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How Battle of the Bridge descended into chaos and crowned Leicester champions

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Leicester win title after fiery Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham draw

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ByMichael Hincks
02/05/2020 at 19:59 | Updated 02/05/2020 at 22:49
@MichaelHincks

On this day in 2016, Leicester City were crowned champions. Read our Retro Report from a chaotic London derby between Chelsea and Tottenham, now dubbed Battle of the Bridge, which helped complete the fairytale story...

Leicester City were crowned Premier League champions after Tottenham’s title hopes collapsed in a chaotic London derby at Chelsea.

LONG READ: Leicester City: The greatest underdog story of all

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From relegation favourites at the start of the season, Leicester’s 5000-1 fairytale was completed on Monday night when Spurs threw away a two-goal lead at Stamford Bridge.

The 2-2 draw leaves Spurs seven points behind Leicester with two games remaining, allowing the Foxes to start the party early on what is arguably the greatest underdog story English football has ever seen.

For Leicester, those celebrations have already begun at Jamie Vardy’s house, while manager Claudio Ranieri is said to be flying back from Italy after spending the day with his 96-year-old mother.

Meanwhile, Spurs – who led through Harry Kane and Heung-min Son before Gary Cahill and Eden Hazard earned Chelsea a battling draw - will be left wondering what could have been, while their ill-disciplined performance at Stamford Bridge resulted in a Premier League-record nine yellow cards.

Yellow for Mikel, Chelsea v Tottenham

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TALKING POINT

The dirtiest of derbies helps complete a miracle - The most unlikely of triumphs deserves more than a paragraph, so while you can click here to read about Leicester’s Premier League victory, we’ll focus here on Spurs’ title bid coming to a tumultuous end. The match at Chelsea will go down as one of the dirtiest the Premier League has ever known. With so much at stake, Spurs’ desperation got the better of them. Mousa Dembele appeared to eye-gouge Diego Costa in the first half, but the midfielder only picked up a booking late on with four Spurs players seeing yellow after Hazard’s 83rd-minute equaliser. To have 11v11 at the end was a miracle, but the greatest marvel belonged to the team who watched from Vardy’s house. Leicester are champions, Spurs – who last won the title in 1961 – must now accept they are in a battle for second.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Eden Hazard (Chelsea) – It has been nothing short of a terrible 2015-16 season for Hazard, but he has finally got his first league goal at Stamford Bridge this campaign – and in some circumstances.

He galvanised his side after the break with an influential performance reminiscent of 2014-15, and having scored the goal which secured Chelsea the title almost a year ago to the day, he will now go down as the man who handed Leicester the league this time around too.

HOW THE DERBY DESCENDED INTO CHAOS

Every goal and yellow card…

27 – YELLOW #1 Lovely build-up play from Chelsea, and it ends up with Fabregas side-footing an effort not even a yard wide of the far post. Walker, meanwhile, is booked belatedly for his late challenge on Pedro in the build-up to that move. It had been coming...

35’ - GOAL! KANE FOR SPURS! Just what the visitors require... Kane times his run to perfection, and his first touch from Lamela's pass takes him around Begovic. All he has to do then is tap it in, and off he goes to the celebrate with the visiting fans...

Kane celebrates, Chelsea v Tottenham

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38’ - YELLOW #2 This time it's between usual suspect Costa and Spurs' Vertonghen. It's Vertonghen who's booked for tugging Costa's shirt, but the Chelsea striker reacts angrily and has his elbow basically leaning against Vertonghen's neck. No swing, no movement, and therefore no booking for Costa!

44’ - GOAL! SON MAKES IT TWO! Leicester may well have to wait until Saturday! Spurs lead 2-0 after Eriksen picks out Son, who takes a sublime touch before stroking the ball under the onrushing Begovic.

Son makes it 2-0, Chelsea v Tottenham

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45’ - YELLOW #3 & #4 So, so careless from Rose, who goes in late on Willian near the dugout, and now even Pochettino is out trying to calm things down. Cue what can only go down as the classic 'mass brawl' with around 20 players and staff involved on the sidelines. It all ends in a booking for both Rose and Willian.

45’ - Should there not have been a red card too? Replays show Dembele appearing to eye gouge Costa during that melee. The Spurs midfielder has got away with one there.

Dembele and Costa clash, Chelsea v Tottenham

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52’ - YELLOW #5 Not a nice tackle from Lamela at all. He chops down Fabregas to pick up his eighth booking of the season.

58’ - GOAL! CHELSEA ARE BACK IN IT! Leicester and Chelsea fans erupt in unison.... Costa earns the hosts a corner. Willian's cross is then met by Cahill, who somehow has time to bring it down before hammering it home. Game on.

Cahill celebrates, Chelsea v Tottenham

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70’ - YELLOW #6 Yellow card number FIVE for Spurs as Eriksen is penalised for a late foul on Hazard. Still no red, somehow.

71’ - YELLOW #7 Now it's Ivanovic who goes in the book after bringing down Eriksen, who was looking to go around the Chelsea defender.

Hazard equalises, Chelsea v Tottenham

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83’ - GOAL! OH HAZARD THAT IS STUNNING! Could this be the goal that hands Leicester the title? It's a brilliant turn from Costa, who then cuts the ball back to Hazard, and despite being off balance and about to go to ground, the Belgian finds the top corner with an unstoppable effort.

87' - YELLOW #8 Another melee! Basically every outfield player is in shot after Dier chops down Hazard. It results in a yellow for Dier, and this is all getting rather unsavoury...

88’ - YELLOW #9 Mikel also shown a yellow card for protesting. The yellow had already been given to Dier, little point in picking up that booking.

Clash after foul, Chelsea v Tottenham

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90+3' - YELLOW #10 & #11 Just another terrible tackle... this time Kane slides in late on Willian. Pure frustration that, and now Demebele sees yellow too! Again for getting involved in another clash after the foul.

90+7' - YELLOW #12 You have to laugh, really... That's a NINTH yellow card for Spurs, with Mason scything down Hazard just as Chelsea were looking to break. Spurs have lost the plot here, and somehow Dier escapes a second yellow for a challenge just before Mason's booking - the Chelsea players let Clattenburg know, but still no red for Spurs.

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