Thomas Tuchel insists 'no hard feelings' towards Antonio Conte after fiery clash

Chelsea manager and Spurs counterpart shown red cards for part in melee following 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge

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Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel insisted there were "no hard feelings" towards Tottenham counterpart Antonio Conte after both were shown red cards for clashing twice during Sunday's heated 2-2 Premier League draw on Sunday.

The pair first clashed after a coming together as Conte celebrated Spurs' first equaliser on 68 minutes.

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.

As the pair shook hands at the final whistle, Chelsea boss Tuchel appeared upset at the Italian for not making eye contact, which sparked another melee between both sets of coaches and players.

Both managers were shown red cards by referee Anthony Taylor, with Tuchel suggesting the match official should no longer take charge of Chelsea matches.

"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.

"We did not insult each other, we did not hit each other, we were fighting for our teams and from my side there's absolutely no hard feelings. I'm surprised that we both got a red card for that."

Spurs boss Conte echoed Tuchel’s words in attempting to downplay the coaches’ spats.

“Honestly the referee showed me a red card but he didn’t understand the dynamic of what happened,” said Conte.

“It’s OK, I have to accept it but this is not a big problem.

“If there is a problem the problem is between me and the other coach.

“I think that what happened, we did enjoy.

“Next time I will pay more attention, just shake the hand and solve the problem. I’ll stay on my bench, he’ll stay on his bench.

“And no problem about this. It would be a pity if for this situation we miss the next game.”

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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 Cristian 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.

"Since when can you pull hair on the football field? It's ridiculous.

"That's the only frustration. I'm the happiest coach on earth because we played a fantastic match."

Asked if he thinks Taylor should not referee Chelsea again, Tuchel replied: “Maybe it would be better, maybe it would be better.

“But honestly we also have VAR, to help make the right decisions. Since when can players have their hair pulled, 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 what?

“And how can this not be a free-kick, and then a red card? How?

“This does not even have to do with the referee in this case.

“If he does not see something that’s why we have people to check if this is a decisive error or not.”

Conte admitted a gap between the sides remains despite Spurs' improvement.

Chelsea won all four meetings between the sides last season, three of them after Conte took charge in November.

"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.

"The difference is clear. This team won the Champions League two years ago, last year won the Club World Cup, got to the final of the FA Cup and Carabao (League) Cup.

"There is a difference between Chelsea and Tottenham but we are here to reduce this gap. Last season we lost three times, this time we drew so it's a little step forward."

Updated: August 15, 2022, 4:29 AM