his was the fourth meeting between Frank Lampard and Jose Mourinho since the Portuguese joined Tottenham, but it felt like the true beginning of their managerial rivalry.
Lampard twice beat his former mentor in tactically-astute displays last season, but the two clubs have since been promoted a weight-class and a compelling stalemate here was a fairer reflection of both sides’ progress.
Chelsea and Spurs have frequently taken their simmering rivalry to a new level over the past half-decade, notably during the Battle of the Bridge in 2016 and in the following season when they competed for the title.
Lampard and Mourinho now promise to escalate the tension again, such is their fascinating shared history and the relationship between pupil and master.
They have already moved on from sincere expressions of mutual respect to more significant and prickly public sparring, even if Lampard is far too familiar with Mourinho to fall for the 57-year-old’s mind games as, say, Arsene Wenger once did.
Mourinho and Lampard clashed on the touchline in Tottenham’s League Cup win over Chelsea in September and yesterday’s game was a meeting of very different styles, followed by an intriguing sideshow of the managers’ post-match comments.
After watching his side sit back and play for a point, Mourinho announced that he and his players were unhappy with a draw and claimed Lampard’s Chelsea were the side who had refused to take risks.
“They are one of the biggest contenders, no doubt about that — and they also know that Tottenham is not a candidate,” said Mourinho, who also described Spurs as “a pony” in the title race. Continue reading
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