Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte are two of the most passionate managers in world football and the Chelsea boss appeared to ignore his own self-imposed rules when it came to facing the Tottenham manager during their explosive spat on Sunday. The two coaches appeared destined to clash in Sunday’s London derby between Chelsea and Tottenham judging from their comments in the pre-match press conferences.
Speaking on Friday, Tuchel admitted that he doesn’t “believe everything Conte says in games, before games and after games like this”. It came in response to Conte saying there was a “gap” between Chelsea and Tottenham.
Despite that, the game on Sunday began in a relatively friendly manner as Chelsea took the lead in the first half through Kalidou Koulibaly. But the atmosphere quickly changed in the second half when Conte changed to a back four with Richarlison coming on for Ryan Sessegnon.
Tottenham soon took control and found their equaliser when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg fired in from outside the box. Conte jumped up to celebrate in front of Tuchel, sparking furious scenes on the touchline with the fourth official having to separate them both.
Tensions only increased after that with Tuchel doing his best Jose Mourinho impression by sprinting down the touchline to celebrate Reece James’ late goal. But more drama was to come on the pitch when Harry Kane scored in the dying seconds as the game ended 2-2.
Tuchel and Conte appeared willing to put their difference behind them with a handshake at the final whistle, but the Chelsea boss didn’t let go of his counterpart’s hand after the Tottenham chief didn’t look him in the eye. Hell broke loose on the pitch as security and coaching staff attempted to separate the two managers again before Anthony Taylor branded a red card to both managers.
The pair then took small shots at one another in their post-match interview duties and there could be even more fireworks when Tottenham and Chelsea meet again in the league on February 25. Sunday’s clash between Conte and Tuchel was not the first time the pair had met in the Premier League.
They had previously not met before Conte took over at Tottenham last year with the two teams then playing three games in the space of a few weeks back in January. Speaking at the start of the year, Tuchel admitted that he would have to control his emotions when facing off against Conte.
“It’s important to know what the game means to the supporters, it’s important to know what it means in the table, but you cannot get carried away by emotions,” he said.
The Chelsea boss was able to do that as the Blues won 2-0 in the league after they had also knocked Tottenham out of the Carabao Cup. But Tuchel clearly didn’t take his own comments on board when confronted by an animated and boisterous Conte after Hojbjerg’s goal.
The Chelsea boss saw red as he appeared to lose his cool, but neither manager appeared to apologise for their antics after the match. Now just a few months until the two will face off again in the league and fans will be fascinated to see if there’s more of the same.