EPL: All square in love and war

EPL: All square in love and war
Tottenham Hotspur's manager Andre Villas-Boas (L) speaks to his Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho following their English Premier League soccer match at White Hart Lane in London September 28, 2013.

TOTTENHAM                1
(Gylfi Sigurdsson 19)

CHELSEA                      1
(John Terry 65)

What does a day like this do to the relationship between Jose Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas?

A bad-tempered afternoon at White Hart Lane on Saturday ended with an unwilling share of the points and a harsh red card for Fernando Torres.

But, instead of escalating their personal war, the two managers - once friends, now rivals - exchanged what appeared to be good-natured words at full-time.

Perhaps they have both acknowledged the futility of their feud.

Torres could easily have been sent off early in the second half, when an apparent scratch of Jan Vertonghen's face went unnoticed by referee Mike Dean.

But that didn't justify Dean's decision to dismiss the striker for a nothing challenge in the air with Vertonghen in the 81st minute.

Tottenham, having been on the back foot all second half after dominating the first, rallied but couldn't snatch a winner, despite the best efforts of Gylfi Sigurdsson and substitute Jermain Defoe.

It was Sigurdsson who opened the scoring in the 19th minute, putting the finishing touch on a gloriously- crafted goal.

Christian Eriksen turned Frank Lampard and roared away like a speedboat evading a clunking tug. Reaching the edge of the area, he slipped the ball to Roberto Soldado, whose first touch put Sigurdsson through on goal.

Despite the very best efforts of John Terry, the Icelandic midfielder slipped the ball past Petr Cech for his third league goal of the season.

It could have been worse. Four minutes later, it took a gallant saving tackle from Branislav Ivanovic to prevent Spurs from doubling their lead.

Mourinho was mercilessly abused by the home crowd throughout the game. "You're Not Special Any More," they sang.

That proved to be a rather premature diagnosis. Having been bested by his former pupil from the start, the master turned the tables after the break. It was the introduction of Juan Mata that changed the game.

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