Chelsea set the big clash against Manchester City in the finals of the Carabao Cup. The Blues eliminated Tottenham tonight after the penalties, 4-2, also edging out the local rivals after regular 90 minutes, 2-1.
After last week’s loss to Arsenal, and a pale performance in that match which made Chelsea’s coach Maurizio Sarri furious, the Blues bounced back in the best possible way – by defeating a big rival. At the moment, these two sides are third and fourth in the Premiership, and this victory will certainly give a slight mental advantage to Chelsea.
After the game, their coach praised his guys for reacting adequately after a disappointing display last Sunday.
“The players reacted really well [top my criticism]. I didn’t attack my players, I only said we had a problem. We need this motivation to continue now.” Sarri said.
The Italian also stated, that even if Chelsea lost this one, he would still be very pleased with the way they handled things on the pitch.
“I was very happy with the performance before the penalties. If there had been a different outcome I would have still been happy.”
Blues were a better side throughout the whole match, and they dictated the tempo, pressuring Tottenham constantly. Though, we need to point out that Spurs had a lot of problems with injuries, as their two key players Harry Kane and Dele Alli picked up injuries which will set them apart from the field for some time.
On top of that, the second striker Son is not eligible due to his appearance at the Asian Football Cup.
Sarri used these circumstances entirely, which is why his team had a two-goal lead already after the first 45 minutes. N’Golo Kante put the Blues in front, after his shot found a way to the net through the legs of one Tottenham’s defender and the goalkeeper Gazzaniga.
⚽️ #Chelsea 2:0 #Tottenham | #EFLCup | Semifinals | Second Leg | #Hazard 38'#CHETOT
telegram : https://t.co/JfjjlKUSrX pic.twitter.com/vs7KZvNdiW
— via @VideoGoals_HD (@viaVide43693968) January 24, 2019
Though it was a lucky turn of events for the home team, they definitely deserved the lead. Still, that wasn’t enough for them, and Eden Hazard doubled the advantage, some seven minutes before the end of the half.
The Belgian international was by far the best player on the pitch, presenting a threat for Tottenham’s defense during the whole game. He responded to Sarri’s critics with one of the best performances in the last several weeks.
“I think Hazard was having fun,” Sarri spoke at the post-match press conference. “I had fun for 65 minutes watching Hazard. He was a little bit tired in the last part of the match, he ran a lot, but he played a fantastic, wonderful match.”
But after just five minutes since the start of the second half, Tottenham stunned the rival, when Fernando Llorente scored a goal which leveled the aggregate result. Still, instead of increasing their tempo of play, the guests just stood there and allowed for Chelsea to continue its domination.
Spurs were lucky to endure without another conceded goal until the end. The guy they need to thank for that is Olivier Giroud, who found himself in several excellent positions to score, but simply couldn’t execute it.
The game ended like this, and the penalties were on. All Chelsea’s players were confident, while on the other side, Eric Dier missed the whole goal, putting the ball high above the bar. The decisive penalty taken by Lucas Moura’s was saved by young Arrizabalaga.
Brilliant penalty save from Kepa 🙌
Awesome👍 #CHETOT #CarabaoCup semi final second leg.
#CFC 🔵 pic.twitter.com/A5TH533LLL
— Red Rose 🌹 (@Roseangel009) January 24, 2019
Mauricio Pochettino, Spurs manager, wasn’t that upset because of elimination from the competition. He is aware of the difficulties his team is experiencing now.
“Only I can feel proud with all the circumstances to arrive at the penalties. ” the Argentinian said. “It is going to make us stronger, and it’s a very good experience for us. We still have three competitions left to fight in. We arrived at the semi-final, and we lost on penalties to Chelsea, one of the best teams in Europe.”
Chelsea will play against Manchester City in the finals, at Sky-Blues Etihad stadium on 24th of February.
The next challenge for the Blues is going to be also in a cup competition, the FA this time. They will be hosting Sheffield Wednesday. Tottenham has a much tougher assignment, as they face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Both events are scheduled for Sunday.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.
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