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‘Fighting for our teams’: Tottenham and Chelsea managers sent off after sideline scuffle

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The latest London derby between Chelsea and Tottenham was a thriller that ended in a 2-2 draw because of a goal deep into stoppage time by Harry Kane, but that ended up as an afterthought.

The managers stole the spotlight after an explosive end to the game at Stamford Bridge, just like there was in 2016 when Tottenham’s title challenge ended with a 2-2 draw against Chelsea and both sets of players and coaches clashed repeatedly on and off the field.

Six years on, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel and Tottenham boss Antonio Conte shook hands on the field after the final whistle, but Tuchel seemed to not let go of his grip and intimated that Conte look him in the eye.

They squared up and shouted in each others’ faces, before players and coaches from both teams piled in, pushing and shoving.

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Thomas Tuchel (left) says both managers were “fighting for [their] teams”.(Getty Images: Marc Atkins)

Tuchel and Conte were then shown straight red cards and there is the potential for a further ban.

The pair had clashed during the match, too, when Conte celebrated Tottenham’s first equaliser by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg in the 68th minute.

Conte went up to Tuchel and barged into his chest, sparking a melee among the coaching staff and substitutes as Tuchel pointed to Conte and told him to stay in his part of the technical area.

Then, after Reece James put Chelsea back in front in the 77th, Tuchel set off on a sprint past Conte and down the touchline, clenching his fist in delight.

“I thought when we shake hands you looked in each other eyes, but Antonio had a different opinion,” Tuchel said of the post-match clash with former Blues manager Conte.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel holds onto Tottenham manager Antonio Conte's hand as they pass each other.
Conte (right) says next time he will make sure he looks his opposing manager in the eyes when shaking hands.(Getty Images: Marc Atkins)

“He was happy when they equalised and it got a bit heated, but nothing big … I think it was not necessary but a lot of things were not necessary.”

Conte said the referee “didn’t understand the dynamic of what happened … it would be a pity if, for this situation, we miss the next game.”

The Italian manager said he would “pay more attention” next time when he shakes hands with his German counterpart, but both managers said they “enjoyed” the clash.

Tottenham coach Antonio Conte tries to pull away from Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel's handshake.
Thomas Tuchel (left) holds on a bit longer than Antonio Conte (right) may have liked when the pair shake hands after the game.(Getty Images: Marc Atkins)

“I think that, for what happened we did enjoy it,” Conte said, agreeing with an earlier statement from Tuchel.

“Next time we’ll pay more attention, just shake the hand and solve the problem. I’ll stay on my bench, he’ll stay on his bench.”

Tuchel also played down the clash, saying they were simply “fighting for our teams”.

“Nobody got insulted, nobody got hurt, we didn’t have a fist fight or something,” he said.

“For me, it’s not a big deal. It was part of it today and it boiled of course and it featured us. Both nothing bad.”

AP

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