Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham: The Battle of Stamford Bridge
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on May 3, 2016
Stamford Bridge had always played host to battles where dreams died, daggers were drawn in duels of death and where blood was spilled on the beautiful green grasses of war- all in the name of glory across the land before them.
Take the year 1066 as a valiant example; despite the venue being somewhat to the North of the country, 15,000 men of England all fighting to keep the landscape under its status quo led by King Harold took on the 9,000 men of Norweigan descent in a battle for sovereignty and victory- at Stamford Bridge. Men died, blood drowned their bodies all in a fight to the death for something they desired. In which the 15,000 men failed.
“Why is this relevant?”, you ask. Well, the same thing (take away the thousands of deaths) had occurred on one Spring Bank Holiday evening; where Chelsea and Tottenham slugged it out man-to-man in a true classic ding dong derby under the bright lights of Stamford Bridge. 11 men whom once tasted the spoils of domination led by outgoing, veteran Guus Hiddink fought the 11 men whom are young, developing warriors under the steady eye of emerging Mauricio Pochettino. Men cried, tears drowned their shirts all in a fight to the very last to keep one side’s hopes of domination scores the landscape in tact. In which Pochettino’s 11 men failed.
Wars of Words
Chelsea’s players had begun the mind games; with Cesc Fabregas landing a sly dig at Tottenham by fervently stating that he wanted Leicester to go on to claim the Premier League title live on Sky (the midfielder made an appearance for the game between Stoke and Tottenham). The exchange of verbal vitriol would stir a melting pot full of fiery ingredients and pent up London rivalry.
After a scintillating show on the South Coast, Chelsea had claimed a 1-4 victory at Bournemouth. Eden Hazard decided to push the pot over and made it personal. The Belgian, whom enjoyed a sparkling return from injury, said that the Chelsea players didn’t want Tottenham to claim the title sparking a backlash from Pochettino (claiming he had a “title to win”) and subsequently sparked all out war on Twitter and various other outlets- with the fighters using their keyboards as shields and their words as daggers.
Then take after the Leicester game- the Foxes couldn’t claim victory at Old Trafford get they were within touching distance of the title- Spurs HAD to win at the Bridge, or their title bid was over and Leicester would be champions. The battle at the Bridge was nearing, with wars of words acting as the catalyst in both camps to drive them into fight mode.
Two for Tottenham’s Title Tilt
As the cauldron of the champions’ ignited in unison- all 41,545 of them- to welcome the crestfallen Chelsea (languishing in 10th place) and their unsavoury North London counterparts Tottenham, the battle lines were drawn. Battle stations at the Bridge.
It was win or die regarding Tottenham’s ambitions of ending their 55 year title wait- and wouldn’t Chelsea, as their players expressed quite clearly, like to drive the dagger into the hearts, souls and minds of their rivals to kill them off.
However, despite the flashes of the sword from Chelsea, Tottenham dodged the hits from the Blues in the early exchanges of the derby duel- and in the closing quarter of the first 45 minutes of battle, a sheer quickfire blast from Harry Kane had gashed Chelsea by surprised and silenced the antagonising agitating Chelsea faithful. 0-1.
And Tottenham weren’t finished in the first half; they knew Chelsea’s vulnerability and decided to slash the outgoing champions across their broken chest in the 44th minute after a curling strike from Son. 0-2.
This was no battle…until chaos ensued in the dying embers, between Moussa Dembele and Diego Costa; a shocking scratch act from Dembele sparked fury from the hot-blooded Costa, and confrontations began; even Pochettino paraded onto the pitch in fury as Danny Rose and Willian came to the precipice of punch throwing- sparking the staffs of the two sides on the touchiline to conflict. It had set the tone for an even more fiery second half. However, it was 0-2 and two for Tottenham’s title tilt.
Chaos and confrontation ensued on the touchline come the conclusion of the first half.
Beauty in the Beast
Despite laying the Bridge in pools of bile and the airs of anger and the beginning of a feeling bloodbath- Chelsea’s baiting of Tottenham had backfired with the confidence in the Spurs ranks having potential to humiliate the Blues. Something was needed. War. Fight fire with fire- and then some.
Chelsea dusted their gashes inflicted by Tottenham as tackles viciously flew in left, right and centre- filling Clattenburg’s book of yellow cards for both sides. Cahill’s goal before the hour mark made the heat of the moment and occasion more heavy on Spurs who knew that another Chelsea goal would be fatal. 1-2.
The chest shoving, little jabs, the occasional swear word made the battle even more fiery- Chelsea’s rampant search for an equaliser embroiled the Spurs players in a dance with death and near the crescendo of the derby clash, the North Londoners were forced into mid dance macabre though Hazard’s emphatic equaliser on the 83rd minute which sent the Chelsea fans (and Leicester fans!) into delirium. 2-2.
But the fields of battle already drowned in bile, stray studs and blood weren’t drowned enough; it was a stamp by Erik Lamela on Cesc Fabregas- with Cesc yearning for revenge- which acted as the catalyst to a catacyclsmic frenzied melee at full time which had engulfed both the coaching staff and the twenty two players in a huge fight.
As the full time whistle sounded, the emotion had stopped a Spurs’ title chase- all the more a reason for a free-for-all fight.
Full time saw an anarchy descending touchline fracas: Danny Rose SHOVED Guus Hiddink, 70 years old I may add, over the advertising hoardings, Diego Costa supposedly
BITING Michel Vorm and Steve Holland being kept apart (in a hot temper) from his opposition.
The four goal tempestuous thriller saw TWELVE cards shown (all yellow with NINE for Spurs) and will definitely see the two sides being called to the FA’s office for a telling off- fines and retrospective action including. Despite this, this fiery tempered derby hoedown showed us the raw emotion of true rivalry and passion- a breath of fresh air. For me, it was the beauty in this beast of a game.
On Monday night, Stamford Bridge played host to a fever pitch battle where Tottenham’s title dreams died, battle lines were drawn in duels of death and where blood was spilled on the beautiful green grasses of war- all in the name of Premier League glory across the land before the match. In which Pochettino’s men lost (despite drawing 2-2) the battle- the Battle of Stamford Bridge.