Carabao Cup: Brentford vs Chelsea 22/12/21 – Full Match Report

A depleted Chelsea win at Brentford to set up a Semi-Final showdown against Spurs in the Carabao Cup.


Written by Ryan Bellenie (@BellenieSport).


Pre-game:

Despite the recent spread of COVID-19, the midweek Carabao Cup fixtures went ahead as scheduled with Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea taking on Brentford in West London.


The Blues have won just one of their previous five games, enduring a rough patch in what has been a relatively successful campaign so far. Things haven’t been easy for the German in recent weeks, who has been without a number of key players due to both injury and illness.


Although Brentford’s recent form hasn’t been brilliant either, Thomas Frank’s side looked to be up for the occasion after their disappointing result to Chelsea earlier on in the season. Although the Bees only lost the game 1-0, their performance deserved a lot more which would’ve ignited the hosts heading into the clash.


Testing the full depths of his squad, Thomas Tuchel made eight changes to the team that drew with Wolves on the weekend. Three debuts were handed out to Xavier Simons, Harvey Vale and Jude Soonsup-Bell – who all started for the Blues.

With the fixtures staggered across the festive period, Brentford also saw various adjustments made to their starting eleven. Former Blues academy product Myles Peart-Harris was named on bench for the hosts after leaving Chelsea as a free agent in the summer.


First half:

Despite Chelsea’s shortage of players, the Blues started the game by enjoying possession and looking confident on the ball.


On the 11th minute, it was the hosts who came close to breaking the deadlock as Kepa Arrizabalaga denied Yoane Wissa from close range. Although Tuchel’s side had a positive start to the game, it was Brentford who looked the more dangerous of the two sides.


Just before the half hour mark, there were appeals for a penalty as Marcos Alonso hit the ground inside the area. However, Andre Marriner was convinced that the Spaniard wasn’t fouled and was right in his decision.


Straight down the other end, the Bees had another big chance as skipper Pontus Jansson was denied by Arrizabalaga, who was equal to the attempt once again.


Chelsea had attempts in the half through Ross Barkley, Trevoh Chalobah and Xavier Simons – but struggled to create any real opportunities unlike their opponents.


The biggest chances of the first half fell in the latter minutes of the half as both Rico Henry and Harvey Vale had opportunities to break the deadlock in the game. However, neither was able to capitalise with the two team’s inseparable at half-time.

Second half:

Before the second half commenced, the Blues were boosted by the introduction of Jorginho and Christian Pulisic – who added experience and value to the starting eleven.


On the 53rd minute, Álvaro Fernández made a crucial stop to deny his own teammate as a chaotic cross struck Rico Henry before heading towards goal. The Blues looked an improved side in the second half, creating more chances and looking much more dangerous.


Ross Barkley was one of the players who edged the visitors on. The Englishman brought Fernández into action, albeit a comfortable save for the 23-year-old.


With Reece James and Mason Mount on for Chelsea, the Blues elevated their game and eventually had their breakthrough with 10 minutes to go.


James’ dangerous cross into the penalty area struck Jansson and beat Fernández, who couldn’t do much about conceding the goal.

Five minutes later, things went from bad to worse for the Spaniard who brought down Christian Pulisic with Andre Marriner pointing to the spot. As cool as a cucumber, Jorginho doubled Chelsea’s lead – sending the Blues through to the semi-finals of the league cup.

After the whistle:

Given the circumstances, not only was it an impressive result for Chelsea – but it was also a terrific performance that Thomas Tuchel would’ve been proud of.


With a long list of absentees, a blend of Chelsea’s youth and fringe players proved to be too much for Brentford – who have now lost consecutive home games against the Blues.


Following Spurs’ victory over West Ham, the draw for the Carabao Cup was made. Chelsea were drawn against Antonio Conte and Spurs, with the two sides set to play each other three times in January.


The Blues will head into Christmas feeling positive, before taking on Aston Villa at Villa Park on Boxing Day.


Brentford will also return to action on the 26th, facing Brighton in the 8pm kick-off.


Final score:

Brentford 0-2 Chelsea.

- Jansson (80’ OG).

- Jorginho (85’ pen).


BBC Sports Player of the match:

N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea).


Line-ups:

Brentford (Formation): Fernández; Pinnock, Jansson ©, Sørensen; Canós, Jensen (81’), Janelt (66’), Baptiste (74’), Henry (73’); Mbeumo, Wissa (65’).

- Subs: Toney (65’), Nørgaard (66’), Ghoddos (73’), Onyeka (74’), Forss (81’).


Chelsea (3-4-1-2): Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta ©, Chalobah, Sarr; Simons (65’), Kovačić (45’), Saúl, Alonso; Barkley (76’); Vale (65’), Soonsup-Bell (45’).

- Subs: Jorginho (45’), Pulisic (45’), James (65’), Mount (65’), Kanté (76’).


Referee:

Andre Marriner.


Attendance:

16,577.


Possession:

Brentford (33%) vs Chelsea (67%).


Shots:

Brentford (4) vs Chelsea (15).


Shots on target:

Brentford (3) vs Chelsea (7).


Corners:

Brentford (3) vs Chelsea (2).


Fouls:

Brentford (8) vs Chelsea (9).

- (credit | BBC Sport).


Match highlights:

- (credit | Chelsea Football Club).

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