Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur: Mourinho’s boys win League Cup trophy

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Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea beat London rivals Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the League Cup final at Wembley on Sunday, as the Premier League leaders won the first piece of silverware on offer in England this season.

[ RELATED: Man City’s title hopes hit ]

A first half goal from John Terry set them on their way, then a Diego Costa shot which deflected off Kyle Walker and in sealed the victory at a rain soaked Wembley. 10 years after Mourinho hoisted the League Cup for his first trophy in England, the Portuguese boss now has the first title of his second spell in charge of the Blues after a perfect day for Chelsea which also saw Manchester City lose to Liverpool as their grip on the Premier League trophy also strengthened.

Winning the League Cup trophy marked Chelsea’s first title since their UEFA Europa League success in 2013, and the first time they have won the League Cup since 2007. As for Spurs, they have now lost their last two League Cup finals after beating Chelsea 2-1 in the 2008 final.

Chelsea started brightly as Terry almost got on the end of a ball at the back post but Hugo Lloris tipped Branislav Ivanovic’s deep cross out for a corner. Tottenham almost took the lead on 10 minutes as Harry Kane won a free kick after some trickery on the edge of the box and Christian Eriksen stepped up but his curling effort crashed off the crossbar and out. Moments later Eden Hazard curled an effort wide, as Chelsea pushed their way back into the match.

[ RELATED: Three things we learned from Liverpool-Man City ]

A flash-point arrived in the first half as Costa appeared to push Nabil Bentaleb in the face when holding off the Spurs midfielder, then Kyle Walker and Ryan Mason were incensed that the Brazilian forward wasn’t penalized by referee Anthony Taylor. Moments later Costa was taken out by Eric Dier, who was shown a yellow card, as Chelsea began to get under the skin of Spurs.

Before the break Eriksen again went close as he picked up the ball on the edge of the box but Petr Cech got down low to save at his near post. Terry then gave Chelsea the lead right on the stroke of half time, as  free kick from Willian on the right hit Dier and Terry slammed home the loose ball. 1-0 to Chelsea.

source: Getty Images
Costa and Chelsea prevailed in a rough and tumble final at Wembley.

Moments before the break it was almost 2-0 as Gary Cahill headed towards goal but Lloris saved, as Spurs went in 1-0 down. In the second half Hazard popped up on the left and flashed the ball across the face of the goal but no Chelsea player could get on the end.

Cesc Fabregas then sent a spectacular bicycle kick towards the bottom corner which Lloris saved, as the Premier League leaders poured forward at the start of the second half. As the rain poured down at Wembley, Chelsea doubled their lead to put the game beyond Spurs’ reach.

Fabregas slotted in Costa and from a tight angle he drilled an effort towards goal which deflected off Walker and past Lloris into the net. 2-0 to Chelsea. Hazard then bent an effort just wide of the far post as Chelsea threatened to run away with things. Late on Spurs threw everything at Chelsea but Kane’s effort was deflected wide and that was as close as they got to halving the deficit.

LINEUPS

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ramires, Zouma, Fabregas (Oscar, 88′), Hazard, Diego Costa (Drogba, 90′), Willian (Cuadrado, 76′)

Goals: Terry (44′), Walker, OG (56′)

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Walker, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose, Mason (Lamela, 71′), Bentaleb, Eriksen, Townsend, (Dembele, 62′) Kane, Chadli (Soldado, 80′)

Everton’s Silva: ‘It is concerning about the goals we didn’t score’

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Like in the two games leading into Friday night, Everton have done their part in creating clear-cut chances.

They haven’t done their part in finishing, however. A major point of concern for manager Marco Silva following his side’s 2-0 loss against Aston Villa. From the BBC:

“It is really difficult to see how we can lose this game when we create so many chances to score. It is a tough place to play football.”

The Toffees have now outshot all three opponents they’ve faced this season (34-21), but have only a goal to speak for their attacking dominance. Against Villa, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Theo Walcott squandered ideal chances in the first and second halves, respectively. In the minutes following his Everton debut, Alex Iwobi was the closest to converting for the visitors, hitting the post in the closing minutes of the match.

Silva, as critical as ever before, acknowledges that despite his team succeeding when it comes to creating chances, they desperately need to move the ball past the white line.

“The most difficult thing is to create and when you do you have to put the ball in the net,” the 42-year-old added. “It is concerning about the goals we didn’t score and of course we should score more. Against Palace we created lots of chances to score and didn’t and again today.”

With a challenging bout against Wolves at Goodison Park next on the schedule, the Portuguese will certainly look to tinker his attack to improve the team’s poor conversion rate. Despite falling to score 10 yards in, Iwobi contributed positively for Everton at Villa Park. Moise Kean, still adjusting to the rigors of the league, can be another prudent option to consider.

Luckily, Everton have time – and a match against Lincoln City midweek – to weigh their options. Silva, as he clearly explained at Villa Park, would want the goals to come in sooner rather than later.

Villa’s Wesley hopes to ‘continue like this’ after scoring first goal

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Anwar El Ghazi was the x-factor Friday night, giving every Aston Villa supporter in attendance at Villa Park the excuse to roar at the top of their lungs following his composed finish in the dying seconds of stoppage time.

But about an hour earlier, Villa’s $28-million striker, Wesley, gave the same supporters a reason to believe that they had a chance against Everton, and, most importantly, that Villa made the right decision in securing his signature just months ago.

[ MORE: Recap | Highlights ]

With a timely run and a well-paced strike, the Brazilian opened his Premier League and Aston Villa account. Something manager Dean Smith knew was bound to happen. From the BBC:

“Wesley is not rewarding me but this performance was very good tonight. I believe in him, I have watched him for a while at Club Bruges, playing in the Champions League so I know the calibre of player we were bringing in. You can’t judge someone after two games.”

Prior to Friday, Wesley was less effective than expected in the claret and blue, recording only two shots on target in his first 164 minutes in the league. Smith was swarmed with questions about the striker’s ineffectiveness as the pressure continued to pile on.

Against Everton, however, with the Villa struggling to keep possession and most playing through frenetic counter attacks, the 22-year-old made the most out of the small number of chances he saw. 21 minutes in, he scored. A couple of minutes later – if it wasn’t for a superb last-second tackle from Everton’s Yerry Mina – the Brazilian would have had a brace.

When he wasn’t aiming for goal, the striker was effectively displacing Everton’s back four with his clever runs and brawny hold-up play. One could tell that the Brazilian was playing the game to his strengths, in peace.

“I am very happy tonight, what a performance from the team,” Wesley said after the match. “We worked hard, played very well and we hope to continue like this week by week then we will see what happens.

“The manager knows me, he sees me everyday working hard and the supporters know me too. I keep calm, I know my qualities and today you saw that I can do.

“I hope to continue like this, the last two games were very difficult but now I have to help my team with goals.”

Time will tell if Wesley will continue on the same path, but after a slow start, its quite crystal clear that everyone at Aston Villa is behind the Brazilian striker.

Late El Ghazi goal seals Aston Villa victory over Everton

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With three points under their belt and Villa Park rocking like never before, it now feels like Aston Villa are finally back in the Premier League.

Pinned back the majority of the second half, trying to conserve a 1-0 lead, Anwar El Ghazi‘s last-gasp goal sealed the deal for Villa, edging Everton 2-0 on Friday.

Wesley‘s cathartic welcome to the Premier League 21 minutes in gave Dean Smith‘s side the room to breathe, despite being behind the ball the majority of the match.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]


Four things we learned

1. Certainly not the case last time they featured in the Premier League, Villa now have the luxury of boasting game-changing choices off the bench like El Ghazi, who can come in and finish things off.

2. Three matches in, and the Toffees’ glaring void is a clinical finisher up top. They’ll need to find a solution, sooner rather than later.

3.  In the 30-minute cameo, Alex Iwobi displayed that he can turn out to be a difference-maker for Everton this season, if utilized properly.

4. On a good night, there aren’t many stadiums that roar louder than Villa Park.

Man of the Match


Jota, positive for 77 minutes on the right side of the midfield, combined time and time again with Villa right back Frederic Guilbert for the greater good of creating energetic counters. The Spaniard’s first assist of the season came in similar fashion, when Wesley finished off his precise through ball.

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Everton, like in the first half, imposed themselves on the home side, dominating control of the ball. A lack of fishing and creativity in the final third, however, complicated things for Marco Silva‘s side. As the clocked ticked, the ingenuity was nowhere to be found.

Shortly after coming on, Iwobi put forward the clearest chance Everton had experienced all night. The substitute’s shot, though, struck post, denying any chances of a brilliant debut by the former Arsenal man.

Villa continued to sit back with its four-man backline and Douglas Luiz right above as the No. 6, while remaining attentive on when to spring forward and take advantage of an unbalanced Everton.

El Ghazi surprised many, riffling a shot from 25 yards out. Pickford, vigilant as ever before, calmly blocked it out of danger.

Right before stoppage time, the Toffees were a couple of feet from walking away from Villa Park with a vital point. Theo Wolcott, however, failed to keep his strike leveled, skying the ball well over the bar.

Just minutes later, substitute El-Ghazi showed those watching how to finish, leading Villa to their first Premier League win since 2016.

AT HALF: Wesley scores first goal for Aston Villa

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With pressure certainly on, Wesley scored his first Premier League goal, which has Aston Villa 45 minutes out of their first points since their return to the big stage.

Following a sublime through ball from Jota, the Brazilian didn’t shy away from slotting the ball past Jordan Pickford and into the back of the net.

[ STREAM: Aston Villa – Everton ]

Such timely run and clinical finish showcased by the 22-year-old put into perspective why Villa were willing to shell out $28 million for the striker this summer.

Welcome to the Premier League, Wesley.