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Tottenham broke a Premier League record for most players booked in one game.

Tottenham should be proud of their fight against Chelsea despite title agony

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Tottenham clearly allowed their emotions to get the better of them as their title hopes were finally extinguished in a spiteful battle with Chelsea.

Tensions between the two London clubs came to an ugly fore as no less than nine Spurs players were booked by referee Mark Clattenburg.

Mousa Dembele is almost certain to receive a retrospective ban for appearing to eye-gouge Diego Costa, while an unsavoury incident at the final whistle saw Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink knocked to the ground.

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There were also plenty of other incidents that seemed to go unnoticed by Clattenburg, including Kyle Walker's petulant kick on Pedro.

Heated scenes 

Mauricio Pochettino had to enter the field of play twice to physically restrain his players, but the truth is that the Spurs manager would not have wanted it any other way.

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Not, as Hiddink suggested, in a bizarre reference to Pochettino's nationality, because "these things happen a lot in the Latin world."

But because on a night with so much riding on it for Spurs, the real concern would have been if Spurs had gone out of the title race with a whimper.

Instead, they stormed ahead with well-worked goals from Harry Kane and Heung Min-Son and refused to be outdone by Chelsea's usual taunting.

The Blues revelled in the chance to thwart Tottenham's ambitions. If it was not going to be their season, they made sure it was certainly not going to be Spurs', and of course, it was Eden Hazard who fittingly achieved his wish of denying Pochettino's men a first league win since 1961.

Spurs go down fighting

Spurs were accused of being bad losers as they lost control of both their title destinies and their tempers. Chelsea were thoroughly enjoying their first appearance in the title race, even if it could only be in the role of wind-up merchants.

FBL-ENG-PR-CHELSEA-TOTTENHAM

However, even if they got their wish, Spurs can take pride in the fact that they did not go down without a fight. Too often in past seasons, that is precisely what they have been lacking in their mentality. The challenge for Pochettino is to convert that passion into something more positive.

With Dele Alli already suspended for a punch on Claudio Yacob, Spurs could quickly gain a reputation as a team riddled with naivety, who implode with rage as soon as the pressure cranks up. Stamford Bridge was a caldron on Monday night, and that is perhaps why they are still waiting for their first win at the ground in 26 years.

Injuries to Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose capped a miserable night for Tottenham, but when the dust settles, they will surely see it as only an unfortunate end to a well-pursued dream.

Do you think Spurs should face further punishment for the scenes at Stamford Bridge? Have your say in the comments. 

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Topics:
Gareth Bale
Football
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Tottenham Hotspur

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