Chelsea seized control of their EFL Cup semifinal, beating a woeful Tottenham 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in the first leg on Wednesday.
Kai Havertz scored an early opener for the Blues, who from the outset profited from a string of defensive errors by their visitors, culminating in a disastrous own goal by Ben Davies
Spurs set the tone for what is surely their worst performance against a domestic opponent under Antonio Conte, who looked like he would rather be anywhere else than back at Stamford Bridge. His players seemed utterly incapable of dealing with the Chelsea press, Japhet Tanganga’s undercooked pass stolen by Marcos Alonso as early as the fifth minute.
The Spaniard’s through ball was judged just right for Havertz darting in behind, from where he rolled the ball toward the far post. Davinson Sanchez might have kept the underhit shot out but could only lift the ball up to the roof of the net. It rather set the tone for a dreadful first half from the visitors, who failed to register a shot at Chelsea’s end.
They did, however, find the net at the other. Once more Tanganga was at the heart of the error, attempting to head a Hakim Ziyech free kick to safety. Instead he directed it straight at Davies, the ball deflecting off the Welshman and beyond Hugo Lloris.
It might have been more, Romelu Lukaku full of intensity as he tried to make amends to his Chelsea teammates but without the goal he must have craved. Meanwhile Spurs failed to craft a shot on target from open play until the 88th minute, substitute Bryan Gil flying past Christian Pulisic but seeing Kepa Arrizabalaga save well when his cutback came to Harry Kane.
Conte’s side must now overcome a two-goal deficit in the second leg, on home territory, in a week’s time or watch their trophy drought extend beyond the 14-year mark.
Watch the Recap of Chelsea vs Tottenham 2-0 EFL Cup Full Highlights.