Nicolas Jackson’s hat-trick gave Chelsea a 4-1 victory in a thrilling London derby, ending Tottenham’s incredible unbeaten start to the Premier League season.
Mauricio Pochettino had a triumphant return to north London, albeit one that was far less easy than the scoreline suggested. There were five goals disallowed, red cards for Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie, injuries to James Maddison and Micky Van de Ven, and many more.
Dejan Kulusevski gave the hosts an early lead, and Spurs looked well capable of running away with it in the opening exchanges, but Chelsea grew into it the more frantic things became. Romero saw red as Cole Palmer equalized from the penalty spot, with Udogie then sent too after the break. Tottenham threatened to hold on, but Jackson netted a second-half hat-trick as the space opened up to finally down the hosts.
It leaves Spurs a point off the top of the table, but with concerns over suspensions and injuries, while Chelsea lifted themselves into the top half.
A truly chaotic first half began perfectly for Tottenham, as they flew out of the blocks. Kulusevski’s strike took a big deflection off Levi Colwill and left Robert Sanchez helpless, and Spurs then threatened to take complete control. Heung-min Son thought he had doubled the lead, only for the offside flag to rule out his finish.
The madness then really began, as Destiny Udogie avoided a red card after a VAR check on his two-footed lunge before Romero also got away with a kick out of the ball. Raheem Sterling appeared to have equalized amid that madness, only for a handball to be spotted as it was chalked off.
Moises Caicedo lashed a strike into the bottom corner from a distance as the celebrations in the away end started again, but once more they were cut short. It was deemed Nicolas Jackson was offside in the build-up, but VAR then sent referee Michael Oliver to the monitor to pass judgment on a wild challenge from Romero.
Guglielmo Vicario turned the ball onto the inside of the post but not away to safety, and Palmer just missed the penalty as he came back to point to the spot and deliver Romero a straight red card.
Jackson put the ball in the goal for Chelsea once more, but the offside call quickly materialized. Spurs’ half of the match took an increasingly unlikely turn when James Maddison was substituted and Micky van de Ven pulled up with a hamstring injury.