Chelsea

Chelsea

Premier League • England

Tuchel explains what Conte did to spark fiery clash; labels Tottenham point ‘undeserved’ after fuming at ‘ridiculous’ Chelsea injustices

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel

Thomas Tuchel revealed what sparked his full-time clash with Antonio Conte, and claimed he only gave as good as he got as tensions repeatedly threatened to boil over on the touchline.

Chelsea surrendered their 2-1 lead at the death in a highly charged affair at Stamford Bridge. The Blues led on two occasions with defenders Kalidou Koulibaly and Reece James both on the scoresheet.

Koulibaly’s first goal for Chelsea was one to remember, volleying home direct from a corner when left unmarked in the area.

Spurs equalised through Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg after Jorginho was punished for playing out from the back.

James restored the lead when converting an inch-perfect pass from Raheem Sterling, but Harry Kane nodded home with virtually the last touch of the match to ensure the spoils were shared.

Both managers were noticeably animated on the touchline throughout the contest and both saw red during a fracas at the final whistle.

Tuchel and Conte shook hands, but the German would not let go and dragged his counterpart back towards him and into a face-off.

That prompted the bodies off the bench and support staff to fly in before referee Anthony Taylor showed both managers the red card.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Tuchel claimed the spark for the clash was Conte not looking him in the eye during the handshake.

“I thought when we shake hands you looked in each other eyes, he had a different opinion,” said Tuchel.

“It (the red cards) was not necessary but a lot of things were not necessary. Another poor decision from the referee.”

Attempting to play the incident down later in his interview, he added: “It’s emotional, football. We don’t need to heat it up. You have emotional coaches on the touchline and that’s it.

“If we meet [later], we meet, If not, then not. Come on guys, it’s between two competitors and nothing bad happened.”

Tuchel fumes at series of incidents

Tuchel and Conte came together earlier in the contest following Hojbjerg’s equaliser.

Rodrigo Bentancur dispossessed Kai Havertz with a sliding challenge in the build-up that went unpunished.

Adding to Tuchel’s frustrations, Richarlison appeared to be in the eyeline of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy while in an offside position as Hojbjerg took his shot.

As a final insult to injury, Cristian Romero pulled Marc Cucurella’s hair in the corner that led to the corner Kane scored from.

“Both [Tottenham goals] cannot stand. Only one team deserved to win,” Tuchel added.

“We dominated for 90 minutes. We were sharp, we were hungry, it was a top performance. I’m sorry for all my players that we didn’t get the result we deserved.”

“There was a clear foul on Kai Havertz and the situation goes on and on. Clear offside on Richarlison offside and since when can you pull hair on a football field? It’s ridiculous.”

On his exuberant celebration for Chelsea’s second goal that saw him sprinting down the touchline, he concluded: “In the middle of it I thought I should not do this but sometimes a match gets you totally, this match sucked me in.

“Brilliant effort after an undeserved equaliser. Pure joy may offend the opposition but they did the same when they equalised.”