when Spurs play like this.
The first leg of Spurs Carabao Cup semi-final was an omniclusterfuckshambles from the very off, it didn’t matter that Chelsea had reintegrated their £100m striker, or were missing players.
I wouldn’t be too overjoyed though if I was a Chelsea fan, bar the obvious, as they say don’t let their best players beat you. Well, Spurs didn’t, they beat themselves. With all the ball, against a totally passive team they have only a two goal lead which was handed to them by Spurs.
In fact you never really saw Chelsea create much, just Spurs gift them the chances.
While staying unbeaten in the league, Conte has now just one cup win from three, with those two defeats seeing two of the worst performances.
Yet another game saw Spurs start passively, Tuchel’s change in formation from his usual 3-4-3, which would have matched Conte’s usual, to a back four, meant that Conte’s midfield pair were out-manned and overrun. As passive as his players was the manager. No one has seen him so subdued on the sideline as he was here. Resigned to the fact of what was going on in front of him.
Again had he put out a team to make a point to Levy?
Missing Dier – even the haters were missing Dier last night – with Rodon not fully fit to start, Sanchez was moved into the middle of the centre-back three, he’s a side kick not the lead character. While Tanganga took the right and Davies filled his usual spot. Emerson was on the right but again, with Reguilon carrying an injury and Sessegnon unavailable, Doherty was on the left. It didn’t work last time. It didn’t work this, as every time he did get forward he passed the ball back.
Saying that he did touch the ball in the Chelsea area more than Harry Kane, in the first half. He didn’t make the second half. But by then the die was cast, with two pieces of suicide defending.
Just five minutes in and a poor pass out by Tanganga to Emerson was easily picked off, into the box and Sanchez tries to block the shot/cross and it’s in the roof of the net.
Half an hour later and more self inflicted wounds. Sanchez makes a decent challenge on Lukaku but then upends the players. From the resultant free-kick, Tanganga tries to head the ball back into the middle of the pitch but just heads it into Davies’s head, from which it rebounds into the net. The way he was heading it was asking for trouble as it would have gone to a Chelsea player on the edge of the box, while there was plenty of space wide he could have aimed for, for a throw at worst.
So Conte made the halftime change with Doherty making way for Ndombele, which resulted in a shift to a formation to match the hosts. Kane finally had a chance, well, he had a free kick. Can anyone remember when he last scored from a free kick… has he ever scored from a free kick? Well, doing a bit of Google he has… it came on November 4th… 2014. He didn’t score here. Up until this point his greatest contribution was getting smacked in the face by a flying elbow/forearm that could have… should have… been a red. He’s still only got a couple of goals in semi-finals, from a number of games.
In that first half on the few occasions that the midfield touched the ball and passed it forward the pass was either off target or the none of the front three could keep control of it. In the second there was a bit more but nothing really worked.
Hugo saved it from being more but Chelsea did more to make sure it was just a two goal lead they take to the second leg.
Will they be this passive next Wednesday, will Conte?