Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte ‘enjoy’ manager’s fireworks in Chelsea’s draw with Spurs

Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte have admitted enjoying their breakup on the touchline after both managers were sent off at the end of a stormy 2-2 draw between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The pair had to be separated twice by staff and players after Spurs’ two equalizers, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s first nullifying Kalidou Koulibaly’s opener in the 19th minute. After Reece James appeared to give the home side a precious win with a low drive in the 77th minute, Harry Kane equalized Spurs again in the sixth minute of added time.

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Conte celebrated Hojbjerg’s goal towards the traveling Tottenham support, but also towards the Chelsea dugout, and the managers came face to face as Tuchel furiously questioned fourth official Peter Bankes about the reasons for a tackle from Rodrigo Bentancur on Kai Havertz in the build-up was not given as a fault.

This sparked the first of two scrums, the second of which came deep in stoppage time. Spurs defender Cristian Romero appeared to pull Marc Cucurella by the hair as they contested for a corner.

VAR official Mike Dean decided not to penalize Romero, and as play resumed Kane peeked into the corner of substitute Ivan Perisic in the net to spark another smash as Tuchel and Conte shook hands.

Tuchel looked furious that Conte refused to look him in the eye during their handshake, sparking another spat that ended with referee Anthony Taylor showing each manager the red card.

When asked if he enjoyed the intensity of the rivalry, Tuchel replied: “Yes and I think he enjoyed it too. It was nothing bad. I have no bad feelings. and I’m sure he won’t. We fought for our teams and it happens. It’s so tight here and it was such an intense game… the two benches are very close, so it got a little heated on both of us.

“I just compared him to two players who fought a bit on the pitch and nothing happens. Nobody gets hurt and the players, if you have a hard tackle or a fair tackle, if you’re not going to excuse, there is no need .

“We were both fighting for our teams. That was it, nobody got insulted, nobody got hurt, we didn’t have a fight or anything like that.”

Conte replied: “I think we appreciated what happened [it]but next time we will be more careful and not shake hands and solve the problem.

“He stays on my bench, I stay on my bench, with my staff on one side and no problem about that. It would be a shame if for this situation we miss the next game.”

Both managers will be suspended for their next Premier League game. Tottenham host Wolves on Saturday and Chelsea travel to Leeds United on Sunday.