It was a thrilling derby encounter yesterday at the Bridge as we witnessed a great game of football in the second leg of the EFL cup semifinal. It was a much-awaited showdown between two arch-enemies where one team will definitely get eliminated from the competition.
The time had come for the two London rivals to lock horns for the second time in the EFL cup to stand a chance of meeting Mancity in final at Wembley.
Chelsea were already on the low after their defeat against Arsenal last weekend and also a goal down in the competition after their first leg loss to Spurs. However, the Blues needed to show a positive reaction after the manager slammed them for not having a fighting spirit especially in their loss against the Gunners. They were playing at home, so it was a huge plus for them to draw confidence in front of their fans and also ensure that they don’t lose to Spurs for the third time this season. To win the tie and go through, they only needed to win by 2 goals margin, anything short of that will either be an elimination for them or straight to penalties.
Spurs were already in good form but were a bit depleted due to Kane and Alli injuries. They already had the upper hand based on their first leg 1nil win, but only needed to avoid defeat to go through. Even though Spurs were going into the game without the services of Kane, Alli, and Son, the other players were motivated before the game to show that they are capable of being in the starting 11. It was a very important game for them to stand a chance of reaching a cup final after so many years.
It was a cool Thursday night at the bridge, the atmosphere was epic and the Chelsea supporters all pumped up and ready for what later became a thrilling EFL cup derby encounter.
On paper, it was a strong derby match between two arch-enemies and was a game where both teams had equal capabilities to win the game and go through to the finals.
It was a game of opposite emotions for the fans, but the Blues fans will definitely have a party after Chelsea finally came out on top.
Chelsea setup in their usual 4-3-3 formation, but with Giroud this time instead of hazard as the false 9. Spurs on the other hand, made use of the same 4-1-2-1-2 formation they have used against the other big sides this season.
The game began and both teams started with a very good intensity, but the Blues later took control of the game very early in the match and threatened the Spurs goal a lot before finally getting their reward in the 27th minute through a Kante goal before Hazard doubled the lead to give Chelsea the upper hand, but at the end, the tie had to be decided through a penalty shootout.
Chelsea First Goal
The first goal of the night came at the 27th minute after Chelsea continuous pressure. Kante rifled a low strike that saw the ball pass through in-between 3 Spurs players’ legs including the goalkeeper to put the Blues in front and give them hope. 1-0 was the score and 1-1 based on agg.
Chelsea Second Goal
Hazard scored the second goal a few minutes later in the 38th-minute mark, following a nice gameplay to find space for Hazard to fire the ball home for the all-important 2nil lead. After the second goal was scored, everyone thought it was going to be a walkover for Chelsea, but Spurs had a different plan for the second half which nearly worked out for them.
The scored their only goal very early in the second half through a Llorente header to give their supporters hope, but Chelsea were too strong for them to get another goal and avoid penalties.
Finally, the tie had to be decided through a penalty shoot-out as the Blues ran out 4-2 winners on penalties.
Hazard Plays Better With Giroud on the Pitch
It was clear that Hazard doesn’t really like the false 9 role as he is a player who loves to move around freely and touch the ball more. Anytime I watch Hazard play in his preferred left wing position especially with Giroud on the pitch, he seems to play so much better and enjoys the link up play between him and Giroud.
Emerson Deserves to be in the Starting 11
Each time Emerson plays, you can feel the smoothness in the gameplay down the left-hand side, as he is more of a natural left back and has very good qualities found in modern fullbacks. He has the speed to overlap and also track back on time, and has the dribbling ability and pace to beat his marker like we saw in the later part of the game yesterday where he got past his marker before putting in a perfect cross for Giroud who couldn’t get a good contact with the ball to avoid taking the game to penalties.
And that is a wrap…
What do you think about the game?
I would love to read your own opinions… Enjoy your day.