Spot-on Spurs leave Chelsea feeling Blue

Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Chelsea
(Tottenham Hotspur won 5-4 on penalties)

Jose Mourinho finally got one over Frank Lampard as Spurs and Chelsea were separated by a penalty shootout following a hard-fought Carabao Cup fourth-round tie at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Having suggested he might prioritize European football over the domestic cup, Mourinho made nine changes to his starting line-up from Sunday. However, there was still no place for Dele Alli – the England midfielders’ future increasingly looking away from N17.

But it was a slow start from the home side as slick Chelsea dominated. Debutant, Sergio Reguilon, had his pocket picked by skipper, Cesar Azpilicueta, who in turn teed up Timo Werner to fire low through a clutch of bodies and beyond the helpless Hugo Lloris for his first goal in a Blue shirt.

Gedson was thwarted by Kurt Zouma, while Edouard Mendy used his feet to good effect, rebuffing Erik Lamela’s low, angled drive. But lacking punch and minimal possession, Spurs offered very little threat during the opening period.

Mendy expertly pushed over as Reguilon – seeking redemption for his early error – sent a powerful strike goalwards immediately after the restart.

Fikayo Tomori’s timely intervention denied Steven Bergwijn a sight at goal. Nevertheless, Tottenham had returned with a flea in their ear and was now pressing with a little more intent.

With Chelsea’s resolve remaining strong, Mourinho threw Harry Kane into the fray for the final twenty-minutes. Werner almost swiftly ensured the England skipper an unnecessary cameo with a low drive which Lloris did well to deal with, while Callum Hudson-Odoi perhaps should have done better after fashioning a decent opening.

Kane passed up a good chance to level the tie – firing over after skipping past Kurt Zouma. But with six minutes remaining, Lamela steadied himself and slotted home after Reguilon had picked him out from the left.

Nine perfect spot-kicks left the pressure on Chelsea’s. Unfortunately for the 21-year-old, his effort clipped the outside of an upright after Kane had sent Mendy the wrong way to give the North Londoners an advantage.

Spurs now turn their attention to the UEFA Europa League when they face Maccabi Haifa at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (8pm).

Tottenham Hotspur: Hugo Lloris (Capt), Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier, Japhet Tanganga (Harry Kane 70’), Serge Aurier, Gedson Fernandes (Pierre-Emile Højbjerg 63’), Tanguy Ndombele, Sissoko, Sergio Reguilon, Steven Bergwijn (Lucas Moura 76’), Erik Lamela Subs not used: Joe Hart (GK), Matt Doherty, Davinson Sanchez, Ben Davies

Booked: Serge Aurier (foul), Japhet Tanganga (foul)
Goals: Erik Lamela 84’

Chelsea: Edouard Mendy, Cesar Azpilicueta (Capt), Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori, Ben Chilwell (Emerson Palmieri 66’), Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic (N’Golo Kanté 70’), Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount, Timo Werner, Olivier Giroud (Tammy Abraham 76’) Subs not used: Kepa Arrizabalaga (GK), Ross Barkley, Reece James, Kai Havertz

Booked: Mateo Kovacic (foul), Jorginho (foul)
Goals: Timo Werner 19’

Referee: Lee Mason
Assistants: Mark Scholes and Timothy Wood
Fourth Official: Andre Marriner

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]