clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Hiddink on post-match scuffle and fall, fantastic Hazard impact, emotional Ranieri phone call

Monday night's 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur, with Chelsea coming back in the second half after falling two goals behind in the first half was certainly a delight.  But the highly contested match that ended with 12 bookings - all yellow cards, with nine (9!) Tottenham players on Mark Clattenburg's list - didn't finish on the best note, with the two teams clashing by the tunnel.  Spurs' bookings set a new Premier League record, by the way.

69-year-old manager Guus Hiddink, who was pushed over during the melee, tried to play down the incident, as he tends to do with most incidents.

"At the end there was high emotion, a bit of verbal animosity and I tried to come in between and protect [my players] a bit and go to the locker room. Then everyone started pushing a bit and dancing around. We shuffled a bit on the benches."

"For them there was a lot at stake. For us there was prestige at stake, and of course there's always this rivalry between the clubs that makes it very hot. I must look calmly and see all the incidents before I give a judgement. We were also tight and it was an emotional game between two big clubs."

"I didn't talk about [the Dembele incident] with Costa but there were some scratches left in his neck. But we're not the most beautiful boys. It's just a fight. There's frustration, a lot at stake, losing a championship."

-Guus Hiddink; source: ESPN

Surely, The FA has to look at the post-mach brawl as well as all the other incidents that occurred earlier in the game.

In happier developments, Chelsea's draw gave Leicester City their first Premier League title.  The Foxes become the sixth different team to win the title since the creation of the Premier League in 1992 and the first "new" winner in the English top flight since Nottingham Forest's title in 1978.

Hiddink revealed that he got an emotional phone call from current Leicester boss and former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri after the final whistle.  Ranieri claimed yesterday that he might not get a chance to watch this game because of his travel plans, but he apparently changed them and was back in England before kick-off.

"Just after the final whistle, a few minutes after the 'judo' [the mass brawl at full time], I got a call from Ranieri. He called and thanked us for what we did in the second half, and I congratulated him for being champion. I didn't see any tears because it wasn't a FaceTime conversation, but his voice was trembling a bit. He didn't say much -- 'Thanks' five times."

"Leicester deserve it. It might not be a surprise anymore but it's a shock for the established clubs that they did so well. You can be top by surprise after half a season, but they didn't implode. There was no tension when they started to smell the title and that's why I think they deserve it."

-Guus Hiddink; source: ESPN

But we can't forget about our own players' performances tonight either, especially as they stepped up in the second half.  Special praise was reserved for one Eden Hazard, who scored a tremendous title-deciding goal for the second time in two seasons at Stamford Bridge.

"Eden has had a difficult season, we can't neglect that fact, he's had a lot of injuries. There's been a lot of frustration and it's good to see him back. He played 90 minutes at Bournemouth, a less intense game. My plan was to play him there for an hour and then he could be of use in this game. This game was more intense so it was wiser to bring him on later and have him at full speed in the second half. He did very well and we saw, as we have before, what he's capable of."

-Guus Hiddink; source: Chelsea FC

Something to build on for next season then, even if, lads, it was only Tottenham.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the We Ain't Got No History Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Chelsea news from We Ain't Got No History