Chelsea 0-0 Man City (3-4 on Pens) – Shootout heartbreak for Blues after heroic display

Chelsea suffer heartbreak after losing the Carabao Cup Final to Manchester City in a penalty-shoot out at Wembley.

After an enthralling but goalless 120 minutes, City eventually prevailed 4-3 on spot-kicks to win their sixth League Cup title, the second-most of any club behind Liverpool (8).

Raheem Sterling scored the winning penalty for Pep Guardiola’s side to become the first team to retain the League Cup since Manchester United in 2010, but the match will be forever remembered for the actions of Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Ilkay Gundogan, Sergio Aguero and Bernardo Silva scored from the spot for City and even though Arrizabalaga saved from Leroy Sane it was to no avail.

Jorginho’s spot kick was saved by Ederson and David Luiz hit the post as Chelsea were sunk, despite César Azpilicueta, Emerson and Eden Hazard converting their kicks.

Photo Source: Telegraph

Despite the lack of goals, this was one of the best domestic cup finals to have ever been played. With this said though, the incredible performance on display by Chelsea will be overshadowed by the crazy moment surrounding Arrizabalaga.

The £71m Spanish keeper, Chelsea’s club record signing, had been struggling with cramp in the closing stages of extra-time and Sarri decided to send on substitute Willy Caballero, who saved three penalties in a shootout to help Manchester City win this trophy against Liverpool in 2016.

Arrizabalaga however, blatantly refused to be substituted, which left Head Coach Maurizio Sarri feeling apoplectic on the touchline and had to walk down the tunnel to cool off for a few minutes. Whether this leads to anything going forward for Kepa, Sarri or both even remains to be seen.

Photo Source: @ChelseaFC

After the total humiliation of 6-0 just two weeks ago at the Etihad in the Premier League, Sarri’s side showed a performance that was full of pride, belief, passion and mentality. Unfortunately, luck was not on the side of the Blues today and thus suffered their third loss in a League Cup Final.

City retain the League Cup – and win it for the third time in four years – but Arrizabalaga’s actions will forever be the headline story.

Match Statistics

Possession (%)  – Chelsea 39%, Man City 61%
Shots – Chelsea 7, Man City 13
Shots on Target – Chelsea 0, Man City 3
Corners – Chelsea 4, Man City 7
Fouls – Chelsea 7, Man City 22
Offsides – Chelsea 2, Man City 1
Yellow/Red Cards – Chelsea 3/0, Man City 2/0

(Bonus Stat) Callum Hudson-Odoi – at the age of 18 years and 109 days – became Chelsea’s second-youngest player to appear in a League Cup Final, after John Boyle (18y 80d) in 1965.

Post-Match Thoughts

• Easily the better team; more chances, moments, etc.
• Fantastic defensive outing.
• Passion, determination… MENTALITY… All on display.
• Immensely proud of the team, the manager and the performance from everyone.
• Except for the final few minutes from Kepa. Inexcusable.
• Kepa’s actions destroy our momentum into the shoot-out? Possibly so.

Chelsea Player/Manager Ratings

Starting XI
Arrizabalaga – 7, Performed well and was alert for a couple of scary moments that came from City throughout the game. His actions at the end of extra-time however, were completely disrespectful.
Azpilicueta – 8, Started off slowly sluggishly but grew into the game and ended up putting a ‘typical Dave’ performance. With that said, his lack of leadership on show for the Kepa incident was very alarming.
Rudiger – 8, His best performance in a Chelsea shirt for a LONG time. Put his body on the line and in front of everything that City threw at him.
David Luiz – 7, A solid performance from the Brazilian and you could tell how much today meant to him as his passion showed throughout. Unfortunately missed what ended up being the decisive penalty.
Emerson – 9, His best game in a Chelsea shirt since joining the club. Defensively sound, showed promise every single time going forward and never gave Kyle Walker a moment’s peace. HAS to be the main LB from now on.
Kanté – 9, A sluggish opening 20 minutes for the Frenchman, but after that showed once again why he would walk into every single team on the planet. In amongst all that drama, he once again proved that there is no way he’s actually human. Best game of the season for him.
Jorginho – 8, Proved a lot of doubters wrong today by silencing them with an assured display, both in defence and in creativity. Unfortunate to be one of those who missed in the shootout.
Barkley – 7 Showed strength defensively and helped the team greatly – but his overall distribution let him down severely today.
Pedro – 8, Great performance from the Spaniard, executed perfectly what was asked for him from the manager.
Hazard – 9, MOTM. Incredible performance from Chelsea’s talisman, showed once again why he is loved by fans all over the world. Despite being isolated for most of the game, he never gave Man City a moment’s peace. Simply brilliant.
Willian – 8, Just like Pedro, sacrificed his natural attacking instincts to put on a solid defensive display.

Substitutions
Hudson-Odoi (79′ for Pedro) – 8, Never gave Zinchenko a moment’s rest and him on strings for his entire substitute outing. Has to start more regularly now, his potential cannot be disputed anymore.
Loftus-Cheek (89′ for Barkley) – 7, Looked solid for the thirty or so minutes he was on the field and once again showed why he will become a fundamental part of the club moving forward.
Higuain (95′ for Willian ) – 6, Unable to get into the match and thus showed not that much, unfortunately.

Manager
Maurizio Sarri – 10, Yes, I am giving Sarri 10. Why you ask? For as much as he has done wrong in recent memory, he was simply faultless today. He did everything right, and I mean everything. Sarri tweaked his formation, made excellent substitutions and stopped City scoring for the second time this season.

From dropping Alonso, making Emerson his go-to LB, tactically outsmarting Pep Guardiola again this season to finally showing signs of adaptability and flexibility both before AND in-game… Sarri did not put one foot wrong. And I’m not even mentioning what he had to go through regarding the Kepa controversy. All the naysayers and doubters be proven wrong tonight, for he HAS to stay.

Terry Sazio

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