The night was set to be explosive in a proper derby as two London giants lined up against the other at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday night when Chelsea came visiting. The game lived up to the expectations of a true derby. Hard tackles, fast pace, high intensity of the EPL, tactical acuity was all on show in a frenzy and frenetic affair. Tackles were traded, duels won chance after chances for both sides ended to end the match indeed lived up to bidding but nothing was to prepare fans for the horror that will later engulf a wonderful testament to the beautiful game.
A sublime first-half solo by Chelsea ace Willian would give the visitors the lead at the 12th minutes mark. The match resumed with tempers flaring all over the pitch, the home side were loosing their cool and soon paid dearly for it as Hugo Lloris was very fortunate not to see red after a dangerous tackle in the box. A long VAR consultation awarded Chelsea a chance to go two ahead from the penalty spot, Willian again took charge of proceeding beating the goalkeeper with an expertly taken kick into the bottom left corner of the goal.
Things would soon go from bad to worse for Tottenham as the home side were reduced to 10 men after Son Heung-min was sent off for a reckless challenge on Rudiger. With players losing their cool the atmosphere quickly turned into a hostile one as fans began throwing objects at Chelsea defenders from the stand and racist abuses were hurled at Rudiger obviously for his role in Son’s dismissal.
It hasn’t been a scintillating start for the ‘Special One’ – Jose Mourinho at Spurs but his former player at Stamford Bridge is having a great start to life as a top-tier coach against all odds. Frank Lampard has bested his former mentor on the night and he made no secret of his joy;
“It means a lot to me but it’s about the club and the fans. The fans have come here after a number of losses and they have backed us. They know we are a young team and what we are trying to achieve.
“My players showed they could fight and play against a top team, because Tottenham are a good team. Today we were everything and that’s why we should be celebrating. We are not over-excited, but we are pleased with the performance.
“They are a major rival and it shows the players what they can do under pressure and what they need to do to survive in games. You cannot fault their commitment.”
Mourinho was left disappointed with the outcome of the match;
“Today was bad, we didn’t start well. Chelsea started better than us. They scored from a short corner and that disappoints me. We were not focused.
“The second goal is a bad goal to concede. The penalty is a penalty, good decision by VAR.
“The Son situation was handled badly. The ref has to book Rudiger and the reaction from Son is not an aggression. Does Rudiger have broken ribs going to the hospital? Other people call it intelligent by Rudiger.”