If the scheduled meeting between Arsenal and Liverpool was postponed following the request of the Reds, hit by the Covid-19, the EFL Cup offered us this Wednesday evening the first semi-final first leg between Chelsea and Tottenham at Stamford Bridge. Almost four months after the Blues’ great success with Spurs in the Premier League, the two teams therefore found themselves in another competition, and for the first leg. After the Lukaku episode and his shattering interview in Italy, Thomas Tuchel decided to start his Belgian striker in a 4-2-3-1. Opposite, Antonio Conte aligned his team in 3-4-3 with Lloris in the cages and the scorer Kane in tip. And for this shock, the public should not be late in the stands.
After a first opportunity for Lukaku (1st), who opted for the pass rather than the strike, the Blues struck thanks to Havertz. Marcos Alonso intercepted a bad pass from Tanganga to serve the German who, with a shot deflected by Sanchez, opened the scoring against Lloris (5th, 1-0). Stunned after this goal conceded quickly, Antonio Conte’s players could not raise their heads. The French goalkeeper even had to save his family in front of Havertz (12th), before a strike countered by Mount (15th). Behind, the rhythm of this first act went down considerably, and it was necessary to wait for the half hour of play to review an opportunity. Or rather a goal. Because on a free kick taken from the right, the unfortunate Tanganga cleared the ball with his head on Davies who scored against his camp (34th, 2-0).
Almost boring Spurs
The first period was more than complicated for the Spurs, who were not far from conceding a third goal from Lukaku, but the head of the Red Devil brushed against the post of Lloris (41st). To shake things up, at least to try, Antonio Conte replaced Doherty with Ndombélé at the break, while Thomas Tuchel launched Werner in place of Havertz. Changes that did not bring anything, and the first opportunity of this second act was for Tottenham, with this free kick from Kane diverted by Kepa (50th). A real battle in the midfield and fewer opportunities: the twenty-two actors had done less of the show since the resumption and Lloris won in front of Ziyech (53rd), before leaving a lob attempt from Werner on a superb pass of the Moroccan (66th).
As before half-time, the Blues were the most dangerous and Ziyech, again, tried his luck without hitting the frame (77th). As for the sidelines, the changes multiplied but Tottenham still offered nothing of interest on the lawn of Stamford Bridge. Spurs’ possession streaks were often long but faced with the pressing of the blues, Kane and his partners could not approach Kepa’s surface. The Spanish goalkeeper, however, remained vigilant on a final shot from Lo Celso (88th). In front of their home crowd, and at the end of a generally controlled match, Chelsea won 2-0 and took a good option for the final before the return match next Wednesday, at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
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EFL Cup: Chelsea easily dominate Tottenham and move closer to the final