What Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte said about their fiery clashes as both sent off in derby draw

·4 min read
What Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte said about their fiery clashes as both sent off in derby draw

Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte have both given their take on a fiery London derby that saw both men sent off in a 2-2 draw between Chelsea and Tottenham.

The first flare-up came after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s shot from long range put Spurs level early in the second half, which earned both coaches and a couple of assistants yellow cards.

At full time, following Tottenham’s second equaliser via Harry Kane, Tuchel and Conte were again sent off after the Chelsea boss took exception to the manner of his counterpart’s handshake.

Speaking afterwards, Tuchel told Sky Sports: “I thought when you shake hands you look in each other eyes, Antonio had a different opinion.

“It was emotional, he was happy when he equalised - I then got a bit heated but nothing big. It was not necessary but a lot of things were not necessary. Another poor decision from the referee.”

Asked about their earlier booking following Spurs’ first equaliser, Tuchel simply replied: “There was no problem. It’s emotional, it’s football, just like it. It doesn’t need comments to heat it up.

“If we meet [after the game] we meet, if not we don’t, it’s no problem.”

Tuchel later spoke again about the incident during his post-match press conference.

He stated: “It's like two players who had a bit of fight on the field and nothing happens. Nobody gets injured and the players, if you have a hard tackle or fair tackle, if you don’t go and apologise, there’s no need.

“It’s Premier League football and the two managers got involved today because both of us were fighting for our teams. That was it, nobody got insulted, nobody got hurt, we didn’t have a fist fight or something.

“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. I don’t have any bad feeling and I’m sure he will not have.

“We fought for our teams and it happens. It’s so close here and it was such an intense match… both dugouts are very close so it got a bit heated from both of us. Yes [I enjoyed it] and I think he enjoyed it as well. It was nothing bad.”

Conte was less keen to get into the matter and preferred to discuss his side’s late draw amid several Chelsea protests over Anthony Taylor’s refereeing of the match.

He stated: “I don't want to comment on the situation because I think this is not the most important thing. If there is a problem it is for him and me, not for the others.”

Conte also later opened up in his press conference.

“I think that what happened we did enjoy but next time we will pay more attention and don't shake the hands and we solve the problem,” the Spurs manager said. “He stays in his bench, I stay in my bench, with my staff on one side and no problem about this. It would be a pity if for this situation we miss the next game.

“It's not so important [what happened]. The most important thing is always football and to speak about the game. It was an intensive game. For us this game was really tough but you know very well that to come here and to play Chelsea away is always difficult. They have a really good team.

“The referee showed me a red card but he didn't understand the dynamic of what happened, but it's okay. I have to accept, but I repeat this is not a big problem. It's not important. The problem is between me and the other coach, not for the others.

“There is a video to understand what happened. For sure I am not passive. If I see aggressivity, then my answer is with aggressivity but I repeat this is not a problem. The most important thing is the game was a great game with two teams where there is a big rivalry.

“For us to get a point was really important. In my opinion they continue to stay up on us but before the press conference I say this season we are better than last season and I think we show this only in the difficulty that we are a tough opponent for many reasons.”