Thomas Tuchel suggested it might be better if Anthony Taylor no longer referees Chelsea games, but the German downplayed his dispute with Antonio Conte after the rival managers clashed moments after Harry Kane salvaged a late point for Tottenham at Stamford. Bridge.
Spirits were high during a gripping London derby, with Tuchel and Conte facing touchline bans after being sent off after the final whistle. The two managers had been booked after clashing over Spurs’ first equalizing goal, which Chelsea argued should have been disallowed for a challenge by Rodrigo Bentancur on Kai Havertz and then for offside against Richarlison, and had to be separated. separated again after full time.
Tuchel reacted furiously when he went to shake Conte’s hand, yanking the Spurs manager back and telling him to look him in the eye. “I thought when we shook hands they looked into each other’s eyes,” the Chelsea head coach said. “I had a different opinion. It wasn’t necessary, but a lot of things weren’t necessary.”
However, Tuchel quickly laughed off the incident, saying he enjoyed it and making it clear that he had no ill feelings towards Conte and was more interested in questioning the refereeing.
Chelsea, who led twice thanks to good efforts from Kalidou Koulibaly and Reece James, were furious at Spurs’ two goals. Tuchel erupted when Taylor failed to penalize Bentancur shortly before Pierre-Emile Højbjerg made it 1-1 midway through the second half and was further taken aback when Mike Dean, the video assistant referee, failed to penalize Cristian Romero for pulling Tuchel’s hair. Marc Cucurella before. the corner that brought Kane to equalize in the 96th minute.
Tuchel was told that many Chelsea fans hold a historic grudge against Taylor, who has been involved in a number of controversial incidents with the west London club during his career. An online petition calling for the 43-year-old not to play for Chelsea attracted more than 80,000 signatures last season and Tuchel responded forcefully when asked if he had the same opinion as his team’s supporters. “Maybe that would be better,” Tuchel said. “Maybe it would be better, but we also have VAR to help make the right decisions.
“Since when can players pull their hair out? Since when is that? If you don’t see it, I don’t blame you. I did not see it but we have people in the VAR who review this and then you see it and then what?
“How can this not be a free kick and how can this not be a red card? How? This doesn’t even have to do with the referee in this case. If he doesn’t see something, that’s why we have people to check for a decisive mistake.”
Tuchel, who could be prosecuted by the Football Association for his comments, pointed out that it is not just fans who think Chelsea have not had a problem with Taylor. “I can assure you that the entire locker room, every person thinks that,” he said. “I can’t understand how the first goal isn’t offside.
“And I can’t understand since when can players pull other people’s hair and stay on the pitch and attack in the last corner. This for me is without any explanation and I don’t want to accept it. I have no words for that. I’m curious what the explanation is for that, but both goals shouldn’t stand and so it’s a fair result. We were brilliant and deserved to win.”
Conte, who ruled out a clash with Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic after full time, will be suspended for Spurs’ home game against Wolves. The Italian aggressively celebrated in front of Tuchel when Højbjerg leveled. Tuchel later sped past the Spurs bench down the touchline as James made it 2-1, but there was more to come.
“If I see aggressiveness, my response is aggressiveness,” Conte said. “The referee showed me the red card but did not understand the dynamics of what happened. But it’s okay. I have to accept.
Conte, who refused to criticize Taylor’s performance, didn’t do much to celebrate in front of Tuchel. “Next time we will pay more attention and not shake hands and solve the problem,” he said. “He stays on his bench, I stay on my bench, with my staff on one side and there is no problem with that. It would be a pity if we miss the next game due to this situation”.
Chelsea are interested in Anthony Gordon, but a deal for the Everton midfielder is unlikely to be done this summer. Everton are determined to hang on to the 21-year-old and want to give him a new deal.