Chelsea were hoping to build on the weekend’s entirely undramatic 2-0 win by beating Newcastle and reaching the semifinals of the League Cup. Unfortunately, we took that lack-of-drama directive too literally for almost the entire 90+ minutes, and forgot to generate enough drama in front of the Newcastle goal.
The first-half performance wasn’t terrible, per se — certainly not compared to some of our recent efforts including against this very same Newcastle side a few weeks ago — but any of that decent-to-good work was completely undone by one absurd sequence of individual errors that gifted a goal to Callum Wilson.
Before that, Gallagher had hit the crossbar, while after Broja had a goal ruled out (correctly) for offside, and Sterling saw an effort blocked on the goal line by Bruno G who literally put his family jewels on the line. Sterling saw a couple more chances go begging, and while we had come close to creating opportunities with some good combinations in tight spaces in the area, the final ball was lacking.
The second-half continued in much the same vein, with Chelsea generating a couple decent chances but not taking advantage. Jackson put an effort wide after good work from Broja and Sterling drew a good save from the Newcastle goalkeeper.
Nkunku finally made his entrance in the 69th minute, but things didn’t really get any nicer from there. There was one glorious opportunity for him on the counter, but Sterling made a mess of a simple square ball. Story of the game, really.
But just when it looked like we were heading out with a whimper, Newcastle, who had yet to concede a goal in this season’s competition, gift-wrapped an equalizer, which Mudryk gleefully took advantage of in stoppage time. How festive!
And then there was plenty of drama indeed in the penalty shootout, with Chelsea prevailing, 4-2: Djordje Petrović the instant hero.
- One change from the weekend, with Enzo coming in for Mudryk
- Enzo replaced by Broja on the half-hour, after reportedly feeling unwell. Broja goes up top, with Jackson wide left, mostly
- Gusto on at the half, like-for-like for Colwill at left back; switches to right once Maatsen on
- Nkunku gets his 20 as expected
- CHELSEA PENALTIES: Palmer (scores), Gallagher (scores), Nkunku (scores), Mudryk (scores)
- NEWCASTLE PENALTIES: Wilson (scores), Trippier (miss), Bruno G (scores), Ritchie (Petrovic saves!)
- Newcastle still haven’t beaten Chelsea at the Bridge since 2012.
- Next up: Wolves away on Christmas Eve