Date : –  12th January 2022 Kick off : –  19.45
Competition : –  League Cup Semi-Final Second Leg Venue : –  Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Crowd : –  45,603
Referee : –   Andre Marriner (West Midlands) Linesmen : – Mr. Edward Smart; Mr. Scott Ledger
Fourth official : – Robert Jones
VAR official : – Mike Dean
Weather : –  Dry, chilly
Chelsea kicked off the first half attacking the Park Lane end
Playing time : –   90 + 12 minutes


     None   Rudiger   17m 09s


22.   Pierluigi GOLLINI 1.   Kepa ARRIZABALAGA
12.   EMERSON Royal 28.   Cesar AZPILICUETA  (c)
25.   Japhet TANGANGA 4.   Andreas CHRISTENSEN  (  6.   Thiago SILVA  66)  
6.   Davinson SANCHEZ 2.   Antonio RUDIGER 
33.   Ben DAVIES 31.   Matar SARR
2.   Matt DOHERTY (  19.   Ryan SESSEGNON  65)      
5.   JORGINHO  (  12.   Ruben LOFTUS-CHEEK  82)  
18.   Giovani LO CELSO  (  11.   BRYAN Gil  71)   8.   Mateo KOVACIC  (  7.   N’Golo KANTE  77)  
8.   Harry WINKS  (  29.   Oliver SKIPP  81)    
5.   Pierre-Emile HOJBJERG 19.   Mason MOUNT  (  22.   Hakim ZIYECH  66)  
20.   Callum HUDSON-ODOI
27.   Lucas MOURA     
10.   Harry KANE  (c) 9.   Romelu LUKAKU
11.   Timo WERNER  (  3.   Marcos ALONSO  66)  
Substitutes Substitutes
1.   Hugo LLORIS (c) 13.
14.   Joe RODON 17.   SAUL
48.   Maksim PASKOTSI 29.   Kai HAVERTZ
20.   DELE Alli 10.   Christian PULISIC
42.   Harvey WHITE   
44.   Dane SCARLETT  


Manager : – Antonio Conte Manager : –  Thomas Tuchel
Kit Supplier : – Nike Kit Supplier : – Nike
Shirt Sponsor : – AIA Shirt Sponsor : –  3
Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – Hyaundai
Colours : –
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Images of kits courtesy of the marvellous Colours of Football website


Spurs were knocked out of the League Cup at the semi-final stage by a single goal that gave Chelsea a 3-0 aggregate win, but there was an improved performance by the side in a game that had three VAR interventions and the game being stopped while a medical emergency was dealt with.  In all honesty, the game showed the gap between the two sides with Chelsea easing through without getting out of second gear, while we did give it a bit more of a go in the second half, with more aggression rattling the Chelsea players and forcing Tuchel into a number of substitutions to shore up the side, but the early goal killed the first half for Tottenham.

Conte’s side looked lop-sided again, with Doherty on the left, expected to push forward and with Gollini preferred to Lloris in goal.  But the match had started quite well with Chelsea resorting to trying to put our danger men (Lo Celso and Moura) out of the game with some snide tackles and a free-kick given 25 yards out saw Kane hit the wall with the shot from it.  Chelsea had a good chance when Gollini came for a long ball into the area, but Sanchez headed it out but only to Werner 20 yards out and he tried to lob the Spurs keeper only to put it over the top of the goal.  They went even closer after 10 minutes, when Lukaku was too strong for Davies and turned him on the left side of the goal before firing in a low shot that Gollini saved with his legs.  The ball then pinballed off Lukaku and Sanchez, going towards our goal, but fortunately, it went wide.

Spurs were winning the ball off Chelsea higher up the pitch, but it only produced a shot wide by Lucas and one that was blocked from Kane. Chelsea then had an effort by Sarr that was blocked by Lo Celso, who slid across in front of it.  Spurs cleared that corner, but in the 18th minute, Gollini came for one, didn’t get there and the ball went into the Spurs net off the back of the contemptible Rudiger’s head.  Making a point of celebrating in front of the Tottenham fans in the South-West corner, the man who complained of being the victim of racism here is clearly not beyond inciting fans by his actions.  It was Spurs who needed the early goal to make the tie competitive, but with Chelsea getting it, you could see the Tottenham players’ heads drop.  

Chelsea were able to play the ball about for the rest of the half, with Spurs failing to chase them down and they could pick and choose when they wanted to go forward.  Gollini pushed a shot from Hudson-Odoi wide when he came in off the left wing.  We did get a few moves going forward and when the ball was played wide to Doherty who had to take it first time on his left foot, he found Kane at the near post and his shot was blocked with the ball coming back outside the box for Pierre Hojbjerg to shoot, with a deflection taking it over for a corner.  Sanchez won the ball at the near post when it came in and the ball travelled to the far post, where Kane was just unable to get to it.  Lucas spotted Emerson Royal breaking into the box on the right side, but one touch too many meant that the resulting shot was weak and directed straight at Kepa.

There seemed a way back when Hojbjerg took Kane’s pass and moved into the right hand channel where Rudiger brought him down.  In real time, it looked like the first challenge was outside the box, but as Hojbjerg tried to keep his feet, the Chelsea defender had continued his challenge and inside the box he brought the Spurs midfielder down.  VAR reviewed it and showed it on the screen and Hojbjerg clearly fell over his own feet in the second part of the foul, so a free-kick outside the box was given and it was crashed into the wall by Lo Celso.

The half finished with Ben Davies shooting a loose ball that had come out of the Chelsea box, but it went wide.  While there were some moments when Spurs looked to go forward, there were too many times when we stood off Chelsea, giving them time and space to play and allowing them to bully us when we had the ball.  Trying to come back from three goals behind on aggregate was a task that was surely beyond us, so we needed to show that we can live with them (even if they were at half-pace), with a league game coming up in a couple of weeks time.

Rudiger had another header from a corner, but put it over the bar a couple of minutes into the second half.  The team were playing some more incisive, first-time passing and Winks over-hit a pass through to Kane after four quick passes had caught Chelsea’s players out of position.  In the 56th minute, it looked as though a penalty might give Tottenham a glimmer of hope, with Marriner pointing to the spot after Kane had fed the ball to Moura, who was brought down by Kepa.  VAR looked at it and Kepa had got the ball first and Lucas was brought down as his momentum took him into the goalkeeper, so Chelsea escaped again, but not before their players were surrounding the referee for the second time in the match over a decision that had gone against them.

Emerson brought a save from Kepa when a cross from the left wing was whipped in by Davies after Azpilicueta slipped, with his header being kept out at the far post as the Brazilian met the cross ten yards from goal.  Th goalkeeper was trying to be too clever in playing the ball out with his feet with 64 minutes gone and Hojbjerg won the ball off Jorginho just outside the box.  Moura picked it up and played it to his right to Harry Kane in the box and he drilled it low across Rudiger and into the goal.  However, with the keeper trying to recover his mistake, he was on the edge of the box and there was only one defender between Kane and the goal, so when VAR looked at it, the decision went against Tottenham again.

Ryan Sessegnon replaced Doherty and Chelsea made two subs to add fresh legs, with one of them- Ziyech – hitting a shot at goal that Sanchez threw himself in the way of and then Lukaku volleyed a good chance way into the upper areas of the North Stand.  Bryan Gil had come on for Lo Celso and he linked well with Royal for the wing-back to cross, but it was low into the six yard box, allowing Kepa to fall on the ball and Winks tried a shot on his left foot from 25 yards out that kept rising over the bar. 

With three minutes left, the fans in the South Stand were waving and whistling to bring to the attention of the referee that there was someone in need of medical attention halfway up the seating.  Stewards and medics were quickly on the scene, but play stopped for around four minutes, with the person who was being attended to not being carried out.

When the game re-started, Chelsea were happy to concede a few free-kicks (none in a dangerous position) and Spurs won a couple of corners, but nothing came of them as the game ended.

Spurs gave a lot more in the second half and Chelsea had to resort to the dark arts to break up play when Tottenham were putting their goal under threat.  VAR decisions aside, which, like it or not, were all correct, Spurs rarely looked like scoring and the transfer window seems increasingly important to Conte’s plans and maybe his continued presence in the dug-out (or out of it most of the time).  Some people were moaning on the way out about some of the players, but the system didn’t seem constructed to go at Chelsea from the off, which is what Spurs needed … an early goal to put doubts in the Pensioners’ minds.  The way Chelsea controlled the midfield and passed the ball around was the area we really needed to win and with wing-backs getting caught out of position when we were attacking, it left gaps that needed covering.  The loss of Son, Romero and Dier obviously made a difference to our side, but the squad strength is what Conte will be looking at and expecting the backing from the Chairman, but are you going to get quality in the January window and how many players will be leaving if we are bringing in new additions ?

The league game at Stamford Bridge is only two weeks away, but will we see a much changed Tottenham side then ?

Austin Friars




Liverpool Woolwich Wanderers