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The Battle of the Bridge – the most pulsating game in Premier League history

Chelsea meet Spurs in a pivotal game in the top four race, but their clash two years ago lives long in the memory

Premier League football is typified by blood, sweat and tears.

And two seasons ago Chelsea and Spurs took that to new extremes.


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A regular sight that in May 2016

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A regular sight that in May 2016

Classic Diego

Graham Hughes - The Times
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Classic Diego

The 2-2 draw between the two London rivals in May 2016 had literally everything in a contest that has since been famously coined ‘The Battle of the Bridge.’

As a neutral I have never felt so captivated by what was unfolding before my eyes.

Let’s set the scene.

More like Kung fu

Graham Hughes - The Times
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More like Kung fu

Leicester – yes Leicester – were on the brink of the most remarkable title success in history with only Spurs capable of catching them.

Mauricio Pochettino’s young pretenders had to win to keep the race alive.

Chelsea were the disgraced reigning champions, languishing in mid table after Jose Mourinho’s house of cards dramatically came falling down earlier on in the campaign.

Chelsea fans had extra incentive to stop Spurs in their tracks

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Chelsea fans had extra incentive to stop Spurs in their tracks

But the Blues, and Eden Hazard in particular, provided the telling title tale despite never being in the trophy picture themselves.

What transpired exceeded all expectations.

Harry Kane and Heung-min Son put a dominant Spurs 2-0 up at half time, sending a message out to Leicester that their work wasn’t finished yet.

Son made it 2-0 just before half time

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Son made it 2-0 just before half time

But that was just the beginning.

Chelsea came out in the second half on a mission to deny their great enemies and ensure their 26-year unbeaten home record remained intact.

Gary Cahill and Hazard did the damage goal-wise but the actual football was almost a footnote to everything else.

Hazard’s moment of brilliance made it 2-2

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Hazard’s moment of brilliance made it 2-2

Because this wasn’t football, it was fully fledged war.

Former referee Dermot Gallagher claimed matchday official Mark Clattenburg endured the toughest game in the Premier League era.

Clattenburg booked a record 12 players, nearly all of which sparked mass brawls due to the nature of the tackles.

How Eric Dier avoided a red card remains a mystery whilst Mousa Dembele racked up a six-game ban for eye-gouging Diego Costa.

Dier was hellbent on causing some serious damage

AFP or licensors
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Dier was hellbent on causing some serious damage

When the drama at Stamford Bridge finally fizzled out we were then treated to live scenes from Jamie Vardy’s kitchen to watch the Leicester players celebrate their heroics.

A true Vardy party

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A true Vardy party

In terms of seminal games it really doesn’t get much more memorable.

Will we see a sequel to the Battle of the Bridge today as the two sides vie for a top-four spot?


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