Chelsea booked their spot in the Carabao Cup final as they eased past Tottenham 3-0 on aggregate.
Leading 2-0 from the first leg of their semi-final, Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger headed the only goal of the game early in the first half at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to seal their passage to Wembley.
They will face Arsenal or Liverpool in the final, with their delayed second leg getting under way on Thursday night
For Tottenham, it is one more opportunity gone this season to end their 14-year trophy drought since they won this competition in 2008. They are likely now left with just the FA Cup.
It was the perfect start for Chelsea. It took a little longer than it did to open the scoring in the first leg, but after 18 minutes they were in front on the night as Rudiger arrived at the right time to head home Mason Mount’s corner.
Spurs were left with an uphill battle, and they briefly thought they might have a way back into the game as Antonio Rudiger brought down Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg on 40 minutes and referee Andre Marriner pointed to the spot. But a VAR check correctly concluded the foul took place outside the box, and the home side made nothing of the resulting free-kick.
Just before the hour mark, VAR came to Marriner’s rescue again, as he pointed to the spot for another Spurs penalty, thinking that Kepa Arrizabalaga had felled Lucas Moura, but it was clear that the Chelsea goalkeeper had cleanly taken the ball.
After 64 minutes, Spurs finally thought they had found a way back into the tie as Moura fed Kane and he found the back of the net, but the England captain was correctly adjudged by VAR to be offside.
Antonio Conte introduced Ryan Sessegnon and then Bryan Gil, but it wasn’t to be for Spurs. The long wait goes on.
What the managers said…
Tottenham’s Antonio Conte: “I think the performance was much better than the performance in the first leg. The first half we struggled a bit, especially the way they tried to bring pressure without the ball, and I think in the second half the performance was good and the intensity was high.
“I think we deserved a better final result today, but I think that after the two games Chelsea deserved to reach the final. In this moment we can’t compare the two situations with Chelsea and Tottenham.”
Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel: “We started good and had big chances but then we didn’t play with fire. We allowed chances from easy and sloppy mistakes. We were lucky and almost gave a penalty away for absolutely no reason, maybe a bit of overconfidence. We then started well in the second half and the same happened in the last 20 minutes.
“A lack of focus and overconfidence and then we need luck not to have another penalty and another VAR decision with the offside. We can play much better. We need to play much better if we are to really deserve results like this. In long phases of the match we played well but we need to do better. I’m unhappy with the performance.”
Analysis: ‘Chelsea a class apart’
Jamie Redknapp on Sky Sports Football:
“Chelsea were a class apart. They dominated the game, certainly in the first half, they were so comfortable. Tottenham were off it and Chelsea are a team you have to be perfect against. Spurs got better second half but Chelsea were in control.
“They had another gear to go up to. When you look at the subs both teams made. No disrespect to Tottenham but Chelsea are bringing on N’Golo Kante and Thiago Silva and that’s the difference. With a couple of players out, Spurs didn’t have Son tonight, I think it shows you the gulf between the two teams. Hopefully if Antonio Conte gets the money he needs, they can get there but it will take time.”
Man of the Match: Antonio Rudiger
One sloppy moment aside for the foul on Hojbjerg that appeared briefly to have given Spurs a penalty, it was another impressive display from Rudiger. He looks as comfortable in the back four as he did in a back three. Chelsea will want to keep him at Stamford Bridge for as long as they can.
“We have confidence [to keep him] and have things to offer,” Tuchel told Sky Sports. “He is the player he is in a Chelsea shirt and in the Chelsea environment. I think he knows that very well.”
Jamie Redknapp on Sky Sports Football:
“You have to sign him up. If you were to let him go in the summer you’ll need to spend £50m to replace him and then have to give that player big wages.
“Chelsea are better off signing him and telling him how much of a massive part of the football club he is. He needs to feel love. It’s all there for him. He can achieve all the ambitions as the owner has always spent big money. They need to get him signed up quickly.”