Willian’s first-half double proved decisive as Chelsea ended their run of poor form with a 2-0 win at Tottenham on Sunday afternoon.
The Blues put in an impressive performance from start to finish, causing Spurs to lose their discipline as Heung-min Son was sent off for a kick out at Antonio Rudiger late on.
However, alleged racism marred the match, as three PA announcements were made after Rudiger gestured to suggest he had been the subject of monkey chants from home supporters in the second half.
The Germany international signalled to his captain Cesar Azpilicueta and referee Anthony Taylor, who stopped the game briefly to consult with both managers on the touchline.
A first stadium announcement soon followed stating: ‘Racist behaviour among spectators is interfering with the game.’
Two further calls from the PA came before the final whistle, although one of those is believed to have been for anti-social behaviour.
Gary Neville, who was on co-commentary for Sky Sports, said of the unsavoury scenes: “Maybe the announcement should have come before the abuse.”
As for the match itself, Frank Lampard’s side started excellently in their first fixture at the new home of their London rivals.
The visitors seizing control early on with Willian emphasising Chelsea’s opening dominance by firing home in the 12th minute.
The Blues successfully worked a short corner as the Brazilian cut inside the area and curled a fierce strike into the far corner.
On the brink of half-time, VAR intervened and awarded Chelsea a penalty when Gazzaniga came flying out of goal, missed the ball and clattered into the attacking Marcos Alonso.
During the debate over whether the penalty should be given, Sky pundit Neville declared: ‘It’s an assault!’
Willian fired home from 12 yards to double his side’s lead.
Spurs could not have been much worse after the break, but any realistic hope of getting back into the game ended when Son was sent off in the 62nd minute.
The South Korean, who was fouled by Rudiger, kicked out at the Chelsea defender and VAR ruled it to be violent conduct.
The scenes afterwards represented another dark day for English football.
What followed on the pitch seemed unimportant, but Chelsea saw the game out with complete ease.