Chelsea advance to Wembley
It was always going to be an unhill struggle for Tottenham to get any foothold back in the Carabao Cup tie, after suffering a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge, and so it proved as Chelsea marched on to Wembley, albeit in slightly less comfortable fashion than the first leg may have suggested.
Que Sera, Sera! 😉 pic.twitter.com/jIoBkWJ6dN
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 12, 2022
Tottenham were better second time around. In truth, it was hard for them not to be, but VAR was forced to come to Chelsea’s rescue on three occasions (though correctly) as Antonio Conte’s side showed more fight in front of their own fans.
The result, however, was never in doubt.
Chelsea added a third to their tally early in the first half thanks to an Antonio Rudiger goal, bundling in from a corner. And from there, while it was relatively even on the pitch, Tottenham could never get a foothold in the scoreline as they looked for a remarkable comeback.
Antonio Rudiger gave it to the fans after putting Chelsea ahead of Spurs 😤 pic.twitter.com/shnYie3N8j
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 12, 2022
The result means that Chelsea will now face one of Arsenal or Liverpool in the final of the competition, with the pair of clubs set to do battle on Thursday night.
But it remained a night of learning for both managers, and 101 takes a look at three things we learnt from the encounter.
1. Have Chelsea found their left-back replacement?
All the recent attention has been on Chelsea’s search for a fullback in the transfer market following the season-ending injury to Ben Chilwell
And while they may still look to bring Emerson back from his loan at Lyon, Malang Sarr proved that he was more than capable in the position should Tuchel opt for a back 4, as he did for both legs in this tie.
Chelsea are still trying to recall Emerson Palmieri as left back, Tuchel wants him. OL turned down first approach but Chelsea are pushing again – prepared to offer compensation 🔵 #CFC
Lucas Digne deal now looking very unlikely. Nothing advanced. Everton ask for permanent move. pic.twitter.com/BFi2AhhXJX
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 9, 2022
The defender, traditionally a centre-back, did himself no disservice either as an orthodox left back or, when Marcos Alonso entered the fray, on the left side of a back three.
And with so many defensive issues potentially facing Chelsea this season, and the futures of Rudiger and Andreas Christensen both in the air, Sarr may yet prove a brilliant addition to the squad.
2. VAR prevents farce
VAR was, for once, the hero of the evening, as it prevented a pair of farcical penalties being awarded to the home side.
#THFC have been awarded two penalties and scored a goal tonight…
…only for VAR to rule them out! 😬
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) January 12, 2022
With Chelsea 1-0 up and cruising, a challenge from Rudiger on the edge of the area saw Andre Marriner point to the spot, only for VAR to correctly show that the foul was a couple of yards outside the area.
Then, ten minutes into the second half, it was forced to intervene again after a perfect challenge from Kepa on Lucas Moura was deemed a penalty on field.
Without the technology, so often criticised (justifiably), it could have been a very different tie. As it was, Chelsea got the result they deserved.
3. Tottenham need investment
To compete with the big boys, Tottenham need investment.
More than that, they need investment in the right ares- it is difficult to think of a single transfer since that of Heung Min-Son that has been a success, and while the combined 100 million for Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy N’Dombele sometimes go under the radar, they are symptomatic of the major problem at the club. The money is spent in the wrong places.
Now, with reportedly little to spend in January, they cannot afford to skimp or get it wrong. Antonio Conte’s team selection showed this, with a lack of creativity from central midfield, a right back playing at left-wing-back, and no recognised striker to partner Harry Kane.
And with Conte’s notoriously short fuse if he feels that the club isn’t backing him, there could yet be fireworks if Daniel Levy doesn’t pull his chequebook out.
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Premier League table
|5||West Ham United||20||10||34|
|9||Brighton & Hove Albion||19||0||27|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||16|
|Jota, Diogo||Liverpool FC||10|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City||9|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||8|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||8|
|Ronaldo, Cristiano||Manchester United||8|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur||8|
|Smith-Rowe, Emile||Arsenal FC||8|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||8|
|Mount, Mason||Chelsea FC||7|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City||7|
|Maupay, Neal||Brighton & Hove Albion||7|
|Silva, Bernardo||Manchester City||7|
|Mahrez, Riyad||Manchester City||6|
|Saka, Bukayo||Arsenal FC||6|
|Gallagher, Conor||Crystal Palace||6|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United||6|
|Cornet, Maxwel||Burnley FC||6|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|Salisu, Mohammed||Southampton FC||0||6|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||0||6|
|Tarkowski, James||Burnley FC||0||6|
|Laporte, Aymeric||Manchester City||1||5|
|Neves, Ruben||Wolverhampton Wanderers||0||6|
|Bissouma, Yves||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||6|
|Skipp, Oliver||Tottenham Hotspur||0||6|
|James, Reece||Chelsea FC||1||4|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United||0||5|
|Silva, Bernardo||Manchester City||0||5|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||1||4|
|Cancelo, Joao||Manchester City||0||5|
|Robertson, Andy||Liverpool FC||1||4|
|Toney, Ivan||Brentford FC||0||5|
|McGinn, John||Aston Villa||0||5|
|Canos, Sergi||Brentford FC||0||5|
|Rice, Declan||West Ham United||0||5|
|Ritchie, Matt||Newcastle United||0||5|
|Alexander-Arnold, Trent||Liverpool FC||9|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||8|
|Bowen, Jarrod||West Ham United||7|
|Jesus, Gabriel||Manchester City||7|
|Pogba, Paul||Manchester United||7|
|Dennis, Emmanuel||Watford FC||5|
|Mount, Mason||Chelsea FC||5|
|James, Reece||Chelsea FC||5|
|Kovacic, Mateo||Chelsea FC||5|
|Cancelo, Joao||Manchester City||5|
|Robertson, Andy||Liverpool FC||5|
|Antonio, Michail||West Ham United||4|
|Mahrez, Riyad||Manchester City||4|
|Saka, Bukayo||Arsenal FC||4|
|Benrahma, Said||West Ham United||4|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||4|
|Rice, Declan||West Ham United||4|
|Redmond, Nathan||Southampton FC||4|
|Ronaldo, Cristiano||Manchester United||3|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur||3|