Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel saw red in a bad-tempered London derby at Stamford Bridge; the Chelsea manager believes both Tottenham goals should have been chalked off; Harry Kane scored a last-gasp equaliser in the 96th minute; FA will investigate Tuchel's post-match comments
Monday 15 August 2022 14:06, UK
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel feels both of Tottenham's goals in their dramatic 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge should have been disallowed and believes referee Anthony Taylor should never officiate his side again.
Tuchel, who was sent off along with Tottenham counterpart Antonio Conte after the final whistle following their second fracas of the afternoon, was incensed that Kai Havertz was not awarded a free-kick in the build-up to Tottenham's first equalising goal.
Cristian Romero then avoided punishment deep into injury-time for pulling Marc Cucurella's hair with VAR Mike Dean ruling out a red card. From the subsequent corner, Harry Kane headed in to snatch the draw.
Chelsea fans have long claimed an agenda from Taylor against the Blues following a string of decisions against them in previous games.
Asked whether Taylor should never referee Chelsea again, the German replied: "Maybe it would be better.
"But honestly, we also have VAR to help make the right decisions. Since when can players be pulled at their hair? Since when is that? And if he does not see it, I don't blame him.
"I didn't see it, but we have people at VAR who check this and then you see it and then how can this not be a free-kick and how can it not be a red card? How?
"This has nothing to do with the referee in this case. If he does not see something, that's why we have people to check if there's a decisive error going on."
When asked about Chelsea supporters' concerns over Taylor's officiating, Tuchel replied: "I don't think that just some of the fans think that: I can assure you that the whole dressing room of us, every person thinks that.
"Not only the fans. You know the players, they know what's going on when they are on the pitch. They know it."
Asked if the players are worried when Taylor is in charge, Tuchel added: "Yeah, of course."
And when it was put to him that he will most likely face a touchline ban for next weekend's visit to Leeds, Tuchel said: "So good! I cannot coach but the referee can whistle the next game."
Tuchel could find himself in further trouble, with the Football Association set to investigate his post-match comments. FA guidance states that post-match comments in the media or on social media are permitted if they solely criticise a match official's performance or competence, but that if comments imply bias, attack their integrity, are personally offensive, prolonged, or particularly unreasonable it could lead to the FA issuing a charge.
The FA will also study the referee's report and match footage before deciding whether to charge Tuchel and Conte following their clashes on the touchline, with a decision expected before Wednesday evening.
However, Romero will not face retrospective action after pulling the hair of Cucurella because the incident was looked at by VAR.
Tuchel was angry with the award of both of Tottenham's goals.
"I have to say both [Spurs] goals cannot stand. It's only one team that deserved to win and that was us. I'm sorry for my team they don't get what they deserve," Tuchel told Sky Sports.
"It was a clear foul on Kai Havertz in the build-up [to Tottenham's first goal], a clear foul. We had one tactical foul from [Reece] James which got a yellow. I don't know how many tactical fouls [Pierre-Emile] Hojbjerg and [Rodrigo] Bentancur did today. The situation went on and on, and it was a clear offside on Richarlison. He is in line of the shot. He even goes to the ball, so Mendy can't see the ball. They check it, it is a clear offside."
Referees have been told there is a higher threshold for fouls this season to help with the flow of games. VAR did not look at Bentancur's tackle on Havertz closely when they reviewed Hojbjerg's goal because it was not deemed to be in the attacking phase of play and that Chelsea had time to reset defensively.
Richarlison's potential interference was also looked at but it was decided his position had no negative impact on Edouard Mendy's position.
Tottenham boss Antonio Conte was unhappy at Tuchel's criticism of the officials' performances.
He said: "You know very well that I never, never speak about the referee decision, never, never. And then I continue to do this, for sure when I see the others to have this type of behaviour [it] makes me a bit angry, but at the same time, everyone tries to do what they want.
"But I repeat, I don't want to comment on the referee, but I never, never made a comment about the referee in England."
Tuchel and Conte were both dismissed after the final whistle following their second touchline spat of the afternoon, with the coaches squaring up to each other amid an ill-tempered handshake.
The pair had both been booked after Tottenham's equaliser in a major dugout melee.
Asked whether he enjoyed it, Tuchel said: "Yes, and I think he enjoyed it as well. It was nothing bad.
"I just compared it to two players who have a bit of a fight on the field, but nothing happens and nobody gets injured. If you have a hard, fair tackle then you don't go later and apologise and 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 and that was it.
"Nobody got insulted, nobody got hurt. We didn't have a fistfight and something so for me, it's not a big deal. It was part of it today and it boiled of course, and it heated up but nothing bad and it was part of the game.
"We both fought both for our teams and it happens. It's so close here.
"It was such an intense match and both dugouts are very, very close and so it got a bit heated from both of us."
Conte agreed and joked: "For what happened, I think we did enjoy it. Next time we'll pay more attention and we don't shake hands, and we solve the problem.
"I stay in my bench and we finish with the staff on our side and no problem about this. It would be a pity if for this situation we miss the next game."
He continued: "For sure there is a video to understand what happened. For sure I'm not pacific. If I see aggressivity then my answer is with aggressivity, for sure.
"But I repeat, this is not a problem and the most important thing is the game was a great game, with two teams that there is a big level. For us to get a point, it was really important."
Asked whether his celebration for the first Spurs equaliser agitated Tuchel, who ran up the touchline for Reece James' goal to put Chelsea 2-1 up, the Italian laughed: "I think the celebration in both sides were really good celebrations.
"And the run and then the jump, you can understand about this celebration."