Tottenham – Chelsea: It took penalties to separate Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea during Tuesday’s League Cup fourth round match in North London, and the first player to miss sealed the result for second-choice Spurs.
Chelsea’s Mason Mount missed the 10th attempt of penalties to send Frank Lampard’s Blues out of the competition.
Erik Lamela’s second-half goal forced the spot kicks after Timo Werner’s first Chelsea goal had given the Blues an early lead at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
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Edouard Mendy stopped Erik Lamela and Sergio Reguilon on either side of halftime, but Reguilon and Lamela teamed up to level the score in the 83rd minute.
Spurs did not have Heung-min Son due to a hamstring injury and rested several stars to start but called upon Harry Kane, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, and Lucas Moura off the bench. Chelsea was still without Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech.
Three things we learned
1. New boys Mendy, Werner impress: There will be better teams including better Spurs teams, butEdouard Mendy was not bothered by the task at hand on Tuesday as he made his first Chelsea appearance following a long-forming $28 million move from Rennes. He made two strong saves when called upon and was confident with the ball at his feet, only causing distress with a failure to cleanly corral a 69th-minute corner kick. There wasn’t much he could do when Emerson’s mistake allowed Lamela an equalizer and penalties are penalties.
It took 11 shots for Werner to get his first proper goal in a Chelsea shirt but the opening tally of his Blues career was certainly a memorable one. Werner smashed a 19-yard shot through traffic to open the scoring in North London and it’s difficult to find fault in any part of it. Coming against a London rival is a bonus.
2. Spurs’ new signing shows Mourinho’s intent: It was clear when Spurs signed Matt Doherty and Sergio Reguilon that Jose Mourinho wanted more from his fullbacks and the latter was very good on debut. Serge Aurier was on the right flank of Mourinho’s 3-5-2 and spotted Reguilon for a first-half chance denied by Mendy before Reguilon’s cross led to the equalizer. This “second-choice” lineup came right out of Mourinho’s wheelhouse and delivered a fairly vintage performance. Chelsea had more of the ball but Spurs more of the shots.
3. Tempers flare between old pals (Mou still has it): Frank Lampard is turning out to be a manager who loves a touchline argument and perhaps that’s something he learned from his old boss. Lampard famously traded barbs with Jurgen Klopp last season and Mourinho was happy to take his old midfielder up on the offer on Tuesday. You can imagine it might take a lot for Lampard to be surprised by Mou but also that the latter knows which pushed buttons can activate the Englishman (A report online claimed that Lampard might’ve irked Mourinho by becoming more vocal after Chelsea took the lead). The pair did shake hands before penalties but Spurs and Chelsea were growing a nice rivalry before the North Londoners dropped off a bit last year. We’re ready for it to regain its feistiness.
Man of the Match
Werner is always running and could’ve had two or three with a bit of luck or more sharpness. He edges a bunch of players who were not with their clubs in the summer: Mendy, Reguilon, and Ndombele (Wait? What’s that you say? Ndombele has been with Tottenham for some time?).
Tottenham – Chelsea recap
Werner got hold of a seeing-eye Cesar Azpilicueta cross in the 19th minute to open the scoring, lashing home from outside the 18.
Gedson Fernandes wanted a penalty when Kurt Zouma won a tight challenge in the heart of Chelsea’s 18, but none came for the Spurs man.
Then Jose Mourinho became a psychic, as Eric Dier left with injury a day after the boss said he expected more injuries to come to Spurs due to fixture congestion.
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A silky Erik Lamela turn forced Mendy into the first big save of his Chelsea career as it stayed 1-0 to the visitors in the 35th.
Mendy then made a strong stop when Serge Aurier’s cross through the box was laced by Reguilon in the 50th.
A big tackle from N’Golo Kante allowed Mason Mount to cue up Werner, but the German’s 73rd-minute low drive was smothered by Lloris.
Mourinho comically zipped down the tunnel to check on Eric Dier after the center back ran off the pitch and into the locker room only to return.
Dier was soon busy again, blocking Mount’s bid to set up Werner alone in the 18.
Spurs sub Harry Kane nearly made it 1-1 in the 81st but missed the frame.
But it was Lamela who spent the day as Chelsea’s threat and he was in the catbird seat when Emerson bungled Reguilon’s back-post cross.
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