By Jackson Cole
Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte were quick to play down the severity of their confrontations during and after Chelsea and Tottenham’s lively draw.
There were chaotic scenes at full-time of the Stamford Bridge clash with the pair going head to head after Tuchel didn’t let go of Conte’s hand as Spurs salvaged a 2-2 draw at the death.
Referee Anthony Taylor sent off both Tuchel and Conte for their parts in the incident, which sparked a massive melee on the pitch.
The pair also got into a spat on the touchline after Pierre-Emile Hojberg struck to make it 1-1 midway through the second half but Conte wasn’t prepared to go into his beef with the Blues boss.
“I don’t want to talk about the situation,” Conte told Sky Sports. “If there is a problem, it’s between me and Thomas.
“We are here to speak about football and not about a situation between the two coaches.”
Meanwhile, Tuchel told talkSPORT after the match: “There’s nothing to regret. It’s like if there’s a player that regrets a tackle where nobody is injured.
“We did not fist fight, we just had a little longer handshake and before that we had some arguments. We were fighting, he was fighting for his team, I was fighting for mine. Nobody got insulted, nobody got hurt.
“It was like a fair tackle. You don’t say sorry at the end of the match, it’s a fair tackle and that’s it.
“There was no need for red cards for us.”
Instead, all of Tuchel’s post-match anger was directed at referee Anthony Taylor and his assistants.
Tuchel believes both of Spurs’ goals shouldn’t have stood, arguing Richarlison, who was stood in an offside position, was in the line of the ball when Hojbjerg fired past Edouard Mendy.
The German also took issue with the officials for not giving Kai Havertz a free-kick after he was firmly tackled by Rodrigo Bentancur before Hojbjerg’s goal.
And the second equaliser, which was scored by Harry Kane, came after Cristian Romero wasn’t punished despite VAR looking at an incident which showed him pulling the hair of Chelsea defender Marc Cucurella, while also saying a free-kick shortly before the corner which led to the second Spurs goal shouldn’t have been awarded.
“Only one team deserved to win and it was us. But unfortunately we have two goals that should be disallowed,” Tuchel said.
“In times of VAR it’s incredible to concede two goals like this.
“It’s a clear foul on Kai Havertz in the build-up to the first goal and then it’s a clear offside because Richarlison is all the way in the line of the ball. He wants to jump away, he jumps in the direction of the ball…
“And since when can we pull hair on the football field? Is that a new rule that we pull hair and get away with it and then next corner is played? It’s a red card.
“For what should I speak to the officials? Would they take it back? Hopefully they come out and admit how bad their performance was because it’s super decisive.
“In the build-up of the last goal we have a situation with Harry Kane and Reece James where in 30 years of the Premier League it’s never a foul. We always say how physical this league is and shoulder to shoulder and every physical contact is not a foul.
“Suddenly we decide that’s a foul and then they get away with pulling the hair.
“This is a very, very poor performance from the officials and if my players are bad I admit this after the match.
“I cannot coach [against Leeds] but the referee can whistle the next game?”
Speaking to talkSPORT, Tuchel added: “I simply cannot understand it. It’s very, very hard to digest.
“It’s hard to digest anyway if you concede a goal very late… if one guy’s pulling the hair of a player, can stay on the pitch and can attack in the decisive corner for them I cannot understand that, I’m sorry.
“I’m curious to see how they [the officials] explain it.”
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