One leg of the Carabao Cup Semi Finals is over and it is the Tottenham boys that go into the second tie with the lead. And actually looking back on the game, I am happy with a 1-0 win, even just a win at all.
So our team consisted of the usual suspects, Dele, Eriksen, Son and Kane up top. Sissoko and Winks in the midfield. With Toby and Sanchez in the back, Rose and Trippier either side with Paulo Gazzaniga in between the sticks.
I thought we started the game fairly well, played some nice football, created a few half chances, grew into the game that the opposition also started well in. Chelsea had a few half chances also, shots from the edge or just outside of the box, falling mostly straight to Paulo in net. Up until the first goal, the only real chance falling to Kane, with an attempted bicycle kick straight at Kepa.
The real drama began when Toby played a delightful ball over the top to out number 10, who continued to run through only to appear to then be taken out by Kepa in Chelsea’s box. This caused the ever controversial VAR, (Virtual Assistant Referee), to step in a review both the offside and penalty call separately. After review, which showed Azpilicueta on the far-side playing Kane on, followed by Kepa making no contact with the ball, the penalty was rightfully rewarded in my opinion.
Kane slotted the ball home into his favoured bottom right corner, and we eventually saw out the lead until half time. Overall I’d say a pretty even half.
The second half however, a whole different story. It was a half of mostly backs-to-the-wall defending from the boys, attempting to keep Chelsea at bay, and lacking almost anything going forwards. I think again, similar to the Wolves game a couple of weeks back, our fatigue is beginning to show. Our players, Son in particular who has been on fine form recently, all looked very tired, so any counter attack opportunities were typically squandered.
However we managed to hang on to the lead and are heading to Stamford Bridge with a 1-0 lead. Looking back on the game we definitely should’ve conceded, Chelsea played very well second half, thus reflecting my happiness on the overall victory. A lead is better than nothing and we head to the reverse fixture with a cushion.
Overall I think Gazzaniga had another great game, along with our entire defence. And I also want to give a bit of recognition to Callum Hudson-Odoi, who looks a very talented young player, and someone I will be excited to see in an England shirt in the future.
Predicting the second leg is tough, as both teams have the ability to turn up. We will be without Son still, which will be a massive miss for us. However, we usually, and this season in particular, tend to play better away from home. We managed to get a win at the Bridge last season, for the first time in a long time, and here’s hoping we can do the same again. The timing of the game comes at a rough time, being played on a Thursday, and only days before our FA Cup 4th round tie at Selhurst Park, in what will no doubt be a tough game. We want to be winning one of the two, to keep our trophy hopes alive.
Nevertheless, I am going to go with a 1-1 score at Stamford Bridge, sending Spurs through to the final 2-1 on aggregate.
Here’s to a good second leg, a memorable result, and our first final for a few years.
As always thanks for reading.