Monday night was all about Leicester City’s first ever top-flight title, but the draw between Spurs and Chelsea that handed it to them was an ill-tempered affair that has led the Football Association to charge both clubs for failing to control their players and officials.
Twelve yellow cards were issued during the game, with nine of them being shown to Tottenham players. That is a Premier League record for the amount of yellows shown to one team during a game. Several Spurs players were also lucky to avoid red cards, with the match referee Mark Clattenburg missing numerous key moments.
One such moment was Mousa Dembele’s attempted eye-gouge on Deigo Costa that came during a melee in front of the dugouts towards the end of the first-half. The FA have decided that the attempted eye-gouge amounts to more than the usual charge of violent conduct.
Should Dembele be found guilty of the offence then a standard three game ban will be seen by the Football Association as being ‘clearly insufficient’ and he will almost certainly be banned for longer. The midfielder has until 6pm tonight to respond to the charge and the allegations that have been levelled at him.
Spurs players lost their cool after Chelsea clawed back a 2-0 deficit to draw 2-2 during the match at Stamford Bridge, a result that meant the London club would not be able to catch Leicester City and handed the Premier League title to the Foxes. It was an explosive game that featured two mass brawls, including one that resulted in Chelsea’s interim manager, Guus Hiddink, being pushed over.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino had to go onto the field of play at one point in order to separate his defender Danny Rose from Chelsea’s Willian, with the two squaring up to each other. Rose was also one of the players involved in the moment that saw the Blues’ Dutch boss get pushed to the floor. It was one of numerous incidents that Clattenburg saw but elected not to punish with a red card.
A statement from the football association said, “Off-the-ball incidents which are not seen at the time by the match officials are referred to a panel of three former elite referees. Each referee panel member will review the video footage independently of one another to determine whether they consider it a sending-off offence.”For retrospective action to be taken, and an FA charge to follow, the decision of the panel must be unanimous”.
Tottenham’s Eric Dier was one of numerous players involved in heavy tackling of Chelsea players, with the defensive-midfielder guilty of a few challenges that might have seen him sent from the pitch on another occasion. Spurs led the defending Premier League champions 2-0 at half-time, hoping for their first victory at Stamford Bridge since before the invention of the Premier League in 1992. As the Blues got back into the game Tottenham’s players lost their heads and went on to lose out on the title.