Soccer-Kane saves points for Spurs at Chelsea, Tuchel and Conte see red

By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) – Harry Kane headed in a last-gasp equalizer to earn Tottenham Hotspur a narrowly deserved 2-2 draw in a frantic Premier League derby at Chelsea that ended with both managers red cards at the final whistle on Sunday.

Kane glanced home from Ivan Perisic’s corner in the sixth minute of stoppage time to rescue a point for the visitors, who have now won once in their last 38 visits to Stamford Bridge.

It sparked chaotic scenes on the touchline as Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel and his Spurs counterpart Antonio Conte clashed for the second time on a sweltering afternoon.

“There are no hard feelings – I feel it was a fair tackle from him and a fair tackle from me,” Tuchel said.

“We didn’t insult each other, we didn’t hit each other, we fought for our teams.”

Reece James looked to have sealed the points for the dominant hosts with a 77th-minute strike after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had equalized for Tottenham in the 68th minute.

Centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly marked his home debut in style by volleying Chelsea ahead from a corner in the 19th minute as the hosts dominated the opening period.

Chelsea wasted several chances to extend their lead with Raheem Sterling blowing one over and it was easy to understand Tuchel’s frustration when Hojbjerg equalised.

Tuchel raged at the referee and insisted that Kai Havertz had been brought down in the build-up and that Richarlison had been in an offside position. He also clashed with Conte, earning both yellow cards.

Havertz spurned a brilliant chance to put Chelsea ahead but the hosts regained the lead when the excellent James fired past Hugo Lloris from a Raheem Sterling pass – Tuchel gliding down the touchline to celebrate.

KANE APPROACHES RECORD

However, Tuchel’s mood darkened as Kane equalized with his 42nd London derby goal – one behind the record held by former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry.

Tuchel and Conte lost their heads after an aggressive handshake and had to be separated by the coaching staff.

Chelsea and Tottenham, who finished third and fourth respectively last season, both have four points from two games.

“I thought that when we shake hands you looked each other in the eye; he had a different opinion. It wasn’t necessary, but a lot of things weren’t necessary,” Tuchel said.

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

Tottenham arrived full of confidence but were second best for most of the game after giving Koulibaly the freedom in the penalty area to volley superbly past Lloris.

Conte’s side failed to break in and Chelsea were quicker and sharper, with Mason Mount close to scoring and Ruben Loftus-Cheek inches away from heading home before the break.

It was a similar story after the break with Loftus-Cheek looking set to score after a storming run into the area, seconds before Sterling missed a sitter.

Kane wasted Tottenham’s best chance on a rare counterattack, but Tottenham equalized when Chelsea’s Jorginho lost the ball in the area and Hojbjerg drilled a shot inside the post.

It looked like Tuchel would have the last laugh when Chelsea cut through Tottenham’s defense for James to beat Lloris, but it was Tottenham who went home happier thanks to Kane.

“Stamford Bridge hasn’t been our best ground over the years so to come away with a point, especially at the end, was a good feeling,” Kane said.

“It’s disappointing to see the red cards. Obviously it was an emotional game, London derby, the passion from both sides, both teams wanted to win.”

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Clare Fallon)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.