LONDON: Normal service has been restored at the top of the English Premier League with Manchester City back in place after nine-men Tottenham imploded in a chaotic 4-1 home defeat by Chelsea.

Mauricio Pochettino’s return to Tottenham with Chelsea went almost unnoted after  game which brought five goals, five disallowed, two red cards, and a sequence of time-consuming VAR decisions which contributed towards 21 minutes in stoppage time – 12 in the first half and nine in the second.

Spurs started brilliantly and deservedly went ahead when Dejan Kulusevski’s sixth minute shot deflected in off Chelsea defender Levi Colwill, before Son Heung-min had an effort narrowly ruled out for offside as the home side looked to capitalise on their early dominance.

In a fevered atmosphere Chelsea had two goals of their own disallowed, one each from Raheem Sterling and Moises Caicedo ruled out for handball and offside respectively.

But the latter situation still led to a Chelsea goal as a penalty was awarded for a crude challenge by Romero on compatriot Enzo Fernandez, and the Spurs defender was deservedly sent off in the aftermath.

ummer signing Cole Palmer scored the resulting spot-kick to level the match before Spurs were also handicapped by what looked like a serious hamstring injury for key defender Micky van de Ven and an ankle problem for James Maddison as both players were substituted before the interval.

Spurs were battling an even greater disadvantage when Destiny Udogie was sent off ten minutes after the break for an inexplicably reckless tackle on Sterling which brought a second yellow card from referee Michael Oliver.

Ange Postecoglou, who also received a yellow card on the Spurs bench amid the mayhem, gambled on keeping a high line even with nine men but Chelsea finally broke their resistance with 15 minutes left, Raheem Sterling breaking clear to set up Nicolas Jackson for a simple finish.

The game was far from finished, though, and Spurs came close to securing a stunning draw as Eric Dier had a superb finish ruled out for a narrow offside and Rodrigo Bentancur headed just wide after beating Chelsea’s defensive line at a late free-kick.

Jackson then scored twice more in stoppage time to secure a late hat-trick and render the scoreline far more comfortable than the evening had been for the visitors.