Antonio Conte defends aggressive behaviour in Chelsea draw

Antonio Conte, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur with Harry Kane
Antonio Conte, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur with Harry Kane - IMAGO / Shutterstock

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has defended himself following accusations he was to blame for the bust-ups that marred his side’s game with Chelsea on Sunday.

The two sides played a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge in their second Premier League game of the season. Chelsea took the lead through Kalidou Koulibaly but could not hold on to their lead, with Spurs coming from behind two times to claim a point. 

However, the point was not without drama and aggression as the two managers came to blows during the game and after the game. 

The first confrontation between Conte and Thomas Tuchel came when the Chelsea manager was angry at the decision to let Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s equaliser for Spurs stand after it appeared Kai Havertz was fouled in the build-up.

Both men were separated and booked at that instance but it didn’t stop the pair from clashing one more time. This time, it happened after the final whistle when Tuchel went to shake Conte’s hand and the Italian accepted before trying to quickly leave from the scene.

However, Tuchel was angered by the Italians’ decision not to look him in the eye, pulling his counterpart back before they squared off again. The second confrontation led to referee Anthony Taylor issuing both men with a second yellow. 

But now, according to The Sun, Conte didn’t slow down with his rampage even after he had been sent off, triggering a confrontation with Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic in the tunnel. 

According to the report, the Tottenham boss had to be held back for a third time in the tunnel after the game as he barged into injured Chelsea midfielder Kovacic. 

But he defended his actions, saying that he will ‘answer with aggression’ if it was shown to him first.

When questioned by Sky Sports, the former Inter Milan man said; 

“In my opinion, it is better to talk about the game. I don’t want to comment on the situation. If there is a problem that is between me and him and not anyone else.

“There’s TV and video to understand what happened. For sure, I am not passive. If I see aggression, I answer with aggression. I repeat; it is not a problem. It was a great game with two rivals.’ 

He added: “You have to show passion every time because the result can be positive or negative, but you have to love your job and your work and show your passion. 

“If the fans see this, it’s good. You can take big achievements if you have a big passion in your job.”