Chelsea lift Capital One Cup at Tottenham’s expense

Chelsea lifted the League Cup for the fifth time as captain John Terry guided Jose Mourinho’s team to a 2-0 victory over Tottenham in the 2015 final at Wembley.

  •  Chelsea claim League Cup for fifth time in their eighth final
  •  Repeat of the 2008 final at Wembley – Spurs’ last trophy win 
  •  Spurs won just one of their last five games in all competitions
  •  First v sixth in the Premier League – separated by 16 points
  •  Jose Mourinho beats the team he almost managed in 2007
Three times: Chelsea also won the League Cup under Mourinho in 2005 and 2007 with both finals held at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff
Three times: Chelsea also won the League Cup under Mourinho in 2005 and 2007 with both finals held at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff

JOSE Mourinho clinched the first trophy since his return to Chelsea as his side overcame London rivals Tottenham in the 2015 Capital One Cup Final at Wembley.

Captain John Terry broke the deadlock at the end of the first half when his low shot took a nick off Harry Kane and found the net after Spurs failed to sufficiently clear a Willian set-piece.

Top scorer Diego Costa instigated the Blues doubling the advantage soon after the break with a gliding effort from inside the box which deflected in via Kyle Walker for an own goal.

Spurs, who hit the crossbar through Christian Eriksen’s free-kick early on, enjoyed bright spells throughout but 24-goal striker Kane was well-marshalled by the Chelsea defence.

Mauricio Pochettino’s team thumped the Blues 5-3 on New Year’s Day at White Hart Lane but – despite competing well and contributing much – they proved no match for the Blues, who join Aston Villa in second on the all-time League Cup winners list with five successes.

Jose Mourinho before 2015 Capital One Cup Final (1st March)
Serial winner: Mourinho has now won 22 trophies during his managerial career – with seven coming at Chelsea

It was Mourinho’s first trophy in his maiden spell at Stamford Bridge a decade ago and the Portuguese – who returned in the summer of 2013 – will hope his third triumph in this competition will act as a catalyst for the Premier League leaders to claim the title in addition to European progress.

After Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Manchester City earlier, it was the perfect day for Chelsea, who maintain a five-point lead at the top and are back in action on Wednesday night at West Ham.

However, 2009 League Cup finalists Spurs are now without a trophy since coming from behind to beat Chelsea in the 2008 showpiece while Pochettino is still awaiting the first silverware of his managerial career.

Mauricio Pochettino
Commisserations: Pochettino’s Spurs were on the losing side on their first Wembley visit since their 5-1 FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea in 2012

Tottenham – who arrived back from Italy on Friday after the Europa League exit to Fiorentina – have played more games than any other top-flight team this season and tiredness might have been a factor as they competed in their third game in seven days.

Chelsea, in contrast, had eight days to prepare since the controversial 1-1 draw with Burnley in which Nemanja Matic saw red for his reaction to Ashley Barnes’ horrific challenge.

Nemanja Matic at Wembley (CO Cup Final 2015 - 1st March)
Watching brief: The 26-year-old was in the stands to observe his team as he began a reduced two-match ban

As the suspended Serbian watched from the stands, Kurt Zouma began in an unfamiliar midfield berth with Gary Cahill partnering Terry at the back while Petr Cech was selected over Thibaut Courtois in goal and Cesc Fabregas was pushed in the number 10 role ahead of Oscar.

In a Spurs line-up boasting seven changes from Thursday night and just one from the West Ham draw last weekend, Andros Townsend and Nabil Bentaleb were preferred to Erik Lamela and Moussa Dembele with captain Hugo Lloris given the nod over deputy keeper Michel Vorm.

Wembley overview (2015 Capital One Cup Final - 1st March)
Surveying the scene: Wembley provided a typically picturesque view prior to kick-off on cup final day

There was an open feel to the early exchanges of the 55th League Cup Final with Spurs going close to landing the first punch in the ninth minute when Eriksen rattled the crossbar from a 20-yard free-kick.

Ryan Mason then ballooned the loose ball over before Kane tested Cech with a low angled effort soon after.

At the other end, a curling shot by Eden Hazard – on his 150th Chelsea appearance – from Ramires’ cutback travelled beyond the right-hand post.

Kurt Zouma
New experience: The 20-year-old Frenchman – accustomed to playing in central defence – started alongside Ramires in defensive midfield

With the Blues keeping proceedings tight, Spurs were afforded plenty of possession and left upset by what they felt were deliberate tactics from Costa to illegally unnerve their defence.

The Brazilian-born Spaniard – who was also involved in minor confrontations with Bentaleb and Walker – induced the first yellow card of the game for Eric Dier on the half-hour.

Eriksen brought a routine near-post stop from Cech as Spurs continually robbed Chelsea in midfield and probed dangerously on the counter.

John Terry man of the match (CO Cup Final 2015 - 1st March)
Veteran: Centre-back Terry scored his 63rd goal for the Blues on his 657th appearance to earn the 15th trophy of his Chelsea career

But Pochettino’s team were undone by a smash-and-grab raid on the stroke of half-time as Willian’s free-kick was poorly dealt with and Terry was on hand to net his sixth of the season.

As Mourinho expressed a wry smile, it could have been better for the boys in blue had Lloris not been alert to deny Cahill’s cushioned header in stoppage time.

Spurs were perhaps let-off again when the already-booked Dier caught Costa late with a high boot but referee Anthony Taylor did not appear to witness the incident.

Spectator: The Russian watched his beloved Blues from the Wembley directors box
Spectator: The Russian watched his beloved Blues in their first final since the 2013 Europa League from the Wembley directors box

Their response following the intermission encouraged the 32,000 fans watching them inside the national stadium but mustered little to trouble the Chelsea rearguard.

And the Blues profited from a familiar combination – as well as an element of fortune – to leave Spurs with a mountain to climb on 56 minutes.

Fabregas fed an incisive pass into the feet of Costa, whose right-footed shot which looked to be heading wide cannoned off a hapless Walker and beyond Lloris.

Defeated: Spurs have now lost all but six of the last 60 meetings with Chelsea in all competitions
Defeated: Spurs have now lost all but six of the last 60 meetings with Chelsea in all competitions

As the rain began to pour in North London, Pochettino introduced Dembele in place of Townsend just after the hour in the hope of sparking an unlikely revival.

But Chelsea had established a measure of command and were almost out of sight when Hazard created space for a bending shot from the edge of the box which flew narrowly wide.

As the contest became stretched, Lamela was thrown into the equation at Mason’s expense 20 minutes from time with Spurs throwing caution to the wind.

Harry Kane
Not to be: The Premier League’s January player of the month Kane had scored 11 goals in his previous 10 Spurs starts but could not find his A-game at Wembley

Chelsea’s pragmatic approach to hold what they had was apparent when Willian and Cahill went into the notebook for halting Tottenham’s attacking progress with cynical fouls.

The former was soon replaced to allow a brief League Cup debut for Colombian Juan Cuadrado, the expensive January recruit.

But a Spurs substitute almost changed the complexion as Lamela went close to applying a touch to Eriksen’s corner after Harry Kane’s flick-on.

Tottenham applied concerted pressure in the latter stages although their comeback hopes faded with every passing minute as Chelsea comfortably held out to secure the first domestic trophy of the season.

Jose Mourinho lifts the Capital One Cup at Wembley (1st March 2015)
Aiming high: Chelsea boss Mourinho raises the trophy – the first he has claimed as a manager since the 2012 La Liga title with Real Madrid

 

TEAMS:

Chelsea XI

Substitutes:  Cuadrado (for Willian 76′), Oscar (for Fabregas 88′), Drogba (for Diego Costa 90+3′)

Not used:  Courtois (GK), Filipe Luis, Ake, Remy

Booked:  Willian (70′), Cahill (72′), Cuadrado (85′)

Goals:  Terry (45′), Walker (56′ og)

 

Tottenham XI

Substitutes:  Dembele (for Townsend 62′), Lamela (for Mason 71′), Soldado (for Chadli 80′)

Not used:  Vorm (GK), Fazio, Davies, Stambouli

Booked:  Dier (30′), Bentaleb (77′)

 

Anthony Taylor referee

Referee:  Anthony Taylor (Cheshire) – 9/10
Attendance:  89,294

 

1 thought on “Chelsea lift Capital One Cup at Tottenham’s expense”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s