club as crystal palace, where he thrived on loan last season, leads a long list of suitors. Tuchel will be much less inclined to allow Gallagher to leave if Kante is ruled out for any meaningful length of time.

Tuchel’s signings deliver, but more is needed

Marc Cucurella capped off a good individual display with Koulibaly’s corner to open the scoring with a fine volley, although a Spurs gave him the freedom to play in west London. Both were making their home Premier League debuts and they looked at home on a hostile, high-quality occasion such as this.

Tuchel has been granted greater influence over transfers under the new Todd-Boehly/Clearlake-led ownership and his judgment has been vindicated in a sense by the dynamic performances of mason mount, Rahim Sterling and Kai Havertz. The three alternated positions in attack and pressed the ball superbly – none would have been possible with Romelu Lukaku always at the club. However, the need for a clinical striker remained clear: Sterling flared when well placed just after the hour mark before Havertz squandered a glorious chance moments before James put Chelsea 2-1 up.

Tuchel wants to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Barcelonaand it was easy to see why here.

Player ratings

Chelsea: Edouard Mendy 6, Reece James 8, Kalidou Koulibaly 7, Thiago Silva seven, Ruben Loftus-Cheek 6, N’Golo Kante – Best of N’Golo Kante 8, jorginho 7, Marc Cucurella 7; Mason Mount 7, Kai Havertz 6, Raheem Sterling 7.
Subtitles: Cesar Azpilicueta 6, Conor Gallagher 6, Christian Pulisic 6, Armando Broja 6.

Tottenham: Hugo Lloris 6, Christian Romero seven, Eric Dier seven, Ben Davis 6; Emerson Royal 6, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg 7, Rodrigo Bentancur 6, Ryan Sessegnon 5; Dejan Kulusevsky 5, Harry Kane 6, Son Heung Min 6.
Subtitles: Richardson 6, Yves Bissouma 6, Ivan Perisic 6, Lucas Moura 6.

Best and Worst Performers

BEST: Reece James, Chelsea

Did a good job of keeping Son quiet and scored Chelsea’s second goal with the kind of attacking-minded wing-back play that makes him so vital to Tuchel’s preferred 3-4-3 system.

Worst: Dejan Kulusevski, Tottenham

He has been a revelation since signing Juventus in January, but he couldn’t get into the game at all and struggled to stem Chelsea’s left flank.

Highlights and Moments

Every moment of that game was a highlight, but the intensity, the instantly classic nature of this quintessentially Chelsea-Spurs match became more evident in Tottenham’s first equalizer, when Conte celebrated on the edge of Tuchel’s box in front of the Blues bench.

Nine minutes later, Chelsea had the lead again and Tuchel reveled in the moment, celebrating as he ran along the touchline.

The fireworks didn’t stop just because the full-time whistle sounded. Conte and Tuchel have ensured that those embers continue to burn, hopefully until the sides meet again on February 25.

After the game: What players and coaches said

“I think it’s not that important. The most important thing is football. It was intensive.” – Conte on his altercation with Tuchel after the full-time whistle.

“When you shake hands, you look into each other’s eyes. Antonio had a different opinion.” – Tuchel on what triggered his altercation with Conte.

Key stats (provided by ESPN Stats & Information)


Chelsea: The Blues will then be in action on Sunday August 21 at Elland Road, when Tuchel & Co. face Jesse Marsit is Leeds United. Six days later, on August 27, Chelsea return to Stamford Bridge to host Leicester city in London.

Tottenham: Spurs host Wanderers of Wolverhampton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday August 20, before heading to the City ground for a date with Nottingham Forest Sunday August 28.

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