Most fans of the Premier League will believe that the race for the title is between Manchester City, the defending champions, and Liverpool. And this means that the battle for third will undoubtedly be fiercely contested. Both Chelsea and Spurs fancy their chances, and they met in a lively game at Stamford Bridge, with the match ending all square.
Chelsea vs Spurs is always going to be a match where tempers could flare because of the London rivalry, the battle for honours, and the fact that Tottenham manager Antonio Conte used to be the man in the dugout at Stamford Bridge. It’s a game that seemed to have something on it, even though it’s still early days. And from the very first whistle, it proved to be the case.
In the opening exchanges, it was Chelsea who were very much on top, and it looked like Spurs were struggling to cope with their London rivals. It didn’t take Thomas Tuchel’s side long to make the breakthrough, either, with Spurs' zonal marking failing to pick up Chelsea's new boy Kalidou Koulibaly who struck well from a corner, with the centre-half’s technique something a striker would have been proud of.
You could say it was when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg equalised on 68 mins that the game really came to life. Jorginho’s attempted drag back in his own area was seized on by Spurs, with the ball eventually falling to the Dane, who struck from range to draw his side level. But, it was on the touchline where the action began to unfold, with Conte and Tuchel having to be separated.
Tuchel was furious an earlier Spurs foul had gone unpunished, with the equaliser coming not long after. But it was Chelsea who continued to push, and after Kai Havertz missed a gilt-edged chance, Raheem Sterling played in Reece James, who had the simple task of finishing past Hugo Lloris to put Tuchel’s side back in the lead and looking good for the three points. And, as you will expect, the German manager past Conte down the touchline to celebrate.
But, with six minutes of injury time, Spurs weren't done. In the last of those minutes, Harry Kane managed to rise highest from a header, which took a nick off James as it made its way into the Chelsea net. Spurs had snatched a draw in the very last seconds, but again, this wasn’t the end of the fiery contest.
As Tuchel and Conte went for the traditional post-match handshake, again, tempers flared between the two, leading to both managers being sent off by referee Anthony Taylor. With both teams feeling like they should at least be aiming for third this season, it means that the rivalry between the two sides is sure to rage on throughout the campaign. The return fixture at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium could prove to be another fiery one, and it could also be more pivotal in terms of league position.