Player ratings: Chelsea dominate woeful Tottenham backline to cruise into Carabao Cup final

Antonio Rudiger celebrates his goal for Chelsea against Tottenham with Romelu Lukaku, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen, January 2022

Antonio Conte was left to rue his team selection after Chelsea dominated a woeful Tottenham backline to progress to the Carabao Cup final.

The Spurs boss rested Hugo Lloris for the second leg and started back-up goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini, who totally missed a corner when rushing out to punch clear and allowed Antonio Rudiger to head in a first-half goal which effectively killed the tie.

Conte also stuck by Japhet Tanganga, who lost his man for the goal, even though he had already a nightmare game in the first leg.

The Blues were by far the better team in the rest of the opening 45. Their net was barely threatened by the home side.

Tottenham came out fighting after the break but what would’ve been Harry Kane’s 250th goal of his career was overturned for offside.

Chelsea saw out the win to progress to Wembley for next month’s showdown 3-0 on aggregate.

They’ll face either Arsenal or Liverpool, who still have to play both legs of their semi-final after a Covid-19 enforced postponement last week.

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Tottenham (3-4-3)

Pierluigi Gollini: Saved well from Lukaku to keep it level but then had a howler for the opener which left his side with an uphill task. 4

Japhet Tanganga: After a poor first-leg performance, Tanganga had a torrid time against the Chelsea frontline again. He lost Rudiger for the opener and conceded both possession and fouls. 3

Davinson Sanchez: Poor header afforded Werner an opportunity at goal early on and he gave possession away sloppily again soon after. 4

Ben Davies: Caught out by a cross-field pass which gave Chelsea an opportunity. Not a great fit for a back three. 5

Emerson Royal: Got forward well on occasion, having one tame shot and a decent header both saved. Defensively looked weak with Chelsea targeting his side. 5

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg: No nonsense performance but let down by those behind him. Had a shot from the edge of the box which nearly deflected in for 1-1 on the night and also nearly won a penalty when fouled just outside the box. 6

Harry Winks: Was clear to see there was a difference in class between him and his midfield opposition. Really poor pass when Kane was in space and in on goal. 5

Matt Doherty: Very obviously out of position at left wing-back. Not necessarily his fault but didn’t threaten one bit going forward. Probably one of many headed for the exit door under Conte. 5

Lucas: Carried the ball forward well, as he always does, before sending a poor strike well wide in the first half. Made some good forward passes. 6

Giovani Lo Celso: Produced a very good block for a Sarr shot which was goal-bound. Wanted to get on the ball as Tottenham searched for a way back into the tie and nearly helped with a great corner delivery which Kane narrowly missed. 7

Harry Kane (C): Poor free-kick straight into the wall from a good position and totally pocketed by the Chelsea centre-back duo. Didn’t get his pass right for Lucas which could’ve otherwise resulted in a goal. 4


Ryan Sessegnon (on for Doherty, 65): Understandably gave Tottenham more of an outlet down the left but didn’t make an impression. 5

Bryan Gil (on for Lo Celso, 71): Gave the ball away in a promising position in the box. 4

Oliver Skipp (on for Winks, 81): N/A

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Chelsea (4-2-2-2)

Kepa Arrizabalaga: Had absolutely nothing to do in the first half. Produced a well-timed challenge on Lucas which was rightly overturned from a penalty before saving well from Emerson’s header. 7

Cesar Azpilicueta (C): Did exactly what was asked of him in the opening 45, which wasn’t a lot with Chelsea mainly attacking down the left and Tottenham on the same side. Same again after the break. 6

Andreas Christensen: Committed a clumsy foul on Kane which gave away a dangerous free-kick. Produced a couple of good blocks after that and a solid tackle early on in the second half. 6

Antonio Rudiger: A great defender yet does always have a ridiculous challenge in him which is to the detriment of his team. Brave to head in the opener and then dived in stupidly on Hojbjerg which was changed from a penalty to a free-kick. Rectified that with a bruising block on a breaking Kane, who then skipped past him after the restart leading to a dangerous break. 7

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Malang Sarr: Marauded forward down the left wing in the first half with positive energy, but that did leave him exposed on one occasion up against Emerson. 6

Jorginho: Controlled the midfield as Chelsea fans have become accustomed to seeing him do with some sharp passes. Played a glorious, defence-splitting ball which Mount couldn’t capitalise on. 8

Mateo Kovacic: Really solid just as his midfield partner was. Could keep Kante out of the team with his recent performances. 7

Callum Hudson-Odoi: Nice effort on goal which forced a save from Gollini in the first half. 6

Mason Mount: Squandered a good opportunity with a poor touch after Jorginho had played him in. 5

Romelu Lukaku: Great work to make an opening for himself 10 minutes in but couldn’t find the back of the net with his strike. Enjoyed being one-v-one with any of the Tottenham backline and linked the attack well. Fired over when he should’ve done better with a volley in the box. 6

Timo Werner: Was his usual busy self and worked very well with his strike partner. Put a cross right on his head but Lukaku couldn’t find the target. 7


Thiago Silva (on for Christensen, 66): Slotted into the backline as Chelsea saw the game out. 6

Marcos Alonso (on for Werner, 66): Great cross for Lukaku who should’ve done better with his volley. 6

Hakim Ziyech (on for Mount, 66): Nearly made an instant impression when he robbed Hojbjerg on the edge of the box before firing straight into a defender. 6

N’Golo Kante (on for Kovacic, 77): N/A

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (on for Jorginho, 82): N/A