Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham: New owner Todd Boehly witnesses a stormy start to his Stamford Bridge reign

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Stamford Bridge
Actor Owen Wilson and Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly
Actor Owen Wilson was pictured with Chelsea owner Todd Boehly at Stamford Bridge on Sunday

Todd Boehly's Chelsea purchase may be strictly business but the American got the full-on Premier League experience as he looked down on his expensive new acquisition from on high at Stamford Bridge.

Boehly was all smiles before kick-off, a very visible presence in the searing heat and humidity of west London as he settled back to soak up what was never going to be a quiet afternoon when his new post-Roman Abramovich Chelsea met Tottenham.

Chelsea and Spurs do not do quiet. There is long-standing antipathy and when a game of high controversy, hot tempers and two managers seemingly intent on getting right up each other's nose had concluded, Boehly probably needed a long, cool drink to calm down along with everyone else.

A banner unfurled at The Shed end delivered a twist on the old Madness song as it read: "Welcome To The House Of Fun, Todd & Co."

Boehly got fun and a lot more besides.

It was fast, frenzied and superb entertainment, although there will be plenty who will not approve of the regular crowd scenes that enveloped the technical area, with Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel and Spurs counterpart Antonio Conte the central figures.

The final score of 2-2 only scratches the surface of a thunderous game and if Boehly bought into Chelsea for a touch of box office then he will certainly get it if this is anything to go by.

The bottom line is Chelsea deserved to win and they will curse the fact they did not. They were better than Spurs and should not have given them the opportunity to come back twice.

Chelsea's new signings Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella joined forces for their first goal, slammed in by the former Napoli powerhouse on the volley from a corner.

Things were already ticking on the touchline between the two combustible managers, but really took off after 68 minutes when referee Anthony Taylor decided Rodrigo Bentancur had not fouled Kai Havertz. Chelsea's complaints were ongoing when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg sent a low shot past Edouard Mendy.

Conte turned the new logic of refusing to celebrate against a former club - remember he won the Premier League and FA Cup at Stamford Bridge - on its head by stalking menacingly towards the enraged Tuchel with a snarl of celebration and the pair ending face to face and surrounded by what looked like a cast of thousands.

Two yellow cards. Other colours would follow.

'We were fighting for our teams' - Tuchel on clash with Conte

Reece James put Chelsea back in front, Tuchel recreating the old Jose Mourinho celebration by sprinting along the touchline, pointedly ignoring Conte as he went.

All over? Not quite.

Harry Kane's header in the sixth minute of stoppage time saw honours even, but Tuchel and Conte only heard the bell to come out for the final round, the German seemingly holding on to the post-match handshake too long, seemingly suggesting eye contact was being avoided.

Cue another crowd scene and more cards. This time red.

Boehly will have looked on with a mixture of disappointment and fascination. So this is what the Premier League is all about?

Cut away the confrontation and Chelsea showed they will still be a force to be reckoned with this season, at least in the context of the top four.

Boehly seems determined to give Tuchel even more new faces before the transfer deadline, with Everton rejecting Chelsea's £40m bid for Anthony Gordon, but those who have arrived already demonstrated their worth in this Stamford Bridge hothouse.

Koulibaly showed why he has been one of the game's most coveted defenders for so long, while Cucurella was busy at both ends of the field - goalscorer and creator.

Raheem Sterling missed one big chance but was composed enough to set up James for the second and Tuchel knows what the England forward will bring.

Chelsea looked more compact than for some time, pressing from the front more effectively, Romelu Lukaku proving unsuitable for that role in his one ill-starred season back at Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel could barely contain his anger at officialdom after the game. But he may just feel more satisfied with this performance, even though it only brought one point, against a better team in Spurs, than three from a rather scratchy, laboured effort in victory at Everton on the opening weekend.

It will all be overshadowed by the touchline antics of Tuchel and Conte, but when the dust settles the Chelsea manager might be happy with what he saw - and Boehly will have a better idea of exactly what he has bought into.

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