Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho believes VAR is "killing the best league in the world" as Spurs appeal Son Heung-min's red card in the Premier League defeat to rivals Chelsea.

Son was sent off for kicking out at Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger during Tottenham's 2-0 London derby loss to Frank Lampard's Blues on Sunday.

The 62nd-minute dismissal followed a VAR intervention due to Son's reaction in retaliation to a challenge by Rudiger – referee Anthony Taylor initially seeing no offence before he was overruled by video assistant referee Paul Tierney.

"The situation with Son, I think Mr Tierney got it wrong. It's the wrong call," Mourinho said. "This is England, the Premier League, the best competition in the world, with characteristics that if we change them we are killing the best league in the world.

"Paul Tierney decides yes and Anthony Taylor, in real time, five metres from the situation, decided no [red card]. So who was refereeing the game? Not Mr Taylor. It was Mr Tierney.

"VAR was supposed to support football, to bring truth to the spectacle. They did that with the penalty decision and they killed the game with Son's decision."

The result left Tottenham in seventh position, six points adrift of Chelsea – who occupy the fourth and final Champions League place.

Mourinho has lost three matches since replacing Mauricio Pochettino – two Premier League defeats and a Champions League loss – as Spurs continue to ship goals.

Tottenham have only kept two clean sheets in 18 Premier League matches this term, with one of those coming in Mourinho's six league games.

"I know how to fix it. But to do it 100 per cent I'm going to take away from the team some qualities that we want to keep," the former Manchester United boss added.

"It is not difficult to put all the focus on a clean sheet, on improving defensive organisation and trying to kill mistakes. But with the players we have, and their habit, the difficult thing is to to put it right defensively without losing the qualities that we can have offensively. So we need time."

The Premier League has promised to support Tottenham and Chelsea in their investigations into the alleged racist abuse of Antonio Rudiger and Son Heung-min on Sunday.

Spurs are reviewing evidence alongside police after Chelsea defender Rudiger said he was subjected to discriminatory chants during his side's 2-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

In an update on Monday, Spurs said their initial findings where "inconclusive" but insisted they were "exhaustively investigating this matter".

There have also been reports that Son, who was sent off for kicking out at Rudiger following a challenge, was abused by a Chelsea fan who was ejected from the ground and arrested for a racially aggravated public order offence after fellow visiting supporters reported him to authorities.

In a statement, the Premier League said on Monday: "The Premier League and our clubs will not tolerate discrimination in any form.

"If people are found to have racially abused Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger or Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min, they deserve to be punished.

"We will support Tottenham Hotspur FC and Chelsea FC in their pursuit of any perpetrators and call for appropriate action to be taken by the authorities and the clubs.

"We appreciate the millions of supporters who help create a positive Premier League matchday atmosphere and have made it clear that racist conduct or language is unacceptable. 

"The Premier League uses a protocol specifically designed to support players, managers and match officials who believe they are being subjected to discriminatory abuse during a match. 

"This protocol is intended to ensure that abuse is stopped and offenders dealt with efficiently by clubs and police."

Tottenham say the findings of their initial investigation into alleged racial abuse aimed at Antonio Rudiger are "inconclusive" as the club calls in lip-readers to assess CCTV footage.

Rudiger told Chelsea club captain Cesar Azpilicueta that he was subjected to racist chants during their 2-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.

The Germany international was allegedly targeted shortly after Spurs' Son Heung-min had been sent off for kicking out at his opponent.

Referee Anthony Taylor called for an announcement to be made over the stadium's public address system to warn fans against making abusive chants.

In a statement issued on Monday, Spurs said: "We are able to track every fan via the cameras and have spent many hours reviewing CCTV footage. We have engaged lip-readers to study the footage and contacted Chelsea for further information from their players.

"We have also taken statements from other parties present at the time. The police will be reviewing our evidence alongside us. Please be assured we shall be exhaustively investigating this matter.

"This club has a proud track record of anti-racism work across all our communities and we are determined to ensure that we conduct a thorough investigation. Any fan found to be guilty will receive a lifetime ban.

"At this time however we should point out that our findings are inconclusive and would ask that comment is reserved until the facts are established."

The stadium announcement was repeated three times during the match, leading to speculation that racist abuse continued after the first warning.

Spurs say the confusion came about as Taylor implemented UEFA anti-discrimination protocols, rather than those outlined by the Premier League.

"When the incident was conveyed to the referee Anthony Taylor, he took the decision to call for the implementation of Stage 1 of the UEFA protocol – rather than the Premier League protocol – and asked for an announcement to be made, as well as requesting a further announcement which created a misconception that any issue was on-going," the club said.

"The Premier League protocol differs from UEFA protocol in that it does not call for an announcement rather that the individual(s) be dealt with by the Safety Team in the first instance.

"We have asked that the Premier League clarifies the position regarding the use of these protocols to all stakeholders going forward."

Jose Mourinho will support any decision the authorities make in to try to tackle racism as the Football Association (FA) confirmed it is looking into Antonio Rudiger's allegations he was abused during Chelsea's Premier League match with Tottenham.

Chelsea were 2-0 winners in a heated London derby on Sunday, though the result was overshadowed by an incident in the second half.

Rudiger, who was involved in a tussle that saw Son Heung-min sent off after a VAR check, reported to Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta that he had been targeted by racist chants soon after.

Frank Lampard later confirmed both Rudiger and Azpilicueta had discussed the incident with Premier League officials, while Spurs have launched their own investigation.

Mourinho says he will give his full support to any new procedures introduced, such as allowing players to walk off the pitch if they are racially abused.

"[I'm] totally against racism in society and obviously against racism in my football world," the Tottenham boss told a news conference.

"I feel sorry every time something happens and I will always support any decision authorities make to that.

"It's happening before, and what I fear is that it's going to happen again in the future. That's the problem.

"What I see is an evolution in the protocol I think that's fine. At the minute they have the freedom to go to the referee to their managers, this is one step.

"One Tottenham fan is not Tottenham fans. Tottenham fans at least since I'm here, phenomenal supporting the team, respecting opponents.

"I'd ask them to be exactly the same, and look to the guy to the left and right, and to listen to guy behind me and in front of me and if anyone has any little manifestation to kill it immediately, that's only thing I can ask for."

On Monday, the FA confirmed it had opened an investigation.

"Following the incident in the match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea on Sunday 22 December, we are working with the match officials, the clubs and the relevant authorities to fully establish the facts and take the appropriate steps," a tweet from the official FA Spokesperson account read.

Pep Guardiola fears racism will never be eradicated from football, though says clubs, players, managers and authorities must continue to fight the problem.

The latest in a long line of examples of racism in the game occurred on Sunday, when Antonio Rudiger alleged he was abused during Chelsea's 2-0 Premier League win at Tottenham.

A Manchester City supporter was arrested after he was seen to be racially abusing Manchester United players this month.

Guardiola is concerned the issue will ever be stamped out in football or society in general, but it must be tackled on a daily basis.

"I don't think so. We have to fight but it will take time, a lot of time, to eradicate it," he told a news conference.

"I think it was a problem which has happened for decades, centuries. But now it’s visualised more because the media is more up front and close to the problem.

"I think it's happened a long time, we just have to fight again and again. The little kids, in the schools, on the streets."

Asked if he would support his players walking off the pitch should they receive racist abuse, Guardiola said: "Of course my players support the initiative and what happened you have to battle day by day.

"It's not about one club or one person. It's about the football world, one vision. 

"It's a battle you have to fight in the schools, especially, in the families at home to try to make a better society in the future.

"It's a battle day by day. All of the initiatives we are going to support and have been supportive."

 

 

Tottenham have appealed against Son Heung-min's red card in the damaging 2-0 Premier League defeat to Chelsea, boss Jose Mourinho has confirmed.

Forward Son was given his marching orders for kicking out at Blues defender Antonio Rudiger at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.

The 62nd-minute dismissal in the London derby followed a VAR intervention due to Son's reaction in retaliation to a challenge by Rudiger. 

Mourinho stated after the game he felt the officials had got the decision wrong and the Portuguese said Spurs have challenged the decision to dismiss the South Korea international, who had a red card for a foul on Everton's Andre Gomes overturned earlier this season.

Explaining why Spurs have appealed, Mourinho said: "I hope Son is not punished five times. 

"One time was the foul that Rudiger did on him. The second is to be sent off. 

"So I think to be punished twice is enough."

While Son's availability over the next three matches remains in doubt, Mourinho has been handed a boost with Erik Lamela back training.

The Argentina winger has been absent for the past two months with a hamstring injury.

Spurs are seventh in the Premier League, six points adrift of Chelsea in the battle to qualify for the Champions League.

Antonio Rudiger has called for the "couple of idiots" who allegedly racially abused him during Chelsea's win over Tottenham to be identified and punished.

Rudiger reported hearing racist abuse from the stands after receiving a kick from Son Heung-min in the second half at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, an action that earned the Spurs forward a red card.

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta took the complaint to referee Anthony Taylor on Sunday and the public address system was used to relay an anti-racism message to supporters.

Germany international Rudiger issued a statement on social media after Chelsea's 2-0 Premier League victory, urging officials not to let the incident pass without a strong response.

"It is really sad to see racism again at a football match, but I think it's very important to talk about it in public. If not, it will be forgotten again in a couple of days [as always]," the Chelsea defender tweeted.

"I don't want to involve Tottenham as an entire club into this situation as I know that just a couple of idiots were the offenders. I got a lot of supportive messages on social media from Spurs fans as well in the last hours - thank you a lot for this.

"I really hope that the offenders will be found and punished soon, and in such a modern football ground like the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with dozens of TV and security cameras, it must be possible to find and subsequently punish them.

"If not, then there must have been witnesses in the stadium who saw and heard the incident. It's just such a shame that racism still exists in 2019. When will this nonsense stop?"

Tottenham have launched an investigation and vowed to take the "strongest possible action" against any individuals found responsible for racism.

Sunday's match was the second high-profile Premier League fixture to be stained by alleged instances of racism this month.

On December 7, during the closing stages of Manchester United's 2-1 derby win at the Etihad Stadium, a Manchester City fan appeared to direct a monkey gesture towards Fred and Jesse Lingard.

Greater Manchester Police arrested a 41-year-old man on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence after the incident. He has since been released on bail pending further enquiries.

The Professional Footballers' Association has called for the UK government to launch an enquiry into the proliferation of racism in the sport.

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger was the target of alleged racist abuse on Sunday at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium during his team's 2-0 Premier League derby win over Spurs.

Manchester United duo Fred and Jesse Lingard were subjected to a similar slur from the stands during their game at Manchester City earlier this month.

Tottenham have pledged to take the "strongest possible action" against any supporters found to have committed racist acts – much as City did in the immediate aftermath of the incident at the Etihad Stadium on December 7.

But the trade union for footballers in England and Wales believes the government also has to play a part as its members suffer on the receiving end of "blatant racism that is currently rife in the UK".

"Following the events at today's Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea game, we are disgusted and dismayed that once again, a Premier League fixture has been tainted by abuse from the stands towards players," a statement from the PFA read.

"Racism has no place in football or society. It is deeply disappointing that some fans continue to display vulgar racist gestures and chants from the stands.

"It has become clear that football players are on the receiving end of the blatant racism that is currently rife in the UK, but they are not alone. The PFA stands beside every player who faces any discrimination. We will continue to fight on their behalf to combat this issue for good.

"Football is part of the fabric of British society. With the huge global audience that English football attracts, we have a responsibility to lead the way with a zero-tolerance policy."

After Rudiger reported abuse to the match officials, head coaches Frank Lampard and Jose Mourinho were informed before three separate announcements over the stadium public address system stated: "Racist behaviour from spectators is interfering with the game."

The PFA statement continued: "Racist abuse in football is not just an issue for black and ethnic minority players, it is an issue for everyone who loves the game. Whilst the protocols in place ensured stadium announcements were executed today, we need to ensure the perpetrators are identified and dealt with according to the law.

"We believe that the time has come for all governing bodies to unite collectively to end this abuse. The PFA calls for a government enquiry into racism and the rise in hate crime within football and immediate and urgent action from an All Party Group at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to address this urgent issue.

"All football stakeholders must work in partnership with police and clubs to drive this issue and accelerate solutions.

"As always, the PFA extends our full support to Antonio Rudiger and any player who has suffered racist abuse. We will not allow this to continue. Now more than ever we must unite and stand strong and together to confront, challenge and eradicate racist abuse in our stadiums and in our country."

After the match, Rudiger tweeted to encourage racists to "please get some basic education", while the anti-discrimination pressure group KickItOut offered its support to the Germany international and praised referee Anthony Taylor's handling of the incident.

"We are aware of the alleged racist incidents at today's game between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea," a statement read.

"We applaud the action of referee Anthony Taylor in following step one of the protocol and the ensuing steps taken by Tottenham Hotspur in repeating the stadium announcements.

"We have offered our support to both of the clubs and also to Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger."

Jose Mourinho's impressive run at home to his former clubs was ended as Tottenham lost 2-0 against Chelsea on Sunday.

The final Premier League game before Christmas was a cracker, with Willian in dazzling form and scoring twice, while Son Heung-min was sent off.

A big win for Chelsea came at the end of a weekend in which Manchester City toppled top-four rivals Leicester City.

There were two key victories at the bottom of the table, too, with Southampton triumphant at Aston Villa and Watford upsetting Manchester United.

Read about the weekend's biggest games with our Opta-powered review.
 

SAINTS AND INGS PROFIT AS VILLA SLUMP CONTINUES

Aston Villa's solid start to the season has been forgotten as they spend Christmas in the relegation zone, having been handed another convincing home defeat on Saturday, going down 3-1 to Southampton.

The promoted side lost their previous league game at Villa Park 4-1 against Leicester, meaning they have conceded as many goals (seven) across their past two such matches as they had in their first seven this term.

Southampton took advantage and scored three goals in an away league game for the first time in 364 days, going back to last December's victory by the same scoreline at Huddersfield Town.

Danny Ings' brace took his 2019-20 tally to 11 – the joint-best pre-Christmas Premier League haul from a Saints player, along with James Beattie in 2002-03 – and Jack Stephens also netted, with Southampton's past 16 Premier League goals scored by English players.

MAHREZ HAUNTS FOXES AS JESUS ENDS DROUGHT

It appeared for a time as though the latest chapter of Leicester's sublime season would see an away victory at the champions, as the counter-attacking Jamie Vardy netted against Manchester City for the fifth time in the Premier League – the joint-most, along with Sadio Mane, since his 2014 bow.

But the scoreline had been turned on its head by half-time after Riyad Mahrez rewarded the hosts' dominance by becoming the fifth man to play for and later net against Leicester in the Premier League, before Ilkay Gundogan scored a penalty won by Raheem Sterling – the 17th such award in favour of the winger, a league-high since his debut.

Gabriel Jesus then secured the points, ending a home drought that went back to March, with his 14 goals in the interim scored away from the Etihad Stadium.

It gave Man City their 250th Premier League win of the 2010s, making them just the second team to hit that milestone in a single decade – along with rivals Manchester United in the 2000s.

DE GEA GIFTS BASEMENT SIDE MUCH-NEEDED BOOST

Watford ended a 12-game winless run at home in the Premier League with an unlikely 2-0 victory against Manchester United on Sunday following a David de Gea error.

De Gea failed to make a routine save from Ismaila Sarr, before conceding a Troy Deeney penalty as United lost by more than a single goal to a team starting the day bottom of the table for the first time since April 2005 – also 2-0 against Norwich City.

If the nature of the first goal was surprising, the same could not be said of the second. De Gea has failed to save the past 15 spot-kicks he has faced in the league.

And Deeney netted from 12 yards against United at Vicarage Road again, now having done so in four of the past five seasons.

MOURINHO RUN ENDS IN CONCERNING SPURS SHOW

Mourinho had not lost in 13 previous home matches against former clubs, winning all but one, but Chelsea got the better of Spurs at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Willian's second goal – from the penalty spot – was the 100th Chelsea have scored against Tottenham in the Premier League, while they have now won three consecutive games against their London rivals in all competitions for the first time since January 2008.

There are concerns at both ends of the pitch for Mourinho. Spurs mustered just five shots in total – their third lowest haul at home in the league since Opta records began in 2003-04 – while they have conceded the joint-most goals (14, along with Arsenal) in all competitions of all Premier League clubs since the Portuguese took charge.

They will have to do without Son for the next three matches after his dismissal, too. He is the first player to be shown three red cards in a calendar year in the Premier League since Lee Cattermole in 2010.

Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger told those responsible for racism in football grounds to "get some basic education" after he was the victim of alleged abuse during Sunday's 2-0 Premier League win at Tottenham.

After Rudiger's involvement in an incident that saw Spurs forward Son Heung-min sent off during the second half, the Germany international told the match officials he had been targeted by apparent racism from the stands.

Between then and the end of the contest, an announcement made over the public address system at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium said: "Racist behaviour from spectators is interfering with the game."

Blues head coach Frank Lampard confirmed Rudiger and Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta reported the matter to Premier League officials afterwards and the former Roma star posted a tweet to make his feeling clear.

"Biiiiiiig Wiiin!" Rudiger tweeted, following by the hashtags, "#NoToRacism #PleaseGetSomeBasicEducation #AlwaysBelieve #Hustle #cleansheet."

Speaking after the match, Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho said: "I don't have much to say other than it's something that saddens me. I hate racism in society, I hate racism in football."

Tottenham versus Chelsea was the second high-profile fixture in the Premier League to be stained by alleged instances of racism this month.

On December 7, during the closing stages of Manchester United's 2-1 derby win at the Etihad Stadium, a Manchester City fan appeared to direct a monkey gesture towards Fred and Jesse Lingard.

Greater Manchester Police arrested a 41-year-old man on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence after the incident. He has since been released on bail pending further enquiries.

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho was left saddened by the alleged racist abuse suffered by Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger during Spurs' 2-0 defeat on Sunday.

Spurs' Son Heung-min and Rudiger were involved in an incident during the second half at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and in the tangle the South Korea international appeared to lash out with a kick.

Shortly after, as confirmed by Cesar Azpilicueta following the match, Rudiger reported to his captain that he heard racist abuse.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard confirmed the pair raised the incident with Premier League officials at full-time, while Spurs have launched their own investigation.

And Mourinho was left disappointed by what is alleged to have taken place.

"I'm in the game, I'm focused on the game, I'm too far from the area where it looked like the incident happened," he told reporters when asked if he heard anything.

"I don't have much to say other than it's something that saddens me. I hate racism in society, I hate racism in football.

"I'm disappointed that things like that still can happen, but the referee stopped the game. He spoke to the players, he spoke to the captains, he spoke with the coaches.

"I was losing, I didn't want the game stopped, but immediately when I knew the reason why it was stopped I obviously understood and accepted it.

"The club is also a very proud club in this kind of situation and the club also internally will try to delete it [racism]."

A message was read out over the public address system highlighting alleged abuse on three occasions in the closing stages of the match.

When asked if referee Anthony Taylor had raised the possibility of abandoning the match when he came over to inform the benches of the allegations that had been made, Mourinho claimed nothing of the sort was said, before then using the opportunity to criticise the official's general performance.

"No, no, no, no, I didn't even know what was going on," Mourinho added. "I saw during the game Anthony speaking too much with players, in my opinion.

"Even on a situation that would sooner or later end in a penalty for us, he was speaking to players all the time.

"He was speaking too much, so when I saw him speaking with players and stopping the game I thought it was one more teacher talk.

"But then when he came to me and Frank to tell us what it was, it was very disappointing. You have to agree with every decision the referee makes, stopping the game and sending everyone home.

"I have no control over that. In this moment everyone is together because racism is a sad thing in society and a sad thing in football and still happens."

Frank Lampard was in no mood to entertain Jose Mourinho's assertion that Antonio Rudiger got Son Heung-min sent off during Chelsea's 2-0 win at Tottenham.

It was a case of the apprentice besting the master at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Willian's first-half brace only telling part of the story when it came to the superiority of Lampard's Chelsea against Mourinho's abject Spurs.

The occasion was marred when Rudiger told match officials he had suffered racist abuse from the stands during the second half and Spurs have pledged to take strong action against anyone found guilty.

While Lampard and Mourinho were united in their condemnation of another bleak episode for British football, they had different views of the incident involving Rudiger and Son that saw the Spurs forward sent off following a VAR review.

Son kicked out after going to ground in an aerial challenge with the Germany centre-back, who Mourinho mockingly suggested might have "broken ribs" at a post-match news conference.

"In some countries, like mine, for example with our culture we used to say clever player," the Portuguese coach said.

"But in this country, and one of the reasons I fell in love with this country in 2004, we don't call them clever, we call them other things that I refuse to call."

Lampard felt such an assessment was somewhat missing the point.

"It was a red card. I don't know how much he's supposed to make out of it," he said.

"I think Son is a great player and, I don't know him, from the outside he looks like a great person. But sometimes in football you have instinctive moments.

"It happened, it was a bit of a reflex. Maybe sometimes in a game where you're having it really tough and it's going against you a little bit and I think it was that [type of] moment.

"I will not have any words said about how Toni Rudiger dealt with that."

Nevertheless, Lampard insisted his respect for Mourinho – under whom he enjoyed some of the finest years of a decorated playing career at Stamford Bridge – remains undimmed.

"I think to go up against a manager who I respect so much from my playing days and for what he's done in the game and win, that obviously feels good," he added, having celebrated with prolonged euphoria before the travelling Chelsea fans at full-time.

"He spoke before the game about how he really loves me but he wants to beat me. That's completely understandable and that's how I went into this game.

"It should never change that, even if we have anything on the line in the heat of the 90 minutes, which we didn't.

"What Jose has done with his career and what he's done for me as a player means I have respect for him."

During his prime years, Jose Mourinho was frequently credited with bringing opponents under his spell.

That certainly was not the case during the first half of Tottenham's thundering reality check against Chelsea, although some other mysterious force appeared to have bent the mind of referee Anthony Taylor towards another dimension just before the interval.

Passed, prodded and paraded wearily across their home turf by a slick and purposeful Chelsea, Spurs turned towards those derby-day favourites of physicality and aggression in an attempt to overturn Willian's well-taken opener.

Those are qualities common to all of Mourinho's best sides and, although this version of Spurs are presently light-years away from being seen as such, they gave their best approximation. It was one they will want to forget quickly.

Harry Kane blasted over from his team's first clear opening in the 28th minute, with Son Heung-min similarly wayward shortly afterwards.

Booming clearances by goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga were deployed as an attacking weapon, while opposite number Kepa Arrizabalaga had to contend with a hulking Moussa Sissoko clattering through him when an under-hit Marcos Alonso backpass piqued the midfielder's interest.

Dele Alli then leapt on Mateo Kovacic's back. The ensuing fracas ended with both men being booked, meaning a suspended Kovacic has Boxing Day off – a relatively positive outcome from a very weird incident, as far as the Chelsea midfielder was concerned.

Anyone concerned Taylor had become a little too comfortable with the hosts' increasingly roughhouse approach would still have been baffled by what followed.

Only Gazzaniga will have the foggiest idea what on earth he was thinking during first-half stoppage time. As it's the season for giving, let's charitably suggest he was relishing his new role of launching route-one attacks. Alas, instead of booting the ball down field, he careered kung-fu style into Alonso.

Taylor's response was to give a free-kick against the assaulted Chelsea wing-back. After Tammy Abraham's remonstrations with the official suggested he should be a shoo-in for any Christmas Day game of charades, a VAR review gave Willian the chance to clinically double his tally from 12 yards.

Eric Dier's festive goodwill was severely tested by being hooked early once again by Mourinho but, while Christian Eriksen's introduction against Olympiacos last month sparked a turnaround, all Spurs could offer was increasingly impotent fury and petulance.

Son's kick out at Antonio Rudiger to be sent off was entirely in keeping with a ragged and ineffective performance, where wretched individual decisions festered within the general malaise.

Of course, the severe wrong-headedness of a Tottenham element off the field then took centre stage. Objects were thrown at Chelsea players and three stadium announcements asked for racist behaviour to stop after Rudiger appeared to be targeted by abuse.

Racism is a sickeningly visible cancer in British football and society right now, making conversations over tactical setups and styles of play feel entirely redundant. Yet this remains the day-to-day requirement for Mourinho and Frank Lampard, the pupil who comprehensively out-thought the teacher here.

If we are told the league table at the end of the season does not lie, then the form table is the delinquent child who tells Santa they've been good in order to score some extra presents.

Chelsea's four defeats in five Premier League games heading into this contest meant little when Spurs were confronted by a side with solid foundations and a commitment to intelligent passing and positional play.

Mason Mount and Abraham, youngsters publicly questioned by Mourinho at the start of the season, shimmered and asked questions to perplex Tottenham throughout, while N'Golo Kante was effervescent, excellent and absolutely everywhere.

Tottenham had four wins from five under Mourinho and were within touching distance of fourth-placed Chelsea. Yet, on the field there was a yawning chasm between the sides. It is to Lampard's credit that he has imbued a belief resilient to fickle mid-season fortunes during his first campaign in charge.

His old boss' challenge is to lay similar foundations and display a vision beyond the all brawn, no brains pragmatism that amounted to a Christmas gift for Chelsea and an ecstatic Lampard.

Chelsea coach Frank Lampard confirmed Antonio Rudiger and captain Cesar Azpilicueta discussed the alleged racist abuse by Tottenham fans towards the former with Premier League officials after Sunday's match.

The Blues ran out 2-0 winners at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but the contest was marred by an incident in the second half.

Spurs' Son Heung-min was sent off for kicking out at Rudiger and the German reported to Azpilicueta that he had been targeted by racist chants soon after.

Lampard subsequently confirmed the pair raised the issue with Premier League officials after the fixture, while Spurs have launched their own investigation.

"My understanding is that there was a racist comment, gesture or whatever that may be," Lampard told Sky Sports.

"I've not spoken to Toni about it, but I know Cesar was there as well and now they're speaking to the officials, as they should do afterwards.

"From our point of view, whether here or at Stamford Bridge, we want the right procedure in place, so we'll leave that to them [the authorities] to get it sorted."

It had been suggested Rudiger overreacted to Son's kick, but Lampard is adamant it was deserving of a red card and he also thinks Spurs goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga was fortunate to stay on the pitch when conceding a first-half penalty for a wild and high challenge on Marcos Alonso.

"I think the penalty probably should've been a red card, because he's flown out at him with a sort of kung-fu kick.

"I don't think he meant it, so I think that was the answer from the referee [in terms of why he was only booked]. When you take someone out at that level, it can be a red, but fine we get the penalty.

"The Son one I think isn't that heavy, but it's a kick out and a kick out is a red card."

Tottenham intend to take strong action and will impose stadium bans against any supporters found guilty of racist behaviour during Sunday's 2-0 defeat to Chelsea.

A first-half brace from Willian gave Frank Lampard's visitors a deserved victory in north London but an incident after the hour marred the contest.

After objects were thrown at Chelsea players, Blues defender Antonio Rudiger told the match officials he had been subjected to racist chanting.

Then, on three separate occasions, an announcement over the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium public address system called for racist behaviour that was "interfering with the game" to cease.

"We are now conducting a thorough investigation which will include liaising with Chelsea and their players for their observations," a club statement from Tottenham read.

"Any form of racism is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our stadium.

"We take any such allegations extremely seriously and shall take the strongest possible action against any individual found to be behaving in such a way, including stadium bans."

Spurs head coach Jose Mourinho similarly offered a guarantee that his club will take action.

"I saw nothing. I saw the referee following the protocol, I saw the referee speaking with [Andre] Marriner [the fourth official], I saw the referee coming to me and to Lampard and telling us what was going on," Mourinho told Sky Sports.

"Our club will deal with it. Every club is together on this situation and of course we are disappointed."

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