Match report: Spurs 0 Chelsea 1 (Agg 0-3) League Cup Semi-Final 2ND Leg

Match report: Spurs 0 Chelsea 1 (Agg 0-3) League Cup Semi-Final 2ND Leg

Another trophy bites the dust for this season (the other being the Europa Conference League), however, we are still in the FA Cup… for how much longer is a good question… our next game in that competition is against Brighton at home, and they won’t be easy.

We’ve all been asking; why was Lloris on the bench. Conti rested Lloris and played Kane… which made no sense… the other way around would have been more logical. As for Donkey Doherty? I won’t repeat what one of the Spurs legends told us… or how he expressed his thoughts on Doherty’s talents; but it wouldn’t be for the faint-hearted. Anyway, we lost and are out of the cup, and now we face the Gooners next.

Mel and I got to the ground early and first parked at Sainsbury’s and had a cup of coffee (or two). A friend from Ireland joined us, Ken Breakey, and we chatted with him before leaving. Then back to my car, parked up off White Hart Lane.  A brisk walk to the stadium, showed our COVID passes and through the turnstiles, got our programmes, up the escalators and to our area. Once there, our friends descended upon us, where the acholic fruity drinks flowed. A friend of mine joined us (Melvyn), and we had an interesting chat. Melvyn has been going to Tottenham a lot longer than I have (yes, unique… somebody older than me). Oh, I nearly forgot to mention, Premium has a resistant magician who comes around to show us tricks (magnificent), and he performed for us. I first met him at Wembley. A lovely chap and a talented magician.

One of the ladies at  Tottenham security, the lovely Lisa, came for a chat before the game. Another lovely lady, Sharan – also Tottenham’s security – joined us and introduced me to John Chambers, author of “Tottenham’s Three Lions for club and country.”  We got our photograph taken together (I purchased his book… which I shall be reviewing sometime in the future). Trust me, it is an excellent book.

Me standing next to John Chambers with his book in my hands; “Tottenham’s Three Lions for Club and Country”

Before and after the game was the most exciting part of the evening… Pat Jennings and Clive Allan (friends) came over, and then it was time to keep our fingers crossed and to our seats.

The game

Chelski got into the Carabao Cup final as they quickly wrestled the League Cup semi-final from us. We never really threatened the Russian boys over two legs. Their Antonio Rudiger’s scored from Mason Mount’s corner after 18 minutes in this leg.

However, there was more to the story than just Rudiger putting a nail in our League Cup semi-final coffin; two penalties, awarded by Andre Marriner for fouls on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Lucas Moura, overturned by VAR. Even Harry Kane saw a goal ruled out for offside in an improved second-half performance from us; nevertheless, the Russian Bears always looked in control. Once they had lengthened their aggregate lead early on, they were able to control affairs.

The one-sided game was paused late on following a medical emergency in the crowd, and on continuation, Roman Abramovich’s Russian boys completed the formalities of their triumph.

Conte knows there is no secret to the size of his job in invigorating our club after our recent decline.

As I said at the beginning of this article, it was a mystery,  and still is, as to why Conte felt the need to rest our experienced keeper with the tie still on the line and play deputy Pierluigi Gollini instead. Things could have been so different… well, maybe not that much as they were 2 nil up from the first leg. Nevertheless, Gollini distinguished himself when he saved with his legs from Romelu Lukaku early on but was at fault when he made a dash to claim Mount’s corner, a move that ended badly when the ball was diverted into the net via Rudiger. But we can’t cry over spilt milk, but now we must learn and move on.

Thoughts

After the break, we did mount a challenge of sorts, but it was too little, too late. I thought Kane was short of his best form, while a lack of creativity in midfield allowed Abramovich’s boys to contain us with qualified comfort.

Now that is all over, I am sure Conte will be expecting significant backing from Daniel Levy if his ambitions are fulfilled. The squad he has inherited requires serious investment before there can be thoughts of getting anywhere near the Premier League elite.

As for Chelski, they are now in their third successive final under Thomas Tickle Tuchel since he arrived to succeed the sacked Frank Lampard almost a year ago. He guided them to the FA Cup final last season, which the Russians lost to Leicester City, before claiming the most prominent European club prize by winning the Champions League against Manchester City in Porto.

Reaching the EFL Cup final was primarily done in the first game at Stamford Bridge.

So that is that, and we must now move on and get ready to face the Gunners this Sunday. After that, we’ve got Leicester and Chelsea away and then Southampton and Wolves at home.

After the game ended, we went to the lounge on the second floor where Micky Hazard, Graham Roberts, and Pat Jennings came over to chat with us and give their two pennies worth. It would be wrong to repeat what they said; however, they weren’t best pleased, is all I can say. I did ask Clive Allan earlier if he would dust off his boots and give our team a bit of oomph! He was happy too. What would he be worth today?  Would the likes of Kane be worthy of carrying his boots? What a conundrum!

All the best, Glenn

COYS!

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