The Blues were hugely impressive in the first half but ended up losing 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in regulation time. However, this was a game where the losing team could pick many positives from their performance. Ben Chilwell had a great outing at left-back, while Chelsea’s overall dominance of Mourinho’s side in the first half was hugely commendable.
The biggest positive, though, was the debut of Edouard Mendy, who completed a £22 million move from Stade Rennes to Stamford Bridge just a few days ago.
The Senegal international goalkeeper slotted seamlessly into Chelsea’s post and delivered an assured performance between the sticks. He may not have been able to save any of Tottenham’s penalties, or even correctly guess the direction of any them, but he was superb for 90 minutes.
Mendy made two great saves, which ensured the Blues preserved their lead. First, he showed quick reflexes to keep out Erik Lamela’s low shot from the right side. Then his agility also came to the fore in the second half when he parried away a goal-bound shot from Spurs debutant Sergio Reguillon.
Mendy was also very impressive in the aerial duels, often making attempts to come out and collect balls floated into the box.
“I thought he was very good,” Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said of Mendy in the aftermath of Chelsea’s Carabao Cup exit. "He made a couple of good saves, and one particularly good save."
"He came and caught a few balls, even the ones where he came and didn’t catch, the idea that he wants to be positive is not a bad thing. I'm very, very pleased with every part of his game, really," added Lampard.
With Willy Caballero and Kepa Arrizabalaga flattering to deceive in recent months, Mendy’s performance explains why Lampard was so desperate to sign him. Having struggled for a consistent man between the sticks for over 24 months, Chelsea may just have found a real shot-stopper in the Senegalese goalkeeper.
Published 30 Sep 2020, 17:30 IST