We are heading to Wembley!
Chelsea took a short trip within London to play Tottenham in the 2nd leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final. Chelsea had a 2 goal advantage going into the game and Spurs had to come out and get 2 without reply to take the game to extra time. Weirdly Conte fielded an even weaker team on paper than the 1st leg. Son was already out injured but Gollini started instead of Lloris and Los Celso started in the front three. Tuchel went strong with Kepa in goal and back four of Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, and Sarr. Kovacic, and Jorginho started in the midfield with Hudson-Odoi, and Mount in front of them. Lukaku, and Werner started up front. A hybrid 4-2-2-2 of sorts that could switch to a back three. The likes of Silva, and Kante returned to the bench.
The first half was all Chelsea once again. Spurs showed a bit more intitiative but Chelsea were able to silence the occasion and atmosphere within the stadium via possession. The only goal came in the 18th minute as Rudiger flicked the ball into the net with his back after Gollini failed to gather the ball. Rudiger then brought down Hojbjerg outside the box but the referee ordered a penalty. VAR intervened and cancelled it. Chelsea had a few more chances in the 1st half but could not take advantage.
The 2nd half saw Spurs try to get back into the game and they had another penalty ruled out by VAR after Kepa made a legitimate tackle on Moura but the referee awarded a penalty. Kepa then made a poor pass and Kane was able to score but was ruled offside. Three goals by Spurs but all ruled out. Chelsea didn’t have any big chances in the 2nd half but managed the game well despite being their own worst enemy.
Chelsea Team Review
Cleansheet for Kepa and some solid saves from him in the game as well. The offside goal did stem from his mistake and he should know that in a pressure situation just boot it. A confident performance and good to see him doing well.
A cleansheet for the defenders but some shaky moments through our own mistakes. Sarr was very good throughout the game and continues to do well when given a chance. Silva and Alonso did come in the 2nd half and managed to see out the win. Kane was the only real threat at times.
Jorginho and Kovacic controlled the midfield and passed around whatever Spurs through at them. Mount looked off pace and looked like he was struggling with something. Loftus-Cheek and Kante came on in the 2nd half with Chelsea flexing their depth.
Hudson-Odoi did well on the wing again and was dangerous. Werner and Lukaku linked up well in the first half with Werner especially invovled in a lot of the good moments. This is a formation that suits him. Ziyech came on in the 2nd half to see out the game along with the other substitutions.
Tuchel post match said he was happy with the first half but the 2nd half was lacking and we weren’t playing at our full potentional. The German said that there is always room for improvement as well. There was good ingame management to change the formation when Spurs looked like gaining some momentum. Another final for him and that will please the team.
27th February the Carabao Cup final at Wembley. The opponent will be Arsenal or Liverpool but Chelsea can park the tournament for now. Next up is a trip to Manchester City in the Premier League, COME ON CHELSEA!!!