Chelsea vs Tottenham: Drama galore as epic battle ends even

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LONDON — Chelsea and Tottenham played out a pulsating 2-2 draw in a classic London derby at Stamford Bridge, as tempers flared on the pitch, on the sidelines between Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte and pretty much everywhere else as Spurs snatched a point in the 96th minute. 

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At the final whistle both Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel were sent off for their reaction to a handshake, as everyone piled in.

Harry Kane’s header deflected off Reece James and in to make it 2-2 with the last attack of the game after Chelsea had twice led through Kalidou Koulibaly and Reece James.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s shot had made it 1-1, but that was a massive moment of contention as Chelsea believed Havertz was fouled in the build-up.

On Spurs’ late goal to make it 2-2 there was also controversy as a VAR check for a foul on Marc Cucurella by Cristian Romero (who clearly pulled his hair) was waved away and then Spurs scored.

Utter chaos. Just the way we like it in the Premier league.

WATCH FULL MATCH REPLAY


What we learned from Chelsea vs Tottenham

This is Tuchel ball: Intensity throughout. Controlling the tempo of the game. Three fluid forwards causing havoc. This is Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea. Many believe they would struggle to finish in the top four this season, and they still might, but this attacking performance suggests they will cause plenty of problems for opponents. Of course, defensively they have to improve and this draw will feel like a defeat.

Spurs’ Plan B is very dangerous: When Spurs went to a 4-2-4 formation and brought on Richarlison to partner Harry Kane up top and it worked. They equalized (twice) created a few big chances and this is a great option for Conte when Spurs are struggling to create chances. After struggling to have any kind of rhythm throughout the game, the switch to a 4-2-4 gave them the chance to actually keep the ball higher up the pitch. Against weaker defenses than Chelsea they will have a field day with this approach.

Chaos ensues in Battle of the Bridge 2022: From the Hojbjerg equalizer which Chelsea were fuming with after they believed Havertz was fouled, it was pure chaos. Tuchel and Conte clashed on the sidelines as the benches were emptied. Tuchel then ran down the sidelines to celebrate Chelsea’s second goal and then there was more pandemonium. After Romero’s hair pull wasn’t punished by VAR, Spurs scored from the resulting 96th minute corner to grab a point. At the final whistle Conte and Tuchel then went at it as they shook hands as a massive brawl broke out. This London derby rarely disappoints. On the pitch it was an intense spectacle and off it there were strong Battle of the Bridge vibes.

Anthony Taylor, officials will be under pressure: Chelsea will feel very hard done by with plenty of decisions throughout the game as Romero should have been sent off for violent conduct on Cucurella and that means Spurs shouldn’t have equalized. The foul on Havertz was 50/50. Bentancur got the ball, and Havertz, but the officials could point to the Spurs man getting a piece of the ball and probably play was too far developed to pull it back and disallow Spurs’ first goal.


Tactical focus

After a slow start Chelsea totally dictated the tempo of this game and for 95 minutes it was a tactical masterclass from Thomas Tuchel. He surprised many by starting Ruben Loftus-Cheek as a right wing-back but it was a masterstroke. RLC tucked inside often, creating overloads in midfield which stopped Tottenham from ever getting control of the game. With Spurs’ midfield locked down, Harry Kane and Heung-min Son were left isolated and that is never a good thing for Tottenham. However, then Antonio Conte switched to a 4-2-4 to wrestle back control of the game to help Spurs rescue a point as they were better going forward and took more risks. On his return to Chelsea, conte showed why he is one of the best.


Stars of the show

Ruben Loftus-Cheek: A surprise inclusion at right wing-back but not only did his job down that flank but also tucked inside to create an extra man in midfield. Spurs couldn’t handle him.

Kalidou Koulibaly: What a home debut for Koulibaly as he scored a beauty, launched into tackles and became a fans’ favorite in the space of 90 minutes. Chelsea’s fans are missing Antonio Rudiger anymore.

Hugo Lloris: Some incredible saves to deny Chelsea and that proved crucial as Spurs grabbed a point.


What’s next?

Chelsea head to play at Leeds on Sunday, Aug. 21, while Tottenham host Wolves on Saturday, Aug. 20.


How to watch Chelsea vs Tottenham live, stream link and start time

Kickoff: 11:30 am ET, Sunday
TV: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Chelsea vs Tottenham live analysis! – By Joe Prince-Wright at Stamford Bridge

Summary of the game. Pretty much.

GOALLLL! 96th minute equalizer from Harry Kane, as he heads home and the ball flicks off Reece James and in. Chaos here. Pure chaos.

3 minutes to go…

This is what the Premier League is all about!

From the drama of Hojbjerg’s goal amid a possible foul, to the chaos on the sidelines between Conte and Tuchel, to Havertz’s big miss, to Reece James’ goal and then Tuchel’s celebration running down the touchline, this last 10 minutes has been epic.

GOALLL!! This place has gone wild. Kante finds Sterling and he finds a wide-open James to slot home. 2-1. Tuchel goes running down the sidelines to celebrate.

Miss! What a chance for Kai Havertz but he somehow slots wide from a great position. Wow. What a miss.

GOALLLL! Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s low daisy cutter sneaks in and it is 1-1. Huge moment of controversy as Havertz went down before that but nothing was given. Then it all kicks off on the sidelines. Pandemonium. Just chaos as Conte and Tuchel go at it right before the drinks break.

Spurs are looking much better after going to a 4-2-4 system. Conte is feeling it on the sidelines.

CLOSE! x2 Raheem Sterling fires over after a lovely mazy run from Ruben Loftus-Cheek. What a chance for Chelsea to double their lead… Then moments later Harry Kane is played in over the top but he scuffs his shot wide. A huge chance missed. Kane knows it as he slams the ground in frustration.

Richarlison is on for Tottenham. He replaces Ryan Sessegnon. Richarlison and Harry Kane are playing together up top. Tottenham have gone to basically a 4-2-4 formation with Kulusevski on the right and Heung-min Son on the left.

Tottenham hanging in there as Chelsea have them pinned in. Spurs can’t get out. Richarlison is coming on.

The second half is underway and Chelsea are right back on top. Loftus-Cheek continues to cause problems down the right. Spurs have to try and keep the ball better to have any chance of getting back in the game. No substitutes at half time for either team.

Chelsea continue to do all of the pressing and Ruben Loftus-Cheek should make it 2-0, but he can’t get enough on his header at the back post. Tottenham are being dominate.

Water break! That gives us all a breather after that intense start.

It’s all Chelsea now. The home fans are loving it as they go through their renditions of songs making fun of Tottenham. They’re having a lovely time. The Spurs fans in the away end, not so much.

GOALLLL! GOALLLL! That gets the double goal treatment. Wowza. Kalidou Koulibaly with a stunning volley from a corner on his home Premier League debut. Stamford Bridge has just gone bonkers and Chelsea totally deserved that opener after a great spell of pressure. Tottenham kept dropping deeper and deeper. What a moment for Koulibaly who celebrates with Thomas Tuchel on the sidelines. Absolute scenes.

Nearly a great goal from Chelsea! Kante teed up Sterling and his back heel found Havertz who thought he had scored. However, Hugo Lloris with a fine save down low with his foot. What a stop that is.

Chelsea totally dictating the tempo of this game now, but Tottenham are very compact and there isn’t much space for Mount, Havertz and Sterling to operate in. Marc Cucurella is seeing a lot of the ball.

Lovely cross into the box from Kante but it evades Raheem Sterling who was lurking on the edge of the six-yard box.

What a start to this game. The pace is incredible. There’s no way they can keep this up, right?

Here are my thoughts ahead of kick off. Yeah, it’s so hot here the camera started to steam up during filming. It’s a scorcher.

An early chance for Spurs as Son races clear but delays his shot and Chelsea clear. Kane then finds Son but his shot is blocked. Good start by Spurs.

KICK OFF: What an atmosphere here. The teams are out, the flames are flying high and the dislike between these clubs, as always, is very clear.

There is a real party atmosphere here at Chelsea. The new owners are fully in charge and it’s a new season with plenty of expectations. Add in this is a huge London derby and things will be very interesting today.

The lineups are out and it is very interesting. Marc Cucurella starts and it looks he is starting as the left wing-back in a 3-4-2-1 system. Tottenham are unchanged, as expected.

Welcome to a hot and steamy Stamford Bridge for what should be an, erm, hot and steamy London derby! These two always deliver drama, big moments and spirited scraps. Here’s hoping today is no different as two tactical geniuses lock horns.


Key storylines & star players

1W-1D-6L. That’s Tottenham’s dismal record against Chelsea over the last four Premier League seasons (3W-1D-9L if you include all competitions). Even in the best of times for Spurs — in the 2015 League Cup final and the Battle at the Bridge, when Tottenham were chasing Leicester City for the PL title, just to name a couple — Chelsea were a constant thorn in Mauricio Pochettino’s side. Now, Antonio Conte, a Premier League champion with Chelsea himself, is at the helm and Tottenham look stronger and more convincing than perhaps they ever have. With a clear plan finally in place from top down, the squad has been essentially set since the start of preseason, and there’s a confidence emanating from the club that has Spurs supporters believing that this time it really could turn out differently.

In contrast, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is working with far from a full deck these days. Since the end of last season, Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen (free transfers), Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku (loans) have all left the club, with Raheem Sterling, Marc Cucurella and Kalidou Koulibaly ($165.4 million combined) arriving as reinforcements. There’s not currently a center forward at the club (remember, they’re both loaned out after being signed for $197 million combined), leaving the attack predictably blunt and unimaginative in a tedious win over the relegation candidate Toffees. And still, Chelsea’s recent dominance over Spurs sows doubt for one side and offers some much-needed hope for the other.


Chelsea team news, injuries, lineup

OUT: Mateo Kovacic (knee), Marcos Alonso (undisclosed)

Tottenham team news, injuries, lineup

OUT: Oliver Skipp (foot), Clement Lenglet (abductor)

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UEFA Nations League: Schedule, how to watch, stream, TV, standings

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UEFA Nations League champions France will not go back-to-back, and Portugal is behind Spain in its bid to return to the throne room, highlighting the odds that a new Nations League winner will be crowned at the end of third edition of the tournament.

England and Wales are no longer top-tier sides after their relegations to UEFA Nations League B. England didn’t win a single one of their six group games (0W-3D-3L) as Gareth Southgate’s side finished bottom of Group 3.

France lost to Denmark and just remained in League A as Austria were relegated, with Croatia pipping the Danes to a place in the semifinal round.

[ MORE: European Nations League hub — Scores, stats ]

Group A4 is the opposite sort of fight, Belgium and the Netherlands have both played very well but the Dutch triumphed down the stretch (thanks to a 1-0 win as Virgil van Dijk scored the lone goal in Amsterdam) to advance to the semifinal round.

UEFA Nations Leagues B, C, and D also have drama built into the final days as Ukraine and Scotland are jockeying for promotion in B1; Russia’s punishment has left B2 promotion open to Israel, Iceland, and Albania. B4 sees Erling Haaland, Martin Odegaard, and Norway fighting to join League A for the next cycle.

There’s also drama as Kazakhstan and Georgia currently lead their League C groups, with Latvia and Estonia in League D’s best spots.


UEFA Nations League live: How to watch, stream links

When: June 1, 2022 – March 26, 2024
How to watch: Fox Sports Live, Fubo TV


UEFA Nations League A, Group 1

Croatia– 4-1-1, 13 pts [ADVANCED]
Denmark — 4-0-2, 12 pts
France — 1-2-3, 5 pts
Austria — 1-1-4, 4 pts [RELEGATED]

Next fixtures

Thursday
France 2-0 Austria
Croatia 2-1 Denmark

Sunday
Denmark 2-0 France
Austria 1-3 Croatia

UEFA Nations League A, Group 2

Portugal — 3-1-1, 10 pts
Spain — 2-2-0, 8 pts
Switzerland — 2-0-3, 6 pts
Czech Republic — 1-1-3, 4 pts

Next fixtures

Saturday
Czech Republic 0-4 Portugal
Spain 1-2 Switzerland

Tuesday
Portugal vs Spain
Switzerland vs Czech Republic

UEFA Nations League A, Group 3

Italy — 3-2-1, 11 pts [ADVANCED]
Hungary — 3-1-2, 10 pts
Germany — 1-4-1, 7 pts
England — 0-3-3, 3 pts [RELEGATED]

Next fixtures

Friday
Italy 1-0 England
Germany 0-1 Hungary

Monday
England 3-3 Germany
Hungary 0-2 Italy

UEFA Nations League A, Group 4

Netherlands — 5-1-0, 16 pts [ADVANCED]
Belgium — 3-1-2, 10 pts
Poland — 2-1-3, 7 pts
Wales — 0-1-5, 1 pt [RELEGATED]

Next fixtures

Thursday
Poland 0-2 Netherlands
Belgium 2-1 Wales

Sunday
Netherlands 1-0 Belgium
Wales 0-1 Poland

USMNT projected starting lineup vs Saudi Arabia

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The USMNT face Saudi Arabia in Murcia, Spain in their final warm-up game before the 2022 World Cup kicks off in November and there are plenty of question marks around their best starting lineup.

Especially at center back and up front.

[ MORE: Player ratings | What we learned | Reaction ]

Following the shocking defeat to Japan (where a 2-0 scoreline in Japan’s favor heavily flattered the USMNT), Gregg Berhalter has plenty to think about as he juggles his roster around ahead of this final audition.

Yes, this final camp before the World Cup has seen the USMNT without six key players (Weah, Steffen, A. Robinson, Carter-Vickers, Richards and Musah) but the most concerning thing is that nobody took the opportunity given to them against Japan. Will anybody step up against Saudi Arabia and cement their spot in the roster, or even the starting lineup?

Below is our projected lineup, plus analysis on what Berhalter should do for the final 90 minutes he has with the team before they kick off their World Cup campaign against Wales on Nov. 21 in Qatar.


USMNT projected starting lineup vs Saudi Arabia (4-3-3)

—– Horvath —–

— Scally — Zimmerman — Palmer-Brown — Dest —

—- Adams —- McKennie —-

—- Reyna —-

— Aaronson — Pepi — Pulisic —


What should Berhalter do?

It’s clear that Gregg Berhalter will make plenty of changes as eight players (six outfield, two goalkeepers) didn’t have any minutes against Japan last time out. That said, he needs key players on this team to find some rhythm playing together less than two months before the World Cup kicks off. This starting lineup should be a mixture between giving players a final chance to impress and letting star players alongside each other as they look to build momentum ahead of the World Cup.

Goalkeepers

Matt Turner proved he’s the undisputed No. 1 as he excelled against Japan (perhaps the only player to leave that game with any credit) and although Zack Steffen is better with the ball at his feet, Turner appears to have the upper-hand. That leaves Ethan Horvath and Sean Johnson to battle it out for the final goalkeeping spot on the roster. Expect them both to get a chance in this game.

Defenders

In defense, Erik Palmer-Brown and Mark McKenzie should both get plenty of minutes to make their final claim for a spot on the roster but it may be a surprise to see them line up together. Perhaps they will have 45 minutes each alongside Zimmerman (a guaranteed starter at CB) to see who fares better as a duo?

At full back Joe Scally should get a run out at right back, while Sergino Dest will likely show off his versatility and play left back. The likes of Dest, and others, need the game time given they’re on the fringes of their starting lineup for their club teams. We now what DeAndre Yedlin can do and he is a leader on this team who is going to Qatar no matter what.

Midfielders

In midfield, I’d start Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie together again. They looked awful against Japan which was very surprising. This duo have to get some kind of partnership going and 60 minutes together here could see things click back into place for them. We know what Luca de la Torre and Kellyn Acosta offer, while Johnny Cardoso and Malik Tillman could both get another, longer, chance to push for a spot on the roster.

Forwards

Gio Reyna playing in a central role as a No. 10 should be something Berhalter prioritizes, while Christian Pulisic is fit and will start (according to Berhalter) so he should start on the left and Brenden Aaronson should start on the right. Getting Aaronson, Reyna and Pulisic used to playing together and interchanging is something that has to be done.

Up top, Berhalter has confirmed that Ricardo Pepi will get his chance to start and his physicality and speed should combine very well with the trio underneath him. Expect Josh Sargent to get a good chunk of minutes too, while Jesus Ferreira is the other option up top but maybe we could see Pulisic or Reyna playing up there as a false nine at some point of the game?

Ranking the 2022 World Cup kits

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With the 2022 World Cup fast approaching, plenty of World Cup kits are starting to be released and there are some intriguing looks.

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From Mexico’s snazzy away number to Germany going for a solid new look for their home kit and Puma rolling out a very specific and similar look for their national teams, just like they did for their club teams on their away kits, there is a lot to unpack here.

When November rolls around and the World Cup kicks off, which one of these jerseys will you be wearing with pride? And which one will you be wearing because it looks really cool?

Below is our rankings of the World Cup kits which have been released.


Ranking the 2022 World Cup kits

1. Mexico

This is a lovely away kit and will become a classic. Expect these beauties to fly off the shelves and be a jersey that neutrals love just as much as El Tri fans. The home kit is very decent too.


2. Portugal

Absolutely sensational work. The home kit is unique enough but still sticks to Portugal’s bold colors, while the away kit is a classic too.


3. Poland

Oh, wow. This is absolutely beautiful. The away shirt is majestic and the home shirt is classic but with some intriguing detail on the sleeves. Nicely done.


4. Japan

Well, this is another classic. Japan’s home kit is inspired by anime and the design is bold and recognizable. The away kit is fantastic too, especially the long-sleeved version.


5. France

The home and away kits are both lovely and the colors just work together. Well done.


6. Argentina

The home kit is classic. You can’t really mess up the blue and white stripes. Again, another lovely away kit. The purple is perfect and this just looks slick and silky. Much like Lionel Messi’s footwork.


7. Wales

These are beautiful. The right color red on the home shirt and just enough going on without overdoing it. The away shirt is also bold and the collar is lovely. Well done.


8. Brazil

Home kit looks like a classic and the away shirt is pretty decent too, but some people may not like the funky print on the shoulders.


9. England

The blue panels on the home kit are a bit meh but the away kit is a retro beauty.


10. Croatia

They kind of ruined a classic with the home kit. It’s still cool but only having the checkered design on part of the home shirt is weird. The away kit is majestic.


11. Saudi Arabia

Pretty nice designs here. They could have gone with the plain white for the home and plain green for the away, but the snazzy designs work. Especially for the away kit.


12. Netherlands

The home shirt looks kind of velvety? Not the usual bright orange, which will upset some. The blue away kit is sleek and the real winner here.


13. Senegal

This is the best of the Puma jerseys, as Senegal’s away kit is very distinctive and the green is lovely. This big panel on the middle of the kit is something we will get used to seeing a lot of during the World Cup.


14. Ghana

Again, another Puma away kit but this Ghana shirt has plenty of personality.


15. Germany

This is fine. Expect a bit better from Die Mannschaft and it feels like they should have an all white jersey for their home kit.


16. Qatar

The hosts have a simple, clean look. The away shirt has a nice golden pattern on it. Not bad.


17. USA

The home shirt has not been received well by fans, and some players, for being too boring. But the away shirt is pretty nice.


18. Morocco

A bit plain, but like the collar and sleeve trims and the circular pattern around the middle is very cool.


19. Spain

Eh, this could have been so much better. Spain’s home kit looks bland and the away kit is just too much with that pattern.


20. Australia

Not quite sure what to make of this. The same velvety style as the Netherlands home shirt on Australia’s home shirt. Just doesn’t work. The away kit is also just very bland.


21. Belgium

These home kits are just a little too plain and the flame pattern on the shoulder isn’t great and looks like a shirt I’d wear to my midweek bowling league. A missed opportunity. The same applies for the away kit. Belgium’s golden generation won’t look golden this World Cup.


22. Uruguay

Again, another Puma away kit which looks very similar. Uruguay’s iconic sky blue could have been used a lot better on this away shirt.


23. Serbia

Lovely gold in the design and makes the white away kit pop a little.


24. Switzerland

Just very bland. Not a lot going on and the panel in the middle is just a bit of an eyesore.

World Cup 2022 rankings: Who are the favorites?

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With less than two months to go until it all kicks off, it is time to update and release the latest 2022 World Cup rankings.

[ MORE: USMNT react to Japan defeat ]

There are a few clear favorites to win the trophy in Qatar but some of the giants have been handed tougher group stage draws than others which will obviously impact their chances of lifting the famous trophy.

Given that some of the favorites have also been struggling in recent Nations League games and friendlies with plenty of heavy defeats and strange results, there remains no real frontrunner to win the tournament. That is great news for neutrals.

[ MORE: Full schedule for World Cup ]

Keep an eye out on a few underdogs too, as there are some real opportunities which have opened up depending on what side of the bracket you’re on.

We will updates these rankings before and during the tournament in Qatar, which takes place from November 21 to December 18, 2022.

[ MORE: Betting odds for 2022 World Cup ]

Let us know what you think of the rankings below.


Schedule, start time, dates, how to watch live

When: November 20, 2022 to December 18, 2022
Group stage game kick off times: 5am, 8am, 11am, 2pm (all ET)
Location: Qatar
TV channel in EnglishFox
TV channel in Spanish: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock


World Cup Rankings – September 26, 2022

32. Tunisia – Down 1
31. Qatar – Down 4
30. Australia – Up 2
29. Ghana – Even
28. Cameroon – Down 3


27. Saudi Arabia – Up 1
26. Costa Rica – Up 4
25. Wales – Down 5
24. Iran – Even
23. Ecuador – Down 5


22. Morocco – Even
21. Canada – Up 2
20. USA – Down 4
19. Japan – Up 7
18. Poland – Up 3


17. Mexico – Up 2
16. South Korea – Down 1
15. Uruguay – Down 5
14. Serbia – Up 3
13. Senegal – Down 1


12. Switzerland – Up 1
11. Croatia – Up 3
10. Denmark – Up 1
9. England – Down 3
8. Germany – Down 3
7. Spain – Even


6. Netherlands – Up 3
5. Portugal – Up 3
4. France – Even
3. Belgium – Down 1
2. Argentina – Up 1
1. Brazil – Even