Poch ‘returns’ to Spurs amidst drama and controversies
Mauricio Pochettino made a winning return to Tottenham with Chelsea as his former club were reduced to nine men on a night of chaos and controversy.
Spurs fans were in a buoyant mood before the game as they pondered the possibility of returning to the top of the Premier League. However, they saw their hopes extinguished in a spectacular and incident-packed game.
The Argentine’s comeback was reduced to a minor sub-plot by an epic game that brought five goals, with a further five which were disallowed.
The drama however did not end there. The game would also produce two red cards and a slew of VAR decisions in one of the Premier League’s most frenetic ever encounters.
Spurs bright start
Spurs started brilliantly and deservedly went ahead when Dejan Kulusevski’s sixth minute shot deflected in off Chelsea defender Levi Colwill.
Minutes later, Captain Son Heung-min had an effort narrowly ruled out for offside as the home side looked to capitalize on their early dominance.
Chelsea’s disallowed goals, and a penalty!
In a fevered atmosphere Chelsea had two goals of their own disallowed. The first was from Raheem Sterling and the second from Moises Caicedo. The goals were ruled out for handball and offside respectively.
The latter situation still led to a Chelsea goal as a penalty was awarded for a crude challenge by Romero on compatriot Enzo Fernandez. The guilty Spurs defender was deservedly sent off in the aftermath.
Spurs injuries and another red card!
Chelsea’s summer signing Cole Palmer scored the resulting spot-kick to level the match.
However, Spurs were also handicapped by what looked like a serious hamstring injury for key defender Micky van de Ven and an ankle problem for James Maddison as both players were substituted before the interval.
Spurs were battling an even greater disadvantage when Destiny Udogie was sent off ten minutes after the break. His marching orders arose from an inexplicably reckless tackle on Sterling. This reckless tackle brought a second yellow card from referee Michael Oliver.
Spurs boss sees yellow
The drama did not spare the Spurs boss as he also received a yellow card amid the mayhem.
Postecoglou gambled on keeping a high line even with nine men. However, Chelsea finally broke their resistance with 15 minutes left. Winger Raheem Sterling broke clear to set up Nicolas Jackson for a simple finish.
Narrow Spurs offside
The game was far from finished, though, and Spurs came close to securing a stunning draw as Eric Dier had a superb finish ruled out for a narrow offside.
Jackson then scored twice more in stoppage time to secure a late hat-trick. The late goals would go on to render the scoreline far more comfortable than the game was.