The Carabao Cup semi-finals are here and despite calls for the format to be changed to ease the fixtures congestion, they will still be taking place over two legs.
Tottenham travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in the first leg of the tie, as Antonio Conte looks secure silverware early in his reign at Spurs. With the north London club out of the Europa Conference League, this is surely Tottenham’s best chance of a trophy this season.
Romelu Lukaku is back in contention for the Blues, after he apologised to Thomas Tuchel and the club following his interview that saw him dropped for the weekend clash against Liverpool. Whether he comes straight back into the starting lineup is less certain.
With positive Covid cases, injuries and players at the Africa Cup of Nations, both managers may not have too many options when it comes to picking their sides tonight.
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54 mins: Really good move from Chelsea, but they don’t make enough of it.
Werner turns his man and brings it inside, firing it in to Lukaku. He controls and lays it off to Ziyech, who curls an effort first time at Lloris. Had a lot of time.
Ndombele then has a strike from range for Spurs… miles over the bar.
52 mins: Sarr with a loose pass and Tottenham can get on the attack. Azpilicueta puts the pressure on though and forces Spurs back.
Ndombele goes down wanting a free-kick, but he’s not going to get it.
51 mins: Saul with another brilliant challenge as Son drives forward, that was looking promising for Tottenham.
Werner then uses his pace to get Chelsea up the pitch, before Sanchez slides in to put it out for a throw-in.
49 mins: Kane to take 20 yards out… goes to the keeper’s side and Kepa palms it away relatively easily.
Much, much better from Spurs already.
48 mins: This is a great chance for Spurs.
Ndombele immediately involved and he drives inside… goes down under a challenge from Sarr, and he wins the free-kick. Dangerous position.
46 mins: Well the early signs are that half-time has woken Spurs up!
Lucas Moura with a good run down the right wing and he digs out a dangerous cross. Son looks like he’ll get on the end of it, but Azpilicueta covers well to head it away.
A change from both sides at the break. Werner on for Havertz for Chelsea, while Ndombele replaces Doherty for Spurs.
Looks like a switch to a back four for the visitors.
Reminder that there’s no away goals rule tonight, so Spurs don’t have that to encourage them in the second-half.
If it stayed like this they’d still be in with a shout going into the second leg, but they would obviously love to get at least a goal back.
Spurs boss has seen enough…
The stats show how dominant Chelsea were.
69% possession for the hosts, with 10 shots. Tottenham have failed to have a single attempt in the first 45 minutes.
You’d imagine Conte has plenty to say at half-time after that…