Chelsea defeated Tottenham 1-0 to go through to the EFL Cup final
The visitors had an overwhelming advantage in the tie, having triumphed with a 2-0 victory on home turf last week.
Chelsea all but put the tie to bed when Rudiger took advantage of a defensive mix-up to slot the ball home off his back in the 18th minute.
Tottenham upped the ante in search of an equalizer and went close through Lucas Moura and Harry Kane. The home side were also awarded a penalty on the stroke of halftime. However, referee Andre Mariner reversed his decision after VAR reviews showed Rudiger’s challenge was outside the area.
Spurs started the second half strongly but were let down by indecision in the final third. They also found the back of the net through Harry Kane but the goal was disallowed for offside.
There was a brief delay towards the end of the game due to a medical condition in the stands but thankfully, it was effectively handled.
Kepa Arrizabalaga made a couple of decent saves in the closing stages of the second half but was rarely tested in what was a professional and routine display from Chelsea.
The victory sees Thomas Tuchel’s side progress to the final where they will take on either Liverpool or Arsenal.
Here are the hits and flops from the game.
Flop: Pierluigi Gollini (Tottenham)
Gollini made several errors in the game
Pierluigi Gollini joined Tottenham from Atalanta last summer, marking a return to English football for the Italian goalkeeper.
The 26-year-old had previously spent one season at Aston Villa before signing for Atalanta in 2017. With La Dea, Gollini was a key part of their fairytale rise to the upper echelons of continental football but has had to make do with a bit-part role at Tottenham.
Antonio Conte’s decision to start with his second-choice goalkeeper in a crucial cup semi-final backfired, as Gollini looked out of his depth and uncomfortable with the ball at his feet.
His hesitation and lack of command in the area was responsible for Chelsea breaking the deadlock, with his tame punch rebounding off Rudiger into the net.
Hit: Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea)
Rudiger scored the winning goal
Antonio Rudiger’s future at Chelsea is in doubt but the Germany international reminded everyone of his abilities with a commanding display against Tottenham.
The former AS Roma man was a colossus at the back and did not give the Spurs attackers any breathing room. He was also decisive at the other end, with his goal helping Chelsea gain a stronger foothold in the tie.
Flop: Lucas Moura (Tottenham)
Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea – Carabao Cup Semi Final Second Leg
Lucas Moura had an off-day against Chelsea, although the same can be said about several of his Tottenham teammates.
The Brazilian has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the managerial change at Tottenham and has thrived under Antonio Conte’s guidance.
Moura led the attack alongside Harry Kane. While the England international was probably the only Spurs player to emerge with credit, his strike partner failed to sparkle.
The 29-year-old showed indecision on several occasions in attack, while his finishing and final balls also left a lot to be desired.
Hit: Kepa Arrizabalaga (Chelsea)
Edouard Mendy’s absence as he attempts to help Senegal win a maiden international tournament has seen Kepa reclaim the number one spot at Stamford Bridge.
The world’s most expensive goalkeeper has had an eventful but underwhelming spell in London since joining the Blues from Athletic Bilbao in 2019.
Kepa was largely untested in the Chelsea goal as the lethargic Tottenham attack struggled to create chances across the 180 minutes of the tie.
However, on the few occasions that the home side managed to find space in behind, the Spain international was on hand to deny them with exquisite saves.
The pick of the bunch came when he dived to his left to keep Emerson Royal’s header from creeping into the bottom corner. He also denied Ryan Sessegnon in injury time.
There was a minor scare when his underhit pass to Jorginho allowed Kane to find the back of the net but the goal was rightly disallowed for a marginal offside decision.
Flop: Andre Marriner
Andre Marriner was in the spotlight
Andre Marriner is one of the most experienced referees in the English top-flight and it came as no surprise when he was handed officiating duties in this marquee clash.
The last thing any referee wants is to be in the spotlight in such high-profile games but that proved to be the case with Andre Marriner tonight.
He was initially overruled by the VAR after wrongly awarding a penalty to Tottenham in the first half even though contact was made outside the box.
His second wrong decision came after the break when he adjudged that Moura had been fouled by Kepa in the box even though it was pretty clear that contact was first made with the ball.
The VAR came into play once more to overrule a wrongly awarded goal, with Harry Kane having been offside when the ball was played to him.