The Blues recovered from Gylfi Sigurdsson's first-half opener to equalize through their captain, although a second yellow for the striker curtailed chances of a late winner.
Gylfi Sigurdsson opened the scoring after 19 minutes in a first half dominated by the home side, only for Juan Mata's halftime introduction to inspire Jose Mourinho's charges to salvage a point through a John Terry header.
With Chelsea looking to complete the comeback, Torres was dismissed for a second bookable offence eight minutes from time after clashing with Jan Vertonghen.
David Luiz partnered John Terry in the heart of defense, with Gary Cahill dropping to the bench, while Frank Lampard took the place of Andre Schurrle and Torres started ahead of Samuel Eto'o in attack.
Tottenham was unchanged from its Premier League victory over Cardiff City, leaving Jermain Defoe on the bench, despite scoring twice in the club's midweek Capital One Cup win over Aston Villa.
After a series of half-chances for both sides, Tottenham began to assert its dominance, taking the lead through Sigurdsson after 20 minutes.
The in-form midfielder got his third Premier League goal of the season, latching onto a layoff from Roberto Soldado before breaking John Terry’s weak tackle and calmly finishing past Petr Cech.
With Chelsea reeling, the Spurs continued to enjoy plenty of possession, with Kyle Naughton next to test Cech with a long-range effort.
The Blues eventually found their feet in a 10-minute period before the break, Eden Hazard threatening with a deflected strike before Oscar fired straight at Hugo Lloris.
Tottenham could have gone in at halftime two goals up with Brazilian midfielder Paulinho hitting the outside of the post after being played in by Andros Townsend.
Oscar was unable to get a firm enough touch on a Torres cross two minutes into the second half in what was a frantic period of play after the break.
Hazard was the next to test Lloris a minute short of the hour mark before Terry levelled the scores.
Substitute Mata delivered an expert free kick with the Chelsea captain, who had evaded the attentions of Michael Dawson, glancing a header past Lloris after 65 minutes.
Torres then played in substitute Andre Schurrle but the German was denied by Lloris, before the Spain international was dismissed nine minutes from time.
After a long-running battle with Jan Vertonghen, Torres was shown a second yellow card following an aerial challenge with the Belgian defender, though replays showed very little in the foul.
Despite plenty of pressure from the home side, Tottenham was unable to take advantage of the extra man during the final eight minutes.