Torres off as Chelsea, Spurs draw
The first managerial meeting between former colleagues Jose Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas ended in stalemate on Saturday as Chelsea drew 1-1 at Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.
Spurs manager Villas-Boas saw his side take a first-half lead through Gylfi Sigurdsson, but in a frenetic and keenly contested second half, Chelsea equalised through John Terry before having Fernando Torres sent off.
The point nudged Spurs above Arsenal at the top of the table, while Chelsea climbed one place to third ahead of the rest of the weekend programme.
"The second half was not as good as we wanted. They did well to score from the set-piece," said Villas-Boas.
"The result suits them better than us, but it was a very tight game."
Icelandic midfielder Sigurdsson gave Spurs a 19th-minute lead at White Hart Lane when he rode a challenge from the sprawling Terry to gather Roberto Soldado's lay-off before steering the ball past Petr Cech.
Mourinho's half-time introduction of Juan Mata gave the visitors fresh impetus, however, and the Spain midfielder teed up the equaliser in the 65th minute with an inswinging free-kick that was headed home by Terry.
Torres played a key role in Chelsea's second-half revival, but having earlier appeared to scratch Jan Vertonghen in an off-the-ball incident, he was sent off in the 81st minute after being shown a second yellow card for leading with his arm in a challenge on the same player.
Sigurdsson and Jermain Defoe both went close to claiming a late winner for Spurs, but Villas-Boas was denied a victory over his former mentor at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan.
Chelsea manager Mourinho felt Torres's dismissal was unjust.
"The team was very, very strong, until the moment the referee (Mike Dean) made a mistake; a big mistake, but a mistake that has a big influence on the result," he told Sky Sports.
A week on from their 4-1 derby humiliation at Manchester City, champions Manchester United will hope to return to winning ways at home to West Bromwich Albion later on Saturday.
Fourth-place City visit Aston Villa, having followed up their rout of United by putting five unanswered goals past second-tier Wigan Athletic in the League Cup in mid-week.
Arsenal, meanwhile, will have their eyes on reclaiming top spot from Tottenham when they visit Swansea City in the tea-time game.
Southampton, who began the weekend in seventh place, host Crystal Palace, Cardiff City visit Fulham, and Hull City are at home to West Ham United.