Chelsea Still Have A Leg To Stand On
The drawing of a familiar foe in tournament play is always the double edge sword a team does not enjoy to address. Lately, Tottenham has had Chelsea’s number. Spurs have beaten the Blues in their past two Premier League meetings. Chelsea will hope to get off to a good start on this two-leg matchup with their London rivals. With FA Cup play picking back up in two weeks and European play returning next month, player rotations will be essential. That being said, when these two teams meet, it is always a big game.
Less Is More
Chelsea’s theme all season has seemed to be slow starts. Vigor and little execution is an odor the blues seem to be unable to shake. The blues play early on was very promising especially from the constant improving Callum Hudson-Odoi. The eighteen year old who has drawn the eyes of Bayern Munich has made his presence known in recent matches. The Blues intensity and conviction were prevalent early in the match, however their attention was lacking. This proved costly in the 26th minute. Chelsea were caught flat-footed when an over the top ball found Harry Kane. The lapse in focus forced Kepa into a sloppy tackle awarding Tottenham a penalty which was easily converted. As troublesome as this mistake was, it would not take the wind out of the sails of the blues. Hudson-Odoi would continue to shine throughout the half.
Chelsea seemingly dominating the first half found themselves behind. The constant pressure throughout the game on Spurs back line would see their famous attack force held dormant. Chelsea’s best chance would come in the 59th minute off a corner kick. Barkley would flick it on to the back post where Andreas Christensen would find himself all alone. The Dane would shank a sure-fire equalizer wide of the net. The blues chances would continue to come, but once again, the result would not be. Uncharacteristically of Spurs, they would see themselves constantly under fire and unable to form a proper attack out of the back. Spurs would only enjoy about 40% of possession as they would hold onto the one goal lead heading into the second leg of the competition.
One And Done
The blues will feel that they left a lot of chips on the table today. Although away goals no longer supply an advantage in the cup anymore, Chelsea would have loved equalizing the aggregate going into the second leg. Chelsea will be hosting 15th place Newcastle this weekend while Spurs will be welcoming a resurgent Manchester United. The match between United and Spurs will be very essential for shaping out the final four in the league. Chelsea will be hoping for a United win in order to gain ground on their London rivals who currently are third in the table. The Spurs and blues will play their second leg of the Carabao Cup Semi-finals on the 24th.
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