Harry Kane’s controversial VAR-assisted penalty goal made all the difference as Tottenham beat Chelsea 1-0 in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night. Despite Chelsea dominating possession for most parts of the game, it was Tottenham who emerged winners.
The much-anticipated semi-final was full of fireworks, as both teams dug deep for a positive result; and it was the home team who could afford a smile after winning the game by a narrow margin.
At some point, it was all Chelsea, with Tottenham players dropping deep into their own half trying to protect their slender lead- and it eventually paid off as the game ended 1-0 thanks to a well-taken penalty by Kane.
Maurizio Sarri was happy with his team's overall performance despite losing here again for the second time at Wembley. However, the Chelsea manager was particularly not happy with the referee’s tough decision of awarding a penalty to Tottenham in the first half. The Italian manager cut a frustrated figure on the touchline tasting defeat twice to Mauricio Pochettino this season.
This defeat comes at a time when Chelsea is going through a tough moment. The club is on the verge of losing one of their key players - Fabregas who is heading to Monaco this winter. The rumour of Callum Hudson-Odoi moving to Bayern Munich is refusing to go away and with injuries creeping in; this is perhaps the worst period for Sarri as the Chelsea manager.
However, there are reasons to cheer for Chelsea fans despite the painful defeat in the hands of their London rivals. The way Chelsea dominated proceedings here against an inspired Spurs team is a plus for Sarri's men heading into the second-leg at home. Honestly, the blues did not deserve to lose this one.
On a positive note, highly rated Chelsea youngster Hudson-Odoi was given the nod in the starting lineup ahead of Pedro and Kovacic. The talented youngster hardly disappointed. Chelsea fans were being treated to a Hudson-Odoi's showcase of skill matched by daunting runs, trickery plus incredible speeds which were causing Tottenham all sort of problems.
Chelsea dominated possession for long spells and created a lot of goal scoring opportunities, but the chances went begging. The blues had a total of 17 shots at goal with 5 on target, and were it not for the brilliance of the Spurs’ goalkeeper; the result could have been different.
Consequently, Tottenham has the advantage heading into the second-leg, but there is still 90 more minutes to play for at Stamford Bridge. With Chelsea now having the benefit of playing at home, there are reasons why the blues are more likely to take this game to Tottenham and perhaps pull out a result which would see them make it to the finals of the Carabao Cup.