Ange Postecoglou says he has no regrets about his bold tactics after his Tottenham team lost two players to red cards and then the remaining unbeaten record in the English Premier League in a chaotic 4-1 home loss to Chelsea.
Nicolas Jackson broke the resistance of Tottenham with his three goals from the 75th minute, settling a frantic Monday night game that defied logic at times as Spurs survived for a while despite playing a high defensive line following the sending-offs of Cristian Romero in the 33rd and fellow defender Destiny Udogie in the 55th.
Dejan Kulusevski gave Tottenham a flying start by scoring off a deflected shot in the sixth minute, only for the London derby to turn fiery amid a blaze of wild challenges and crazy incidents.
Amidst all the madness, Cole Palmer equalised from the spot after Romero conceded a penalty - and earned a red card - for a dangerous lunge on Argentina teammate Enzo Fernandez.
And when Udogie collected a second yellow card, Tottenham faced an uphill battle to preserve its undefeated start to the season under coach Postecoglou.
Chelsea initially failed to get past Tottenham's brave but possibly naïve high line but did so eventually to devastating effect. Jackson's final two goals came in stoppage time to clinch a memorable win for visiting manager Mauricio Pochettino on his return to the club he coached from 2014-19 and led to a Champions League final.
Postecoglou said the game got "out of control" but had no regrets regarding his maverick tactics while his team was down to nine men, saying: "It is just who we are. It is who we are and who we will be for as long as I am here.
"If we go down to five men, we will have a crack."
It left Manchester City, the defending champions, a point clear of second-placed Tottenham after an 11th round of games that saw Liverpool and Arsenal, the other teams in the top four, also fail to win.
The first half, in particular, was mayhem.
Aside from the two goals and the red card to Romero, there were four disallowed goals, game-ending injuries to Tottenham players James Maddison and Micky van de Ven, yellow cards to Postecoglou for complaining and Udogie for a flying two-footed lunge, a free-for-all sparked by a scuffle between Chelsea's Levi Colwill and Tottenham's Pape Sarr, and 12 minutes of stoppage time.
Romero also avoided punishment for kicking out at Colwill off the ball, only for the World Cup winner to see red a few minutes later for the fourth time in less than 2 1/2 years at Spurs. He has also had 26 yellow cards in that time.
In the end, five goals were ruled out for various infringements.
The game was reminiscent of the so-called "Battle of the Bridge" between the teams at the end of the 2015-16 season, when players lost their heads and Tottenham's title hopes evaporated at Stamford Bridge.
There was also the denouement of a match between the rivals at the same stadium early last season when respective managers Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte pushed each other after failing to shake hands at the final whistle.
This match will be remembered for what happened on the field, for Postecoglou's attempt to win the game rather than just hold on for a draw.
"I am very proud of the players," the Australian coach said. "Right to the end, they were trying to create something for us.
"The players couldn't give any more than they did. Part of this game is will, effort and determination and they showed that."
Ultimately, Tottenham will look to sustain their strong start to the season without their two central defenders for a while, with Udogie also suspended for the trip to Wolverhampton on Saturday and an injury concern to star playmaker Maddison.