It definitely felt like another Battle at the Bridge as Spurs grabbed a late equalizer to get a point at Stamford Bridge, 2-2.
Antonio Conte made no changes to his lineup again, trusting the players he closed out the season with and opened this year’s campaign. As midweek matches become a thing, the lineup rotations will certainly be a thing but Conte knows his comfort level. Tuchel countered with a back three of their own in hopes of slowing down the attacking band. Chelsea also rolled out newly signed Marc Cucurella, who cost a whopping £55m plus add-ons to slot into the left fullback position.
- 1’ - We’re underway at Stamford Bridge, and it’s apparently a scorcher. Expect a mandatory water break during both halves.
- 3’ - Not a bad start. Spurs force a turnover and get a 3v2 but the feed to Sonny is a tad slow. Kane earns a foul but the ensuing free kick is well over the crossbar.
- 6’ - Spurs are pressing pretty hard to start, forcing Chelsea into difficult passes. So far it’s working.
- 11’ - I feel like I say this every time Spurs play Chelsea, but it feels like there’s a red card, especially on the right flank.
- 13’ - Dumb foul by Sessegnon leads to a free kick which Chelsea promptly waste by being offside.
- 19’ - First big chance of the match goes to Chelsea. Son turns the ball over which leads to Havertz getting on net but he sprays it wide.
- 19’ - Goal Chelsea (1-0, Koulibaly) - Terrible marking on the set piece. Nobody is on Koulibaly and he side-volleys the ball into the net unhindered.
- 23’ - Spurs play a great long ball to Sessegnon. The flag stays down which lets him get a shot on Mendy, but it’s saved.
- 32’ - So much for pressing. Ever since the goal, Spurs have been playing on their back foot as Chelsea control the match. If anyone gets a touch, Chelsea seem to just get it right back.
- 38’ - At this point, Spurs are playing just to get to halftime down a goal. Chelsea are looking for the dagger and it’s incredibly frustrating.
- 41’ - Yellow Card, Reece James - James goes into the book in what has to be the easiest yellow card of Anthony Taylor’s career.
- 45’ - There will be three added minutes.
- HALF-TIME: It’s all Chelsea right now, but it’s somehow only 1-0.
- 46’ - No changes for either side, which is slightly surprising.
- 48’ - Great pass by Kane to find Sonny but it’s a tough angle and he can’t do anything with it.
- 50’ - Spurs can’t buy a call, yet the moment there’s any contact against Chelsea, it’s an immediate foul. Free kick to Chelsea.
- 52’ - Hey, Taylor found his whistle! Spurs get a free kick almost on their own end line.
- 57’ - Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur: Richarlison makes his Spurs debut as he checks in for Ryan Sessegnon. Tactical shift is coming.
- 58’ - It looks like a 4-4-2 now as Richarlison is up high. It’s difficult to tell because Spurs can’t get their shape.
- 60’ - Big chance for Chelsea again. Sterling gets free twelve yards out and promptly sends it into the tenth row.
- 61’ - Spurs come right back the other way as Kane is on net but he yanks it wide. You have to bury those.
- 62’ - Yellow Card, Edouard Mendy - Mendy goes into the book for time wasting. Clubs were warned about it ahead of the season and they’re not messing around.
- 65’ - Spurs’ first corner kick of the match isn’t bad but it just misses Richarlison. Chelsea try to break on the counter but Royal gets back and makes a perfect tackle.
- 68’ - GOAL TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (1-1, Hojbjerg) - Spurs force a turnover (probably a foul) but there’s a whole lot of play before Hojbjerg calmly slots it in from distance. There’s then a fight in the coaches’ boxes between Tuchel and Conte and I have no idea what’s going on anymore!
- 70’ Yellow Card Antonio Conte - Conte picks up a yellow card because he tried to kill Tuchel....citation needed.
- 74’ - Okay we’re back underway after all of that chaos. Spurs have the momentum. Let’s see if we can just football them.
- 76’ - Whewwwwwww. It should be 2-1 Chelsea. I have no idea how Havertz missed that goal point blank, but he did.
- 77’ - Goal Chelsea (2-1, James) - Another turnover by Spurs on the flank puts them on the back foot. Havertz feeds James who one-times it into the net.
- 79’ - Looking at the replay, I have no idea how that wasn’t a foul on the turnover. Kulusevski gets bodied off the ball before any play happens but Anthony Taylor has decided that’s quite okay.
- 80’ - Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur - Double sub for Spurs. Perisic and Bissouma check into the match. Bentancur and Sonny make way for them.
- 82’ - Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur - Lucas comes on for Emerson.
- 83’ - N’Golo Kante is down for Chelsea. He immediately grabbed his hamstring and is done.
- 84’ - Substitution, Chelsea - Conor Gallacher and Christian Pulisic comes on for Kante and Sterling.
- 86’ - Yellow Card Kai Havertz - Extremely cynical foul by Havertz on Romero earns him a booking.
- 89’ - Substitution, Chelsea - Armando Broja comes on for Havertz.
- 90’+1’ - Perisic goes for the long ball and Kane gets a touch with his head, but it’s well wide. It’s just not been his day.
- 90’+3’ - Kane earns a free kick on the left flank as James throws a shoulder block. How that’s not a second yellow is beyond me.
- 90’+4’ - Good ball in by Perisic but it’s cleared out. Bissouma’s shot is blocked for another corner.
- 90’+4’ - A fantastic header by Ben Davies looked headed for the net but Mendy makes the save.
- 90’+6’ - GOAL TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR!!! (2-2, Kane) - FOOTBALLED! Kane gets on the end of the final corner kick just enough to send it into the far net!
FULL-TIME: Chelsea 2-2 Spurs
AND WE’RE NOT DONE YET! Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel have the longest handshake in the world and almost come to blows. Another scuffle between the benches post-whistle results in Conte and Tuchel getting red cards.
Thoughts on the Match
- That match was a lot of things, but it definitely wasn’t boring.
- Spurs footballed Chelsea today. They were not the better side for long stretches, but sometimes you just find a way to get a point and that’s what happened.
- All things consider, Spurs didn’t defend badly today. They just made a lot of stupid turnovers and couldn’t get the ball.
- I know there’s a transition period players have to go through when joining a new club, but things changed when Richarlison came on and we shifted our tactics. I wanted to see that at half-time.
- We need Antonio Conte vs. Thomas Tuchel in a steel cage match. WWE is in Wales next month. Someone call Triple H!
- Spurs weren’t good, but that didn’t matter. A point is a point. Chelsea fans are mad. It’s a good day.