Carabao Cup – Chelsea 0-0 Manchester City | Report and Talking Points

Carabao Cup - Chelsea 0-0 Manchester City | Report and Talking Points

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City defended their Carabao Cup beating Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea on Penalties at Wembley Stadium on Sunday night. 

Fans, well aware of the pedigree of the two sides in action, anticipated a high-scoring Carabao Cup final. Sadly, it didn’t quite live up to the sky-high billing, but there still was plenty of drama for us to enjoy. 

Having thrashed Chelsea 6-0 at the Etihad Stadium just a couple of weeks back, the defending champions started the match as outright favorites. Chelsea, on the other hand, were desperate not to repeat the mistakes they made a fortnight ago and focused on keeping things tight at the back. 

As anticipated, City dominated possession and looked effortless on the ball, but, thanks to Sarri’s tactical shifts, struggled to make inroads into the Chelsea box. Their passing, as always, was immaculate, and they were in charge of proceedings in the first half. Chelsea looked more than happy to soak up the pressure and play on counters. 

In the second half, Sergio Aguero hit the back of the net, only for his strike to be ruled out for offside. Ross Barkley and N’Golo Kante came close to putting the Blues ahead, but neither of the two midfielders could keep their efforts on target. 

Extra time commenced, and the teams picked up right where they left off in the second half. Chelsea, following their two decent attempts, looked a tad more confident going forward and forced the City defenders to be on their toes. Aguero and Raheem Sterling came close to scoring for the holders, but ultimately, neither of the two teams managed to find the back of the net. With a 0-0 stalemate on the scoreboard, the match went to penalties. 

Jorginho — Chelsea’s opening spot-kick taker — fumbled his effort and allowed Ederson to make a comfortable save. Leroy Sane and David Luiz also missed their chances, but Sterling’s thumping drive won the tie for the Etihad outfit. 

Talking Points

Manchester City Show their Gritty Side

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are hailed universally for their effortless, incisive football. Last night, they weren’t allowed much time and space on the ball, which made it difficult for them to influence play the way they generally do. 

However, despite failing to impose their style of play, City didn’t allow Chelsea to get a foothold and did their best to keep the Blues scrambling for answers. 

Sarri’s Plan 

Following the embarrassing 6-0 drubbing at the Etihad Stadium, Maurizio Sarri looked desperate not to let City have their way in the final of the Carabao Cup. So, over the last two weeks, he devised a perfect plan to keep Chelsea from getting outplayed.

Last night, his players stood by him to deliver a defensively astute performance. Eden Hazard, who was Chelsea most potent weapon going forward, made a few darting runs in the second half, forcing City to fall back. 

Kepa Fiasco

Chelsea goalkeeper, Kepa Arrizabalaga is the most expensive shot-stopper in the world. And last night, he audaciously exercised his powers to undermine his coach. 

Before the penalty shootout, Sarri wanted to bring on penalty specialist second-choice keeper Willy Caballero. Kepa, who seemed to have a cramp at the time, made gestures and threw tantrums to stay involved, clearly insulting the coach and Caballero in the process. 

Also Read: Man City – All or nothing

League Cup Semi-Final | Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham (2-2 Aggreagate): 4-2 Penalties

League Cup Semi-Final | Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham (2-2 Aggreagate): 4-2 Penalties

Chelsea beat Tottenham Hotspur in the Semi-Finals of the Carabao Cup to set up a scintillating encounter with Man City in the Final.

Chelsea put up a good fight against Tottenham and came out on top to book a berth in the Final of the Carabao Cup Final. Maurizio Sarri had publicly criticized his players after a devastating performance against Arsenal and the Chelsea players really reacted positively and are now in the final.

A few things went the Blues’ way especially that Tottenham had arguably three of their most important players ruled out in Son Heung-Min, Harry Kane and Dele Alli. The fact that the game was at Stamford Bridge also really tipped the scales in Chelsea’s favor but overcoming a resolute Spurs defence and coming back from a
1-0 deficit is no mean feat and no credit should be taken from Chelsea.

Before the start of both legs, the Media had put a very interesting spin to the fixture setting Mauricio Pochettino and Maurizio Sarri up as Perrenial Underachievers and highlighted the fact that both Managers had still not won a trophy. The victor isn’t promised a trophy but is obviously given a really good chance to win one and in the end, it was the newcomer Maurizio Sarri who came out on top. Mauricio Pochettino has been a sensational manager at Spurs but the fact of the matter is that he needs to do a better job when it comes to crunch games that could fill up his empty Trophy cabinet.

Chelsea did play exceedingly well with N’Golo Kante scoring an absolute stunner in the 27th Minute and Eden Hazard doubling the Blues’ advantage merely ten minutes later with a clever first-time shot. But former Blue transfer target Fernando Llorente equalised for Tottenham in the 50th Minute. In the end, the game had to go down to penalties.

Chelsea had a perfect run at all their spot kicks with Willian, Jorginho, Azpilicueta and David Luiz converting their kicks. Spurs on the other hand weren’t very good with their spot kicks, though Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen were successfu, Eric Dier shot wide and Lucas Moura’s shot was saved very well by Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Football is funny that way isn’t it? Just a week before this game Pundits, fans and even Maurizio Sarri was questioning the Players’ winning mentality and now the defence seems sorted, the players seem motivated and Chelsea have  acquired one of the best strikers in Europe in Gonzalo Hguain. But that’s the thing with this game, the downfall can be much faster than the uprise. Chelsea will need to be careful.


Chelsea 3 – 2 Derby County | Frank Lampard’s Side Challenge the Blues

Chelsea 3-2 Derby County | Frank Lampard's Side Challenge the Blues

Derby County pushed Chelsea and were definitely unlucky during their 3 – 2 loss against the West London Giants.

Frank Lampard and his Derby County team should pat themselves on the back as they made life miserable for Chelsea and never let the Blues take complete control of the game. Much like the League Cup encounter against Manchester United, Derby never played like a “Small Team” they were aggressive, Hungry and very very dangerous. Though the scoreline may suggest that Chelsea were clinical in front of Goal, such wasn’t the case, they may have got the win but Maurizio Sarri will be disappointed with his forwards who weren’t clinical on the day and had to bank on two own Goals from the opposition. 

The Chelsea Legend expectedly got the warmest Welcome any opposition Manager has gotten at Stamford Bridge. The game started in the most peculiar manner with Derby County scoring Four Goals in the first 30 Minutes and oddly enough scoring two own goals. Chelsea Loanee Fikayo Tomori had a nightmare start to the game as he gave his parent Club the advantage in the 5th Minute by putting the ball into his own net. Just a few minutes later Tomori Conceded a corner from just 5 yards out taking a deflection that came agonizingly close to the Goal and the Canadian International must’ve had his heart in his mouth. The Drama Continued as Jack Mariott Capitalised on Gary Cahill’s slip and found himself on Goal and tucked the ball away beautifully from Willy Caballero to make it 1-1 in the 9th Minute. 

A few moments later, Derby Striker Martyn Waghorn found himself dribbling with pace towards Caballero with a clear-cut one-on-one chance but the Forward seemed to have stumbled and almost outrun the ball. Derby would’ve been kicking themselves as they managed to concede another Own goal off of a Davidde Zappacosta cross. The Italian Full-back put in a searing low-cross which deflected off Richard Keogh to go straight past Derby Keeper Scott Carson. Chelsea were now 2-1 Up without scoring on their own. At the half-hour mark Derby yet again equalized this time Chelsea Loanee, Mason Mount found Martyn Waghorn with a low cross and Waghorn tapped in from Close range. The Craziness continued as Chelsea went ahead in the 41st Minute when Cesc Fabregas Tucked the ball in from Close range when Zappacosta’s deflection fell perfectly for the Spaniard. Though not convincingly, but the Blues went into half-time 3-2 up.

The scoreline at Half-time eventually turned out to be the Final score of the game but as Chelsea dominated large chunks of the game with their Possession based play, they never looked convincing as they couldn’t break past Derby’s defense and just weren’t clinical enough. Derby, on the Other hand, managed to do soo much with such less possession and were very dangerous on the Counter Attack and in the end, were unlucky with a few chances and on their day could’ve definitely forced penalties.

Match Preview: Chelsea vs Derby County | Frank Lampard comes Home!

Match Preview: Chelsea vs Derby County | Frank Lampard comes Home!

EFL Cup: Chelsea Legend Frank Lampard returns to his old hunting ground, Stamford Bridge but this time as Derby County Manager.

Chelsea takes on Championship side Derby County on Wednesday as a Chelsea Legend comes home. Frank Lampard will be in the away dressing room as Derby Manager. Lampard has expressed his excitement to come back to the Club he still considers “Home” and Stamford Bridge will be all set to Welcome “Super Frank” back home. It won’t only be Chelsea’s record Goalscorer coming home, Loaned Players Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori have also been given the clear by Chelsea to represent Derby and maybe prove to their parent Club that they’re worthy of a first-team place. It will be an emotional encounter with Chelsea going in as definite favourites but the blues will have to be cautious of Lampard’s Derby team considering, they knocked out Manchester United after playing very well in a 2-2 Draw and beat them 7-8 on Penalties.

Team News Chelsea:

Eden Hazard is expected to be rested as he’s still recovering from a minor back injury while Spanish Winger Pedro who was subbed off early in the first half against Burnley is also a doubt, Sarri said in the Press Conference after the Burnley game that Pedro was suffering from “A very Strong Stomach Ache”. If such is the case and both wingers are rested along with Willian, it could be Callum Hudson-Odoi and Victor Moses starting on either Wing. Sarri is expected to rest a few other first-team players but maybe shouldn’t be too indulgent as Derby have proven time and again that they are no pushovers.

Predicted XI: Caballero, Emerson, Christensen, Cahill, Zappacosta, Fabregas, Loftus-Cheek, Kovacic, Hudson-Odoi, Giroud, Moses


Team News Derby County:

The Championship side has no apparent injury updates and it seems like Frank Lampard will have his whole squad available for this enormous fixture. The Big news involving the team is that Chelsea have given Loaned players Mason Mount and Fikayo Tamori the Clear to play and Frank Lampard has referred to this as a “Classy Move” from his former side. Chelsea released a statement as to why they let these players play against their Parent Club when usually that isn’t the norm, they said: “We believe the experience of facing a top-level opposition once more will be of benefit to their ongoing development.”

Predicted XI: Carson, Malone, Tamori, Keogh, Bogle, Mount, Huddlestone, Wilson, Lawrence, Mariott, Waghorn

Key Players for Chelsea: Ruben Loftus-Cheek

Loftus-Cheek has been excellent over the last two games scoring four goals and making a big impact. Considering Majority of the Chelsea bench will be playing tonight Loftus-Cheek will need to step up and be the big-Match player we know he’s capable of being.

Key Players for Derby County: Mason Mount

You know that Chelsea’s Youth Academy has done something right when both key Players are Academy Graduates. Mason Mount is Para”Mount” to the way Derby play, Pun intended, the Englishman has made more key passes than any other player in the Championship and may compare him to Manager Frank Lampard.

Arsenal 3 – 1 Brentford | Carabao Cup

Arsenal 3 - 1 Brentford | Carabao Cup

Arsenal continued their excellent form as they defeated Championship side Brentford 3 – 1 in the third-round of Carabao Cup.

Arsenal made nine changes in their team after the win over Everton. One of the fresh starters, Danny Welbeck scored twice before the half-time giving the Gunners an early boost. 

The course of the match might have differed had Bernd Leno‘s puzzlingly poor touch from a Shkodran Mustafi back-pass not trickled wide of his own net in the 2nd minute. Proving that once again that the Gunners’ need to solidifying their defence.

Welbeck rose unchallenged to undoubtedly head in Matteo Guendouzi‘s cross in the 5th minuteHis second goal was at the 37th minute where he finished a sweeping move, connecting with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alex Iwobi and Nacho Monreal, to produce a tap-in.

Bernd Leno’s clean sheet was compromised when midfielder Alan Judge scored a brilliant free-kick in. Brentford almost had an equalizer in quick time but Sergi Canos blazed a shot over the bar. The Championship side were encouraged after a goal and, for a period, pressed hard in search of an equalizer that never came.

Arsenal maintained the ball convincingly and the substitute Alexandre Lacazette put the seal on Arsenal’s victory with a firm finish 2 minutes into added time. His fellow substitute Lucas Torreira assisted him with the goal.

Unai Emery‘s side finally got a hard-fought 3-1 win over Brentford as they sail into the fourth round of the Carabao Cup, sealing Unai Emery’s sixth successive victory after a shaky start to the season. The new Gunners’ boss is attempting to do something his predecessor Arsene Wenger never managed to, in making his players work harder than ever before, notwithstanding the importance of a match.

Arsenal face Watford at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, 29th September for their 7th match of the Premier League.

Carabao Cup – Chelsea end Liverpool’s run

Carabao Cup - Chelsea end Liverpool's run

Liverpool and Chelsea both came into the game looking to keep their unbeaten run intact and progress to the next round of the cup. Both managers used this game to rotate their squad and give much-needed rest to some key payers ahead of their Premier League game on Saturday. The game started with not many chances, both sides looking far from their best, a typical cup game. Chelsea, however, had a few more chances in the first half at Anfield. Striker Alvaro Morata missed a couple of chances that he should have converted, one that went past the post and a free header that he sent over the crossbar. 

In the second half, however, Liverpool took the lead in the form of Daniel Sturridge who finished well just minutes after he missed an open net. Chelsea then equalized in the form of a close-range finish from Palmieri. The goal needed the VAR’s intervention to check for offside before it was allowed. Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager in his post-match was upset that the VAR was not used well as he felt that the VAR clearly showed that Ross Barkley was in an offside position and even though the referee used the assistance of the VAR, he gave the wrong decision, feels Klopp

The second half substitution of Eden Hazard proved to be the key for Chelsea’s fortune. The Belgian superstar was quiet for much of the second half but burst into action as he beat Alberto Moreno to fire into the far post and give Chelsea the lead 5 minutes from time. This goal meant that Chelsea came from behind to beat the Premier League leaders and end their unbeaten start to their campaign. Liverpool will now seek for revenge as they travel to Stanford Bridge on Saturday for their Premier League encounter with the Blues

Tottenham 2 – 2 Watford (Penalties: 4 – 2) | Carabao Cup

Tottenham 2 - 2 Watford (Penalties: 4 - 2) | Carabao Cup

Tottenham Hotspur beat Watford in an all-Premier League tie on penalties after a 2-2 draw in the Carabao Cup.

Dele Alli received an enthusiastic welcome at the stadium of MK Dons, his boyhood club, which Tottenham used as a temporary venue for this Carabao Cup third-round tie.

Watford forward Isaac Success lit up a slow game with an opener immediately after half-time. Success beat Serge Aurier as he ran onto Kiko Femenia’s pass to put the visitors ahead straight from the kick-off in the 46th minute. They should have increased their advantage when Ken Sema ran onto a diverted Watford cross almost four yards out, but his shot went up the air giving Spurs the space to take a breather.

Watford seemed to be close to causing another upset against Tottenham, however, after Christian Kabasele was sent off for a foul on the Dele Alli as he clipped the midfielder’s heels in the box. Alli netted his first of the night from the penalty spot into the corner beyond a fully stretched Heurelo Gomes leveling the game at the 81st minute.

Within minutes of leveling, Spurs went in front, as Erik Lamela finished off a brilliant counter-attack at the 85th minute connecting to Dembele‘s through-ball completing an exceptional comeback. However, the match was far from over even though both sides were down to 10 men after Aurier was forced off with an injury.

Etienne Capoue’s shot was deflected beyond Pablo Gazzaniga via Ben Davies in the 89th minute, giving Watford a chance in the penalty shoot-out.

Gazzaniga was in top form in the penalties; Capoue and Domingos Quina missed their spot-kicks in the shoot-out for Watford and Alli once again stepped up to send Spurs through to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.

Tottenham Hotspur faces Huddersfield while Watford faces Arsenal on Saturday, 29th September for their upcoming Premier League fixtures.

Manchester United 2-2 Derby County (Penalties: 7-8) | Carabao Cup

Manchester United 2-2 Derby County (Penalties: 7-8) | Carabao Cup

The apprentice outsmarts the Master 

Frank Lampard’s Derby County beat Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United 7-8 on Penalties after a 2-2 result in normal time in the Carabao Cup. Manchester United failed to win for a third consecutive time at Old Trafford and Jose Mourinho has now been knocked out of the Carabao Cup at the hands of one of his own, Frank Lampard. Lampard took charge of Championship side Derby County this Season and in his Debut Season as a Manager has pulled off a major victory at Old Trafford.

Manchester United started the game well and scored the opener in the 3rd minute. It was Spaniard Juan Mata who put the hosts in front with a Lovely finish. Derby showed hunger and unlike most Championship teams did not sit back and defend, they continuously looked to attack but went into the break still trailing. The visitors’ efforts bore fruit in the 56th Minute when Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson equalized for Frank Lampard’s side with an absolutely stunning Free-Kick.  The Liverpool youngster didn’t wait for a second to pull out the famous “5 fingers” Celebration (To indicate that Liverpool has won 5 European Trophies) to taunt the United Fans.

Things got worse for Manchester United in the 67th Minute when Goalkeeper Sergio Romero was sent-off for a handball outside the penalty area. Derby County capitalized on United’s Vulnerabilities and struck in the 85th minute through Jack Mariott. It all seemed over for United till Marouane Fellaini snatched a last-gasp equalizer for the Red Devils that eventually took the game to Penalties.

Derby County scored all 8 of their spot-kicks but for Manchester United, it was English Centre-Back Phil Jones who faltered to give Frank Lampard’s men a historic win at Old Trafford and for Manchester United has reiterated the fact that something needs to change especially in the way the Club approach their Home games. 

Carabao Cup: Liverpool vs Chelsea Combined XI

Carabao Cup: Liverpool vs Chelsea Combined XI

Combined XI pieces are usually easy, you take the best players from both teams in each position, compare them Head-to-Head and Voila you have a combined XI. But in the Carabao Cup, it becomes a tad bit difficult, considering Managers like to heavily rotate their starting XIs. So in a Carabao Cup fixture, your rotation player becomes a key player. So let’s try to accurately break down a combined XI for tonight’s Liverpool vs Chelsea game. Here goes Nothing!

GK – Simon Mignolet (Liverpool)

Mignolet makes the cut ahead of Chelsea’s Willy Caballero. The Belgian Keeper is especially skilled at stopping penalties so a draw after extra time may tip the match in Liverpool’s favor.

LB – Emerson Palmieri (Chelsea)

Emerson Palmieri hasn’t featured for the Blues this Season but the Italian has featured for the National team and has been pretty impressive. 

CB – Gary Cahill (Chelsea)

Gary Cahill has hinted at a January exit if things don’t change at Chelsea. An impressive performance at Anfield may just change Maurizio Sarri’s opinion.

CB – Joe Gomez (Liverpool)

Joe Gomez has been spectacular for Liverpool and the 21-Year-old’s solidity has been reassuring for Liverpool fans and Jurgen Klopp.

RB – Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool)

Clyne used to be Liverpool’s number one Right-Back but with injury problems and the emergence, Alexander-Arnold Clyne has been sidelined. He will be hoping to grab this opportunity with both hands.

CDM – Fabinho (Liverpool)

Fabinho has played only one Champions League minute for Liverpool so far and will be hoping to get 90 minutes in against Chelsea.

CM – Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea)

Cesc Fabregas has recovered from a knee injury and has slowly been brought back to action. Fabregas will be hoping to make an impact and break into Sarri’s midfield.

CM – Georginio Wijnaldum (Liverpool)

Wijnaldum has been one of the most consistent Midfielders for the Reds and will be looking to continue with the good performances.

LW – Xherdan Shaqiri (Liverpool)

Shaqiri has done everything right so far in his first Season for Liverpool but breaking into a front three with an in-form Salah, Mane, and Firmino is nearly impossible. Liverpool vs Chelsea will present as a perfect opportunity for the Swiss International.

ST – Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)

The Former Chelsea Striker will be looking to come good for the reds. Liverpool vs Chelsea is probably the most important game for Sturridge because he’ll have a point to prove. 

RW – Willian (Chelsea)

Willian has been impressive for Chelsea in Europe, now Sarri will be hoping the Brazilian can make an impact in the Cup. Especially since Pedro is out injured and Eden Hazard most probably rested.

Wolves 0 – 0 Leicester (Penalties: 1 – 3) | Carabao Cup

Wolves 0 - 0 Leicester (Penalties: 1 - 3) | Carabao Cup

Leicester City beat Wolverhampton in an all-Premier League tie which ended in penalties after a goalless draw in the Carabao Cup.

Former Liverpool stopper Danny Ward was the hero of the match as he made three penalty shoot-out saves as Leicester won 3-1.

Leicester commanded the first half of the game, but their end product was poor managing only two misses from Adrien SilvaThe Foxes dominated the opening stages with 75% of the ball. They eventually came close near the end of the first half, Rachid Ghezzal‘s shot was cleared off the line by Conor Coady.

After the break, Wolves advanced considerably and came close to scoring when Ivan Cavaleiro forced Danny Ward to tip an attempt over the bar from a tight angle. Wolves then had a chance which they should have converted when Cavaleiro missed from eight yards out after he was released by Leo Bonatini’s well-placed through-ball. Soon after, an unsettled spell of defending from Leicester allowed 18-year-old Morgan Gibbs-White to fire a free shot right into Ward’s hands.

Progressing as an end-to-end game by the minute, the match somehow ended goallessly. 

Danny Ward was remarkable throughout the 90 minutes but it was in the penalty shoot-out which followed when he stepped up into the next level. The 25-year-old made two decent saves to keep out Romain Saiss and Diego Jota. However, the job was not done as Christian Fuchs hit the bar and Hamza Choudry failed to score from the spot.

The Leicester stopper produced his best save to deny Adama Traore‘s strong drive. The match ended with Iheanacho firing home the winning penalty-kick, as he waited for John Ruddy to move before slotting the ball into the other corner, to take his side into the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.

Both the teams return to the Premier League on Saturday, 29th September. Wolves face Southampton while Leicester faces Newcastle.