Thomas Tuchel said Chelsea made it to the League Cup final despite “playing with fire” as
Antonio Rudiger’s goal, as well as three VAR-related decisions, assisted the Blues in
winning 1-0 against Tottenham at the end of Wednesday.
Rudiger’s header in the first half was enough to ensure Chelsea could take advantage of
the lead they had earned following a 2-0 victory in the semi-final’s opening match earlier in
Tuchel’s side also was aided by VAR Official Mike Dean on their side in the second half as
Tottenham was handed two penalties from Andre Marriner.
Still, the review process was able to invalidate both of them. In addition, Harry Kane saw a
goal invalidated because of offside.
Chelsea, who are 3-0 aggregate winners Chelsea, 3-0 aggregate winners, will face
Liverpool and Arsenal to decide the winner at Wembley on the 27th of February.
Liverpool hosts the coronavirus delayed the first match of their semi-final against the
Gunners on Thursday.
“We started well. We had big chances and controlled the match, but I had the feeling we
played with fire,” Tuchel stated.
“We allowed chances from sloppy mistakes and were lucky. We almost gave a penalty away
for no reason, for a bit of over-confidence.
We needed luck not to give away another penalty, to have an offside VAR decision,” said
the coach added.
Tuchel was the only Chelsea manager in history to lead Chelsea through winning the
Champions League, FA Cup, and League Cup finals, a feat achieved just 350 days following
his first game as manager in January 2020.
This is the first time Chelsea have made a League Cup final appearance since 2019, as they
attempt to win the trophy for the first time since 2015.
“We need to play better if we’re going to deserve results like this. We have to meet the
standards,” Tuchel declared.
Tottenham hasn’t won an important trophy since they lifted the League Cup in 2008, and
their options to end the drought are diminishing.
Antonio Conte had conceded it was difficult to reverse the disadvantage against a team of
The Tottenham manager’s optimism was well-grounded as Chelsea quickly seized control of
the game at the north of London.
“At the end of the two games, Chelsea deserved to reach the final in this competition; we
have to be honest,” Conte stated.
“In the second half, we created many chances to score, and we deserved a result better
than losing 1-0, but if you have a judgment over the two games, Chelsea deserved to win,”
said the coach.
Tottenham’s attempt to become the second team to make the League Cup final after losing
the first leg by more than one goal was crushed after the 17th minute.
– VAR drama –
Pierluigi Gollini was a surprise substitute at Tottenham in place of Hugo Lloris, a Conte
gamble that paid off because the goalie blamed Chelsea’s opening.
A disastrous goal was conceded when Gollini was unable to stay on his line during an
unsuccessful attempt to strike away from Mason Mount’s inside corner, allowing unmarked
Rudiger to steer his ball into the top corner using the bar’s underside.
Rudiger had scored earlier during Chelsea’s Premier League win at Tottenham in the
previous season, and, once more, the German player’s ferocity was too to handle for
Tottenham’s north Londoners to contain.
Tottenham thought they’d won an extra penalty after Rudiger made Hojbjerg fall by
slamming a strike on Dane; however, VAR modified Marriner’s choice to award a free-kick
because this tackle took outside of the zone.
Marriner’s mistakes added to Tottenham’s discontent, and the referee had to not award the
hosts a penalty in the second half.
Kane’s cross caused Lucas Moura through on goal; however, Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa
Arrizabalaga crafted a precise block using his legs when Marriner has errantly pointed the
ball to the area, VAR intervened to change the goal’s decision.
Kepa also made a crucial save a few seconds after, leaping to his left to snare away
Emerson Royal’s head.
Amazingly, Tottenham endured a third VAR reversal, this time when Kane took his shot to
the far corner of the 63rd minute, but the replay would reveal he was a few, only a few