Chelsea clinched an emotional 2-0 win at Tottenham thanks to a double by Willian but the mood was soured by another racist incident and allegations of abuse aimed from the crowd at Antonio Rudiger.
The Chelsea defender reported a racist chant during the second half and there were three announcements made inside the stadium to warn supporters about their conduct and inform others that ‘racist behaviour’ was ‘interfering with the game’.
Spurs said there had been only one incident despite the repeated announcements, which they claimed were in line with Premier League protocol, and issued a statement promising to investigate fully, with threats of possible stadium bans for the culprits.
‘It is made very clear to us all that if we have heard any racist incident to report it,’ said Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta. ‘Toni came to me and told me he was hearing racist songs towards him so I reported it to the referee.
‘We are very concerned. I hope we eradicate it as soon as possible. It’s an issue not just in football but in life.’
Rudiger tweeted: ‘#NoToRacism #PleaseGetSomeBasicEducation.’
The flashpoint occurred shortly after Rudiger had been involved in a clash which led to a red card for Son Heung-min, who aimed a kick into the ribs of the Chelsea defender after being tripped by him.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard said: ‘I am going to support Toni as we would support any of our players or opposition players if this happens, whatever the stadium. If it is true the punishment needs to be strong.’
Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho accused Rudiger of over-reacting to get Son sent off but condemned the racist chant.
He said: ‘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.’
Gary Neville, speaking on Sky Sports, said: ‘We were outraged when it happens in a Bulgarian stadium, but we are not as outraged when it happens in our English stadiums. We expect UEFA to clamp down heavily on the Bulgarian FA but what are we going to do here?
‘The Premier League, the FA, get a grip on our game. It will come to the point where players will just walk off and say, “I’m not playing”. Could you blame them? No, not if they feel the authorities aren’t doing things properly.’
In a statement Spurs said: ‘We are now conducting a thorough investigation which will include liaising with Chelsea and their players. Any form of racism is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our stadium.
‘We shall take the strongest possible action against any individual found to be behaving in such a way, including stadium bans.’
Spurs could also face action after missiles were thrown at Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa.