Carabao Cup: Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur 5/1/22 – Full Match Report

Chelsea put one foot in the Carabao Cup final following a comfortable win on home soil.


Written by Ryan Bellenie (@BellenieSport).


Pre-game:

With 21 games in the books, Chelsea put their Premier League campaign aside for the next 10 days as they focus on cup competitions in their mid-week and weekend fixtures.


After their Super Cup victory back in August, the Blues are still competing for silverware in all available competitions. The next on their agenda was the Carabao Cup, with Chelsea hosting Spurs in the first leg of their semi-final tie.


The west London club haven’t won the League Cup since 2015, when José Mourinho’s Chelsea ironically powered past Tottenham at Wembley. Seven years prior, it was Spurs who beat the Blues 2-1 in the final, thanks to a stoppage time winner from Jonathan Woodgate.


Not only was Wednesday night’s game a London derby in the semi-final of the League Cup, but it also marked the return of Antonio Conte to Stamford Bridge.


Eager to make a mark, the Italian made two changes to the team that picked up three points at Vicarage Road on Saturday with Japhet Tanganga and Matt Doherty replacing Eric Dier and Sergio Reguilón.


Hit by further COVID drama earlier on in the day, Thomas Tuchel was faced yet another dilemma with his team selection. The Chelsea manager heavily rotated his side by making six changes to his starting eleven – with Romelu Lukaku returning to the line-up after being dropped from the matchday squad against Liverpool.

First half:

Thomas Tuchel began the game in unorthodox fashion as he laid out his team in a 4-2-3-1 formation, which perhaps caught the visitors off-guard. The Blues began the game brightly and took an early lead on the fifth minute through Kai Havertz.


The German was given an opportunity to open the scoring after Marcos Alonso won possession and put the 22-year-old through on goal. Havertz’ on target effort was hit low, but was aided into the net by Davin Sánchez.

In what was a nightmare start for Tottenham, Havertz had another chance to find a second inside 10 minutes.A poor clearance rebounded into the German’s path, but the Chelsea star failed to capitalise, with Hugo Lloris making a comfortable save.


There were later attempts from both Mason Mount and Hakim Ziyech as the hosts continued their onslaught, with Spurs struggling to get a foot hold in the game. In fact, things went from bad to worse for Conte’s side on the 34th minute as Chelsea’s lead doubled through a Ben Davies own goal.

The closest the visitors came was Kepa Arrizabalaga spilling a looping effort on goal, which led to nothing no real opportunity for Spurs. Chelsea could have had a third through Romelu Lukaku, but the Belgian mistimed his header, and the chance went to waste.


Nonetheless, the Blues went into half-time with a healthy 2-0 lead.

Second half:

Antonio Conte must have demanded a response from his side in the dressing room, which is what he momentarily got in the early stages of the second half. Tottenham had their first shot on target on the 49thminute, with Arrizabalaga equal to Harry Kane’s free-kick.


Although Spurs briefly showed signs of life, the Blues reiterated their dominance by enforcing their dominance on their opponents – who were playing well below par. Chelsea had half chances for a third goal through Romelu Lukaku, Hakim Ziyech and substitute Timo Werner, but all three attempts failed to test Hugo Lloris.


On the 65th minute, a sublime pass from Hakim Ziyech found Timo Werner who had just Lloris to beat. Werner attempted to dink the ball over the goalkeeper’s head, but the French international was at full stretch to keep the lead at just two goals.


Spurs continued to search for a moment of magic but just couldn’t get anything going against a stubborn Blues backline. The visitors had their best chance on the 87th minute as Arrizabalaga denied Giovanni Lo Celso – keeping his clean sheet well intact.


With Craig Pawson later blowing the full-time whistle, it ended in a comfortable victory for Tuchel’s Blues at Stamford Bridge.

After the whistle:

In all honesty, it would be understandable if Chelsea were slightly disappointed at the scoreline given how the game played out. The outcome was never in doubt for the Blues, who controlled the match from start to finish. Instead, Thomas Tuchel’s side would have perhaps preferred an even stronger lead heading into next week’s fixture, especially when considering the chances that they had.

With that being said, Chelsea have struggled at home in recent weeks and will be glad to return to winning ways at The Bridge. The 2-0 victory also marked the club’s first home clean sheet since November 23rd (vs Juventus), which is a sign of improvement heading forward.


There were impressive performances across the board for the Blues, especially from fringe players such as Saúl and Malang Sarr, who stood out in a phenomenal team performance.


Tottenham will be heavily disappointed with the result and their performance, but will also count themselves lucky as the scoreline could have turned out even worse.


With Chelsea taking a 2-0 lead to north London next week, Thomas Tuchel’s will look to build on his unbeaten semi-final record as a manager and add yet another final to his CV.


Final score:

Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur.

- Havertz (5’).

- Davies (34’ og).


BBC Sports Player of the match:

Kai Havertz (Chelsea).

Line-ups:

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Arrizabalaga; Azpilicueta © (90’), Rüdiger, Sarr, Alonso; Saúl (73’), Jorginho; Ziyech (79’), Mount (73’), Havertz (45’); Lukaku.

- Subs: Werner (45’), Loftus-Cheek (73’), Kovačić (73’), Pulisic (79’), Vale (90’).


Tottenham Hotspur (3-4-3): Lloris ©, Tanganga, Sánchez, Davies; Royal, Skipp (73’), Højbjerg, Doherty (45’); Moura (80’), Kane, Son (79’).

- Subs: Ndombele (45’), Winks (73’), Lo Celso (79’), Gil (80’).


Referee:

Craig Pawson.


Attendance:

37,868.


Possession:

Chelsea (64%) vs Tottenham Hotspur (36%).


Shots:

Chelsea (19) vs Tottenham Hotspur (X).


Shots on target:

Chelsea (6) vs Tottenham Hotspur (2).


Corners:

Chelsea (5) vs Tottenham Hotspur (1).


Fouls:

Chelsea (15) vs Tottenham Hotspur (10).

- (credit | BBC Sport).


Match highlights:

- (credit | Sky Sports Football).

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