Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur (4-2 on penalties): 5 talking points & tactical analysis | Carabao Cup 2018-19
Chelsea got the better of Tottenham Hotspur in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final through penalties, after the aggregate was leveled at 2-2. Heading into the home fixture, the Blues had to overturn a 1-0 score line in order to progress to the penultimate final.
They started strong and played with far more intensity and urgency than they had against Arsenal, and as a result their onslaught bore fruit as N'Golo Kante and Eden Hazard found the back of the net.
Kante beat a number of white shirts from his distant shot, which should have been saved by Paulo Gazzaniga, while Eden Hazard simply outfoxed the rest with a sumptuous left-footed finish.
Fernando Llorente's header threw the game wide open, but Chelsea could have and should have buried Spurs, as they had over 20 attempts on goal, most of which were clear-cut opportunities.
They won the penalties by 4-2, courtesy of goals from Willian, skipper Cesar Azpilicueta, Jorginho, and David Luiz. For Spurs, Eric Dier skied his shot above the frame of goal, while Arrizabalaga masterfully thwarted Lucas Moura's effort.
On that note, lets take a look at the major talking points from Chelsea's stunning victory over Spurs.
#1 Maurizio Sarri gets his playing XI spot on
Maurizio Sarri’s tactics and reluctance to tinker his playing XI have come under serious scrutiny in recent weeks. Be it Hazard’s position or the fact that his side utilise the same attacking shape, there’s been a lot to talk about with respect to the problems at Chelsea.
This time around however, Sarri did implement a few positive and rather effective changes. For starters, he deployed Olivier Giroud at the number 9 position again, which meant a great deal to Hazard. Not only did the Belgian thrive in his natural position, but also created chances and space for Giroud.
Mateo Kovacic, who hadn’t been at his best in the past couple of weeks, paved way for Ross Barkley. Sarri had been giving the nod to the Real Madrid loanee, but Barkley’s physical attributes and ability to play quick passes proved to be a vital contribution.
But the highlight of the team news was the inclusion of Emerson Palmieri in place of the first choice Marcos Alonso. The Spaniard had been leaking goals from his side, and his positional sense had been continuously drawing criticism. Emerson put up a fantastic shift down the left, which is sure to give Alonso a reason to work harder.