Chelsea will be absolutely devastated to have lost that. They were far, far better than Spurs but couldn’t get the second goal, and had to watch as their former manager celebrated an injury-time equaliser for a hated rival, then bullied their current manager with a classic playground ruse. I can’t believe Tuchel wasn’t ready for it; two fingers down your adversary’s forearm and your hand is unsqueezable.
Bissouma is over to the Spurs fans, amping them up, and no one wants to leave in case there’s more aggravation. But we’ve had a pretty nifty quantity, and the only pity is these two don’t play each other again in about five minutes.
Full-time: Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur
YES WE ARE! Conte and Tuchel shake hands, I think Conte gives Tuchel the old squeeze and both men flare up! But various killjoys rob us of the slap and tickle so we have to make do with a red card apiece! Lovely, lovely stuff. Football!
90+6 min This has been a brilliant half of Premier League FootballTM, but are we to get the scuffle we deserve?
GOAL! Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur (Kane 90+6)
OH MY COMPLETE AND UTTER DAYS! Perisic’s corner is perfect, picking out Kane at the near post, and he imparts a perfect flick that sends the ball between Koulibaly and James, into the corner of the net!
90+5 min …because Romoero has hold of Cucurella, yanking him to the ground via neck and bouffant, but without sufficient violence to attract punishment.
90+4 min Davies is up and backs the ball goalwards, Mendy tipping over. Another corner, but VAR has seen something….
90+4 min Perisic curls it in, Azpilicueta heads away, and Bissouma leathers a volley that flicks someone on the way behind; corner.
90+3 min Carragher gives James player of the match, and I can’t argue with that. He’s everything a full-back should be, strong, fast, clever, skilful, hard and brave … and as I type that, he barges through Kane, giving Spurs a free-ick down the left…
90+1 min “In the 00s,” says Mathew Parr, “our ‘almost but not quite’ stadium prog rock band wrote a song called ‘One More Saturday’ about the decline of real football and football values. The rise in media trained footballers using the phrase “Like I just said” during post-match interviews featured prominently in the song. Once you hear it, you can not un-hear it.”
I know it well – I had the honour of making a film with Gary Anderson who deployed it even when discussing things he had not just said.
90 min The first half was a bit slow, but this has been a lot of fun since then. And we’ll have six extra minutes for an extra goal or ruckus; come on football gods, we’re not fussy.
89 min Havertz is taken off before Romero can separate him from his legs; Broja comes on.
88 min I said at some point in his career, I meant now; Romero clatters Havertz, but with nowhere near the prejudice he feels in his heart.
87 min “A moment is a node where one or more branches diverge,” advises Mark Bilsborough. “A decision point for example; different branches of a probability tree; or, if one were minded to be poetic, the point at which destinies change. I’ve always thought G Neville likely to sway to the beat of an inner poet. Musing self-reflectively on how that furrow he carved for so long up & down the right channel, is now increasingly etched upon his forehead.”
86 min Havertz storms through Romero from behind, sending him sprawling. He’s booked, and I daresay he’ll be hearing a retort at some stage of his career. We’’ll look forward to that.
85 min Havertz dashes down the right and cuts back for Gallagher, who feints the shot and moves onto Mount … who does the keeper with the eyes, dragging a finish just wide of the near post.
84 min Chelsea send on Gallagher for Kante – this might be his chance – and Pulisic for Sterling.
83 min Ach, Kante is down and looks to have tweaked something.
82 min Spurs, I meant to say, brought on Bissouma for Bentancur and Perisic for Son/
80 min “Tuchel v Conte,” says Joe Pearson. “Tuchel is wiry, sure, but Conte strikes me as someone ready to fight ‘to the pain’ (requisite Princess Bride reference).”
I agree. As Francis Begbie teaches, fights are won by psychopathy, not hardness.
78 min You’ve got to give Chelsea their due, they’ve stepped it up again after Spurs equalised. Reece James is an absolute superstar.
GOAL! Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur (James 77)
If you want summat doing, do it yourself! Koulibaly recovers possession high up the park and finds Kane who finds Sterling just outsde the box, almost dead centre. Suddenly, the Spurs back line is attracted to the ball as one, so Sterling feeds James, in aeons of time, and he punches a confident finish that sends Tuchel off down the touchline, Mourinho-style, telling Conte exactly what’s up! It’s everything that no one ever wants to see, ever. Disgusting.
75 min Reece James is such a player, and he gambols down the right, arcs a delectable cross into the middle to meet Havertz’s arrival … who, from five yards, ankles first-time a finish just wide! That was on a silver salver for him, and he can’t believe he missed, his manager neither.
75 min Richarlison has given Spurs the energy they lacked in the first hour, forcing Chelsea to play a quicker game. When it’s slow, Jorginho can control things, but as soon as there’s pressure on the ball, his influence wanes.
74 min It’s Azpilicueta on, so maybe a back three for Chelsea now.
73 min We’ve still not restarted, but Jorginho’s been yanked – we’ve not been told who for.
70 min I think Richarlison might’ve been in an offside position but he’s deemed to not be interfering, and both managers are booked. I think Conte went off celebrating near the Chelsea dug out – maybe muscle memory took over – but I’d not fancy Tuchel’s chances in a square go.
69 min Bentancur’s foul was 24 seconds before the goal. No way can you disallow it for that, irate though Tuchel is.
GOAL! Chelsea 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur (Hojbjerg 68)
And it’s all booting off on the bench, Tuchel and Conte needing separating! Everything that no one wants to see! Anyway, I think the ruckus is about Bentancur sliding in to foul Havertz, but in the meantime, the ball comes out of the Chelsea box to Hojbjerg – after Jorginho tries a little drag-back inside it – who controls a really good drive into the corner – though I wonder if Mendy might’ve done better.
67 min A Chelsea clincher still looks more likely than a Spurs equaliser, and Loftus-Cheek finds Sterling, who dinks a cross to the far post that no one attacks.
65 min Someone gets a flick on the corner but it goes behind Richarlison and Chelsea break with Sterling,. He finds Kante, accepts a return … but it’s just short, and Royal slides in to avert danger.
64 min It’s taken a while, but we got ourselves a ball-game, as Boehly might say, Richarlison is playing ahead of Kane, giving Chelsea’s back three twice as much to think about about about which to think, and they’re starting to get a bit of joy down the right, winning a corner which yields another…
61 min This is warming up! Hojbjerg slides a ball down the middle as Richarlison comes back from offside and Kane is in! I’ve not seen many smother finishers from this kind of position, 15 yards out, and he shoots as early as ever, but sweeps just wide of the far post, beating the turf in frustration! That was such a chance.
61 min Spurs are leaving space for Chelsea, Loftus-Cheek driving in off the right, shooting into Davies, collecting the rebound, barrelling through another challenge, then when the ball runs to Sterling, he dances across the face of a tackle and lofts a strike that flies high.
59 min “A couple of things,” begins Adam Timmins. “Firstly, time isn’t really covered by Philosophy of Science, it’s covered in Philosophy of Time. So there are various theories as to the ontology of time. So for example, endurantism and growing block theory both argue that different times are still in existence. So assuming Neville holds to one of these theories, then technically there are different moments in time. Then again, if he couldn’t even successfully manage a football club, how is he going to get his head around these concepts?”
I daresay successfully managing a football club is more difficult than developing a sophisticated understanding of time.
58 min Spurs try to up the intensity … for as long as it takes for the hitherto anonymous Kulusevski to wander down a blind alley.
57 min Richarlison replaces Sessegnon, which I’m sure has amused Perisic greatly.
56 min Yup, Richarlison is getting stripped.
55 min It’s still all Chelsea, who have Spurs pinned back unable to get out of their own half as they force a succession of corners. Surely Conte needs to act?
53 min More Chelsea possession, so here’s Joe Pearson: “The moments! Takes me back to my pre-retirement actuarial days: mean, variance, skewness, kurtosis…”
Come on, all the real intellectuals are thinking about Kenya Moore.
52 min Tuchel is wearing a royal blue baseball cap. No further questions, your honour.
50 min “Just watching your half-time entertainment,” tweets @lloydyes. “Peter Houseman seems to have been forgotten and I don’t think he was really appreciated in his lifetime. He also lived in a one-bedroom council flat at the end of my road.”
I remember him because my uncle is Chelsea and that particular team is his team, but also because we had a maths teacher who’d insert Chelsea names into whatever test he gave us – Shed End Station, Houseman Avenue, that kind of thing. But yes, his is not one of the more frequently-cited players from that side.
48 min Slightly better from Spurs, Kane turning on the ball and feeding one of those pythagorean passes in behind to meet the run of Son. But Thiago Silva goes with him and defends the space really well, Mendy coming out too to close down any potential pass or shot.
47 min “I was once having a rant about what could a moment be except time (43 minutes, G Neville),” says Adam Roberts, “and my niece who is studying advanced mathematics or some such at university gave me a long and complicated answer about a moment being something or other in applied mathematics which I didn’t even begin to understand but I was well and truly told.”
I was actually wondering about that: maybe Gary Nev is talking philosophy of science, because really, what is time?
Answer: time is illmatic, keep static like wool fabric.
46 min We go again. No changes from Conte, which seems strange, because this isn’t just a matter of hoping the starters play better – his chosen personnel have faults, and they’re being taken advantage of.
News flash: Graeme Souness thinks Spurs should be “more aggressive”. Of course he does! Obviously and as often, he’s right.
Half-time email: “Jamie Carragher,” begins David Farrell. “Not half as annoying as Clinton Morrison saying ‘to be fair’ every sentence. It’s like punctuation for him and rarely in context.”
I enjoy Clinton, to be fair.
Half-time: Chelsea 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur
Chelsea have been excellent; Spurs have been feeble.
45+2 min Conte has work to do at half-time, and what I’m especially enjoying is the way Tuchel is sort of using the box midfield, that he played when Chelsea won the league, against him, with Havertz and Mount buzzing about like Pedro and Hazard, in front of Jorginho and Kante rather than Kante and Fabregas.