Blues spot on with Spurs
Written By: Robert Halter
Chelsea looked to turn around a 1-0 deficit in the Carabao Cup semi final with Tottenham Hotspur. In the fourth minute, Jorginho opened up space for Pedro, whose strike was blocked by Toby Alderweireld, to prevent a threat on goal. In the eleventh minute, a foul by Eric Dier on Jorginho awarded the Blues a free kick, which Eden Hazard put over, before a slight deflection off Ross Barkley, put the ball out of play. In the thirteenth minute, Alderweireld’s interception into Hazard, gave Chelsea another free kick that Hazard took, and Olivier Giroud’s scorpion kick, was knocked on from Barkley, before the ball was turned wide from Antonio Rudiger. On twenty six minutes, from Emerson’s throw in, Hazard’s ball into the box, was nearly put into his own net by Alderweireld, but his keeper, Paulo Gazzaniga, kicked the ball out for a corner, which was taken by Hazard, and the ball was poorly headed out from Harry Winks while shielded by Fernando Lorente, and from outside the box, N’Golo Kante rammed the ball past the twisted feet of Gazzaniga, into the middle of the net. An enforced change was made by Spurs due to an injury for Ben Davies and Danny Rose took over. In the thirty fifth minute, a raking pass by Barkley, was put across from Hazard, and as Giroud threatened, Jan Vertonghen, stifled his move, as cover for Gazzaniga, at the near post. Three minutes later, after Dier gave away a free kick for a foul on Barkley, it was quickly taken by Barkley, and in a four way throng attack, Hazard and Pedro combined, before a cross from Cesar Azpilicueta, allowed Hazard to step up and turn the ball into the bottom left corner. Before half time a challenge outside the box on Hazard by Alderweireld was waved away, and the Blues ended the half with Pedro putting Kante in sight of goal, who fired past the face of the target. At the start of the second half, a Hazard corner was punched out by Gazzaniga, and then stuck back in from Jorginho, at the Spurs goalkeeper. The Lilywhites first real chance was a result of Christian Eriksen’s cross being put back out by Dier for Alderweireld, who struck the ball over the top. But Spurs found a route back into the game, when Harry Winks spread the ball out wide to Rose, whose cross was met with a diving header by Llorente, past Kepa Arrizabalaga, into the bottom right corner, in the fiftieth minute. The Blues response was an incisive pass by Kante, which put Giroud through, only for his strike to be snatched back by Gazzaniga from the right hand corner. From Giroud’s headed pass, a pot shot at goal by Barkley, went out wide to the left, on fifty six minutes. Within a minute, from Jorginho’s ball, Moussa Sissoko lost possession, and Kante’s ball through to Hazard, was driven narrowly wide of the left target. From a long goal kick by Gazzaniga, a delivery by Eriksen, just eluded Llorente, in the sixty fourth minute. It followed with Kante putting Pedro in a dangerous spot but he fired straight at Gazzaniga. Spurs second switch was Llorente with Lucas Moura, who was instantly set up from a long goal kick by Gazzaniga, but could only find the outside netting of the left post. On seventy four minutes from an Azpilicueta assist, a low strike by Hazard, whistled past the left post. The Blues soon took off Pedro for Willian. The next Spurs casualty was Sissoko as Davinson Sanchez took his place, before the Blues took off Barkley for Mateo Kovacic. At the end, Emerson’s delivery was headed wide to the right by Giroud, as the match went to penalty kicks. Eriksen first converts the spot kick to the bottom left corner, Willian scores to the bottom left corner, Lamela puts penalty into the bottom right corner, Azpilicueta shoots to the top right corner, Dier hits the ball over the bar, Jorginho scores to the bottom right corner, Moura’s penalty saved by Arrizabalaga, and Luiz scores into the bottom left corner as Chelsea beat Spurs 4-2 on penalties to face Manchester City at Wembley in the 2019 Carabao Cup Final on February 24.