The Times reporter Tony Barrett summed up last night's fiery clash between Chelsea and Spurs better than most:
Everyone will pretend to be disgusted by this but we'll all secretly think it's great.
— Tony Barrett (@TonyBarrett) May 2, 2016
In terms of snide, spite and needle, last night's London Derby was unrivalled; a firebrand clash that caused Tottenham to mentally collapse and John Terry to deploy the least stoic hashtag in the history of Times New Roman.
There were a number of flashpoints: Kyle Walker both kicked Pedro and flung blood at Diego Costa, Willian and Danny Rose came to blows in an exchange that was diffused by an onrushing Mauricio Pochettino, Moussa Demeble appeared to eye-gouge Diego Costa, and Eric Lamela stamped on Cesc Fabregas' hand.
The game ended in a pretty big donnybrook as the teams made their way down the tunnel, a clash that sent Guss Hiddink hurtling to the floor:
— Soccer State (@soccerstate) May 3, 2016
The exact cause of the row did not come across on the Sky camera, but the Telegraph have today revealed that it all kicked off as a result of Cesc Fabregas decision to pat a number of Spurs players and staff in the groin. The paper alleges that Fabregas "slapped more than one Tottenham player and member of staff in the nether regions, sparking a number of verbal and physical reactions". Fabregas was said to be overheard shouting threats in Spanish to the Spurs squad.
Hiddink tried to diffuse the situation, and before tumbling to the ground, the paper report that he erupted in fury at Brazilian massage therapist Manoel Ribeiro: " Hiddink exploded and screamed "Remember who the boss is", amidst a number of expletives, before again sending him to the dressing-room".
A week ago, Fabregas said on Monday Night Football that he did not want Spurs to win the league, and this tunnel altercation is representative of Fabregas' career in England coming full circle: it was he who allegedly threw pizza at Alex Ferguson in the Old Trafford tunnel back in 2004.