Chelsea into EFL Cup final after shootout win over Spurs
Chelsea will face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final after beating Tottenham 4-2 on penalties at Stamford Bridge.
Goals from N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard had seen Chelsea overturn Spurs’ first-leg lead inside 38 minutes, but Fernando Llorente’s header ensured the semi-final second leg ended 2-2 on aggregate.
With neither side able to find a winner, spot-kicks were needed and Eric Dier and Lucas Moura missed for Spurs, allowing David Luiz to fire the winner from 12 yards.
The dramatic victory means Chelsea will take on holders City in the final on February 24 at Wembley, where Maurizio Sarri has the chance to win the first trophy of his managerial career.
Sarri demanded a response from his players after Saturday’s below-par performance at Arsenal, and that was exactly what he got as Chelsea responded to their manager’s dressing down to turn the tie on its head inside 45 minutes.
Spurs’ first-leg advantage lasted less than half an hour as a cleared corner fell for Kante on the edge of the area, and his scuffed shot fizzed past Paulo Gazzaniga, courtesy of a deflection off Moussa Sissoko.
Tottenham added Ben Davies to their mounting list of injuries on 33 minutes and Hazard soon made matters worse, applying the finishing touch to a slick Chelsea attack to put the hosts ahead on aggregate for the first time.
Hazard looked to add a third in first-half stoppage-time but Toby Alderweireld was deemed to have made enough contact with the ball while challenging his compatriot from behind, preventing a certain goal.
Within five minutes of the restart, though, Spurs were back on level terms as Llorente outmuscled David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger to reach a brilliant Danny Rose cross and powered a header into the back of the net.
That goal gave Spurs a timely shot in the area and ignited the cup tie, with tempers flaring on 56 minutes after Kante dived in on Rose in front of the baying home crowd.
What started off as a passive game was now frenetic. Hazard should have restored Chelsea’s aggregate lead before the hour when he raced in behind Serge Aurier, but the Belgian’s drive swerved into the side-netting.
Llorente then spurned a gilt-edged chance to double his tally when Christian Eriksen’s lofted pass played him through on goal, the Spaniard shanking a shot wide when he had time and space to bring the ball under control.
Chelsea continued to pile on the pressure as Hazard waltzed into the area and chances fell for Olivier Giroud and Pedro, but the Spurs defence stood firm.
Mauricio Pochettino brought Moura off the bench on 67 minutes and it nearly proved to be an inspired substitution as the Brazilian latched onto Gazzaniga’s long pass, but he could only fire wide at the near post.
Giroud had the chance to send Chelsea to the final in the third minute of stoppage-time but he glanced a header wide as the tie went to penalties.
Eriksen, Willian, Erik Lamela and Cesar Azpilicueta all scored before Dier blazed over. Jorginho moved Chelsea closer to victory with an unorthodox penalty before Kepa Arrizabalaga saved Moura’s effort to give Chelsea match point.
And up stepped Luiz, who hammered home the crucial spot-kick to send Chelsea to Wembley and extend Spurs’ semi-final record to five straight defeats.