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Tottenham 1-0 Chelsea, League Cup semifinal first leg: Post-match reaction

Improvement still needed

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Carabao Cup: Semi-Final First Leg Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Whoever looked for a reenactment of our first match-up at Wembley this season, where Tottenham just ran Chelsea ragged in the first half to kickstart a 3-1 victory, was left disappointed. The Spurs in the first leg of the League Cup semifinal were simply not as intense — and reckless, as one could say — as they were back in November, pinning Chelsea against the wall and taking the reins of the game.

That gave way to attempts to exploit Chelsea’s high-line, as the Blues dominated possession and were unable to get into good shooting positions despite the best efforts from star Eden Hazard and wonderkid Callum Hudson-Odoi, the boy on a mission tonight. It eventually worked out for them as one of the lofted ball targeted at Harry Kane turned into a penalty earned and converted by the English striker.

The totally undeserved goal in terms of playing volume deflated Chelsea, who came into the match with renewed confidence thanks to their 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest last weekend. But the low spirit lasted only a few minutes, as we kicked into gear once again in the last minutes of the first half.

More impetus was needed from Chelsea, and that is what they brought in the second half. But that alone would not be enough to breach Tottenham, who were happy to run the clock down and take a 1-0 advantage to the second leg two weeks from now.

  • Interesting option upfront, going for mobility and flair with Eden Hazard in favour of a traditional centre-forward such as Olivier Giroud, who was on the bench today.
  • Still on strikers, Álvaro Morata missed today’s game because of a minor hamstring issue.
  • Subs are Pedro in place of Willian, Kovacic for Barkley and Giroud filling in for Hudson-Odoi.
  • It’s only the first leg. No need to panic!
  • Next up: Newcastle at the Bridge for the Premier League.


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