From Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Chelsea secured their place in the Carabao Cup final with a 1-0 victory at Spurs on Wednesday night, winning the tie 3-0 on aggregate.
Antonio Conte was unable to get one over his former side, who will play either Arsenal or Liverpool at Wembley on February 27.
Though Spurs began the game in the ascendancy, the first big chance went Chelsea’s way when Antonio Rudiger’s ball over the top was met by Romelu Lukaku, but Pierluigi Gollini – starting in place of rested club captain Hugo Lloris – denied the Belgian from close range.
But the Italian stopper won’t want to watch Chelsea’s opener back any time soon. Gollini came to try and meet an in-swinging corner but was beaten to the ball by Rudiger, whose header bounced in off the corner of the bar and post.
That seemed to knock the stuffing out of Tottenham, whose next big chances came just after the half hour mark. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s deflected shot sailed just past the Chelsea post, before Harry Kane was unable to get a decisive touch on Davinson Sanchez’s header from the resulting corner.
A slick breakaway saw Lucas Moura set Emerson Royal through, but the wing-back’s touch took him away from goal and made the eventual save for Kepa an easy one.
On the stroke of half-time, Spurs thought they were handed a lifeline when Rudiger brought down Hojbjerg on the edge of the area and referee Andre Marriner pointed to the penalty spot. However, a VAR check rectified this error and Tottenham were instead awarded a free-kick just outside the box.
Tottenham were awarded another spot kick after the break when Kepa was (somehow) adjudged to have fouled Lucas, but again this decision was reversed after a VAR check.
The Spanish goalkeeper was then at full stretch to deny Emerson Royal’s towering header from a Ben Davies cross, but nearly handed Spurs a lifeline when a stray pass to Jorginho ended with the hosts winning the ball high up and Kane converting with Kepa stranded, but the England captain was standing in an offside position and VAR again soured the mood of the Tottenham faithful.
After an extended period of stoppage time following a medical emergency in the Park Lane end of Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Chelsea’s passage to the final was confirmed.
Here are your player ratings…
Pierluigi Gollini (GK) – 2/10 – Was bad in the weekend win against Morecambe. Even worse here. Made a couple of saves but his critical error put the tie beyond Spurs.
Japhet Tanganga (CB) – 3/10 – Looked way out of his depth again, though wasn’t at fault for a goal so that’s an improvement on recent games.
Davinson Sanchez (CB) – 5/10 – Played with confidence. No real nous or awareness, but confidence at least.
Ben Davies (CB) – 4/10 – Outfought by Lukaku but at least kept Mount quiet.
Emerson Royal (RWB) – 3/10 – Rather alarmingly couldn’t get the better of Hudson-Odoi at either end.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (CM) – 4/10 – Brought his usual energy but it felt like Winks was manning the midfield alone at times.
Harry Winks (CM) – 4/10 – Tasked with doing a lot, but wasn’t quite able to carry that load.
Matt Doherty (LWB) – 2/10 – Offered absolutely nothing useful. At least he wasn’t actively of detriment to Spurs.
Giovani Lo Celso (AM) – 3/10 – Had plenty of chances to play a pass in behind or take a man on, but played as if his legs were made of jelly and crumbled under the spotlight.
Lucas Moura (CF) – 4/10 – One of those games where the ball ballooned off of Lucas rather than sticking to him.
Harry Kane (CF) – 5/10 – Put himself about but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Ryan Sessegnon (LWB, 64′ for Doherty) – 5/10 – Offered infinitely more than Doherty without being more than ‘meh’.
Bryan Gil (AM, 71′ for Lo Celso) – 5/10
Oliver Skipp (CM, 81′ for Winks) – N/A
Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK) – 5/10 – A quieter night than he would have expected. Got away with a tight offside call, however.
Andreas Christensen (CB) – 6/10 – Dropped a little too deep at times but was otherwise fine.
Antonio Rudiger (CB) – 7/10 – Showcased the best and worst of himself. Rose highest to land the knockout blow, his passing was either magnificent or detrimental, and his clumsiness nearly handed Spurs a route back into the tie when it seemed dead.
Malang Sarr (CB) – 7/10 – Impressive again on a rare start, playing high up the pitch and causing Spurs problems.
Cesar Azpilicueta (RWB) – 6/10 – Showed up, wore the captain’s armband, tucked his shirt in, got the win. A standard Azpilicueta game.
Jorginho (CM) – 7/10 – Demanded the ball and who could blame him with how easy it was to slice Spurs apart.
Mateo Kovacic (CM) – 7/10 – Looked silky if not as productive as he has been in recent weeks.
Callum Hudson-Odoi (LWB) – 8/10 – Excelled at both ends and was Chelsea’s best player over the 90 minutes.
Mason Mount (RW) – 5/10 – An unusually quiet game for Cobham’s finest.
Romelu Lukaku (CF) – 7/10 – Tottenham found it difficult to contain Lukaku, who will be disappointed he couldn’t take advantage of this mismatch with a goal for himself.
Timo Werner (LW) – 7/10 – Similarly dangerous without finding the net.
Thiago Silva (CB, 66′ for Christensen) – 6/10
Marcos Alonso (LWB, 66′ for Werner) – 5/10
Hakim Ziyech (RW, 66′ for Mount) – 6/10
N’Golo Kante (CM, 77′ for Kovacic) – N/A
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (CM, 82′ for Jorginho) – N/A