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5 talking points as Harry Kane strikes late as Tottenham fight back to deny Chelsea

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Tottenham scored a last-minute equaliser to rescue a point against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in a game which saw heated scenes between the respective managers Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte.

Kalidou Koulibaly opened the scoring in the 19 th minute with an emphatic fashion with a thumping finish from Marc Cucurella’s corner. It was an opening hour which the home side dominated but Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg gave Spurs the equaliser midway through the second half.

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That sparked off controversy in the dugout between Tuchel and Conte, with the latter’s elaborate goal celebration in front of Tuchel seeing the two square up. Less than ten minutes later, Tuchel’s fury turned to joy as Reece James – who was outstanding throughout – restored the Blues lead from a Raheem Sterling assist.

Yet it was Spurs who had the final celebration as a corner in the fifth minute of added time saw Harry Kane’s header deflected in off James to produce a dramatic finish. The bad blood between Tuchel and Conte continued after the final whistle as a post-match handshake did not go well, with the Italian sent-off.

Here are five talking points from a feisty and heated London derby at Stamford Bridge.

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Rivalry returns to dugout

Matches between Chelsea and Tottenham are known for the level of mutual animosity both on the pitch and in the stands, but this game also saw it permeate the dugout. This game may well be remembered for the needle between Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte.

5 talking points as Harry Kane strikes late as Tottenham fight back to deny Chelsea

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It all began to kick-off after the Tottenham equaliser, when Conte made a point of not only performing his typically enthusiastic celebration – but doing so by entering the home dugout and celebrating in the face of Tuchel. Predictably, the German reacted angrily, with the two having to be separated after squaring up. Tuchel had already been infuriated as an apparent foul on Kai Havertz by Rodrigo Bentancur in the build-up had not been flagged back for a free-kick.

That is likely to have had an impact in Tuchel’s celebration when James restored the home side’s lead not long after, doing his best impression of Jose Mourinho by sprinting along the touchline – past Conte and the Spurs dugout – to show his elation.

Koulibaly makes his mark

There was concern at Chelsea with the exits of defenders Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger as free agents, alongside the side missing out on signing Jules Kounde – who instead opted to join Barcelona.

However, the Blues did manage to secure the signing of Koulibaly from Napoli – the Senegalese defender was widely recognised as one of the game’s best defenders. He also had a knack of scoring vital goals, twice grabbing decisive goals against Juventus for Napoli.

5 talking points as Harry Kane strikes late as Tottenham fight back to deny Chelsea

The experienced defender showed that in this game – finding the net with a thumping strike having also shown his confidence by striking from long-range, a part of his game that Blues fans will remember from Rudiger. While there is little doubt that the club need at least one more central defender, the early signs from Koulibaly are extremely positive.

Boehly makes Stamford Bridge bow

This was the first match of the Todd Boehly era at Stamford Bridge, having completed his takeover of the club from Roman Abramovich earlier this year. He has already made his impact with the investment for additions of Koulibaly, Marc Cucurella and Raheem Sterling, with several more high-profile pursuits in the offing.

The Blues had won at Everton the previous week but this was their new owner’s first attendance at a game – although it remains unclear if this be a regular occurrence, or if he will divide his time between London and the United States.

However, this game was an eye-opener into the competitive nature of the division and of course of one of the most heated derbies within the top-flight, with no love lost between London neighbours Chelsea and Spurs.

Tuchel outthinks Conte again

This was the fourth meeting between Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte, following on from their three games within 18 days in January. The Blues won all three of those matches to nil.

Chelsea won 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in the League Cup before winning by a solitary goal in North London, with another two-goal home victory in the Premier League sandwiched in between. On each occasion, Spurs struggled to assert their authority.

Tuchel has appeared to establish a degree of control against Conte’s side, nullifying their threat on the break, exposing the space behind their wing-backs and taking advantage of set pieces.

Even though Spurs got a point in this game with a last-gasp equaliser, they were second best for most of the game – which made their late goal all the sweeter for the travelling fans.

Blues hoodoo over Spurs continues

It is not just this calendar year and Conte who have failed to crack Spurs’ continued struggles against Chelsea, but it has been a trend set over the past three years.

5 talking points as Harry Kane strikes late as Tottenham fight back to deny Chelsea

Before Sunday, the only victory that Tottenham had registered over the Blues was a penalty shootout victory in the EFL Cup clash in the 2020/21 campaign – which technically registers as a draw.

Since Spurs had won their semi-final EFL Cup first leg against the Blues in January 2019 (in a tie which they would eventually lose), the North London side had won none, drawn three and lost nine prior to Sunday’s trip.

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