Tuesday, 27 September, 2022
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‘Fair tackle’ as Tuchel insists no hard feelings after Conte clash

‘Fair tackle’ as Tuchel insists no hard feelings after Conte clash
Tottenham Hotspur’s Italian head coach Antonio Conte (right) and Chelsea’s German head coach Thomas Tuchel shake hands then clash after the English Premier League football match at Stamford Bridge in London on Sunday. –AFP PHOTO

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said he was happy to take a "fair tackle" from Tottenham boss Antonio Conte after both were shown red cards for clashing twice during a heated 2-2 on Sunday.

Conte's overexuberant celebrations of Spurs' first equaliser resulted in the two coaches being booked for squaring up.

Tuchel then responded by running down the touchline in celebration when Chelsea retook the lead through Reece James 13 minutes from time.

But Harry Kane's 96th minute equaliser meant Conte had the last laugh.

Tuchel was not happy at the Italian for not making eye contact during a handshake at full-time, which sparked another melee between both sets of coaches and players.

"It was hot from the temperature and hot between the benches and hot on the field and hot between the spectators," said Tuchel with temperatures soaring above 30 degrees Celsius in the English capital.

"There's no hard feelings. I feel like it was a fair tackle from him and a fair tackle from me."  Tuchel's ire was instead directed towards the officials as both Tottenham's goals could have been disallowed.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg's strike was allowed to stand despite a potential foul on Kai Havertz in the build-up and Richarlison standing in an offside position when the Dane's shot was hit.

Before the corner leading to Kane's equaliser, Spurs defender Sergio Romero also escaped a red card for dragging Marc Cucurella to the ground by his hair.

"It was a clear foul on Kai Havertz. Ok, the situation goes on and on and on, then it is a clear offside," added Tuchel.

Conte batted away several questions about his tete-a-tete with Tuchel, but admitted a gap between the sides remains despite Spurs' improvement.

"In my opinion it is better to talk about the game," said Conte. "Chelsea showed to be a really good team, but compared to last season we did a bit better."