Chelsea came back from going a goal down to defeat Tottenham 4-1 in a heated game at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, which saw both Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie sent off.
Mauricio Pochettino enjoyed a dream return to north London, with Nicolas Jackson scoring a hat-trick late in the second half to seal victory for the Blues, with Cole Palmer scoring a penalty in the first half.
But they had to work to claim three points, with Dejan Kulusevski putting the hosts a goal up in the opening six minutes of the match.
There was a fiery edge to the game from the beginning, with Romero first receiving a red card after he committed a rash challenge, lunging in on Enzo Fernandez inside the penalty area, before Udogie was shown a second yellow card after half-time.
Mail Sport’s SAMI MOKBEL was at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and brings you all the things you may have missed from Chelsea’s thrilling victory against Spurs.
Chelsea claimed a 4-1 victory against Tottenham on Monday night with Nicolas Jackson scoring a hat-trick
Mauricio Pochettino enjoyed a dream return to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after he was sacked by the club in 2019
But it was a fiery game, with Cristian Romero being sent off in the first half for this tackle on Enzo Fernandez
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Cole Palmer’s England call up is inevitable
While Chelsea’s evolution under Mauricio Pochettino remains a work in progress; the future of Cole Palmer is far less ambiguous. What a player he is. What a player he is going to be.
Skilful elegance intertwined with a dogged tenacity. The manner in which he precisely dispatched Chelsea’s equalising penalty was lethal. Unerring composure – all at the age of 21.
England head coach Gareth Southgate picks his squad for the matches against Malta and North Macedonia on Thursday.
Surely Southgate is tempted. Any chance of Palmer landing a call-up later this week may depend on withdrawals given England are pretty well-stacked in attacking areas.
But if Palmer continues in this vein, it’s a matter of when, and not if, he is selected for England.
After going 1-0 down, Cole Palmer (right) scored from a penalty to pull a goal back for Chelsea
Bale returns to north London
Gareth Bale turned behind him before throwing his arms in the air with a smile as wide as north London. Sandro – his former Tottenham team-mate – was waiting by the side for the pitch primed for the warmest of hugs.
Bale was back at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Monday night as a special guest of the club he was once worshipped by.
The Wales legend retired from professional football at the start of the year but took time away from the golf course to address the supporters who still adore him.
‘The best thing I ever did was move to Tottenham – I still remember it like it was yesterday,’ said Bale. ‘It’s great to be back in front of these amazing fans – it’s definitely like coming home.’
Those amazing fans were glad to have him back, almost as glad as Sandro was.
Former Tottenham star Gareth Bale was also a special guest at the game on Monday night
Pochettino keeps a low profile
As disclosed by Mail Sport on Sunday, Mauricio Pochettino made a discreet return to Tottenham’s Enfield HQ in the months after his sacking in 2019.
It can now be revealed that on that day Pochettino made a conscious decision to bypass the players, not wanting to overshadow their session.
Instead Pochettino centred his visit around reuniting himself with support staff at the training centre as he sought to keep a low-profile. There was no hope. Of keeping a low-profile on Monday night, of course
Jedinak watches on from the stands
Tottenham assistant boss Mile Jedinak watched the first half of Monday night’s London derby from the press box.
In between stroking his impressive trademark beard, the Australian would communicate messages down to his colleagues on the Spurs bench through a carefully positioned earpiece.
He didn’t return for the second period – the way Spurs players were dropping like flies on the pitch perhaps he was dusting his boots down.
While Jackson scored a hat-trick, Chelsea must bolster their attacking options in January
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Chelsea need a new centre-forward
It’s hard to criticise someone who has just scored a hat-trick? But if Pochettino is to return Chelsea to its former glories, then he needs an upgrade on Nicolas Jackson.
Chelsea’s resolve to land a new striker shouldn’t be clouded by his three-goal haul against nine-men.
A solid Premier League centre forward? Yes. Good work ethic? Yes. Top quality? Unfortunately not. Ivan Toney is the man Chelsea would like – but so would Arsenal.
Paratici spotted at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Fabio Paratici – who officially left his role as Tottenham’s managing director of football – was in attendance last night.
The Italian administrator left the club in April after receiving a 30 month suspension from football for financial irregularities. He is understood to have continued to work with Spurs on a consultancy basis.