If there’s three things I hate most within the footballing world it’s losing to Spurs, being knocked out on penalties and our academy prospects missing big chances. This game had all three, making that exit to the Carabao Cup this year a pretty hard pill to swallow. Although there were some positives, Frank Lampard will be left wondering why his side were unable to get that all-important win over Jose Mourinho.
Edouard Mendy’s Debut: A Success
Seeing as this is going to be a hard read for many Chelsea supporters, let’s start off with one huge positive in the game. When the starting XI was announced for the game on Tuesday night, Chelsea fans were thrilled to see new signing Edouard Mendy start between the sticks, and the 28-year-old had a superb debut for the Blues. The Frenchman was able to make claims, looked confident in goal and also made some impressive saves throughout the game. He saved a decent shot by Erik Lamela in the first half, before saving another good one by Sergio Reguilon in the second. Although he was unable to produce a save in the penalty shootout, neither keeper managed to – and overall, it’s fair to say that Chelsea fans were in safer hands with their new player on the pitch.
A Positive Performance By Callum Hudson-Odoi
Another positive was Callum Hudson-Odoi’s performance throughout the game. Despite the youngster recently being questioned about his ability on the pitch, he showed supporters why he is known as one of the most talented prospects from Cobham. The 19-year-old looked impressive on the wings, switching with Timo Werner as they both ran through Tottenham’s defence. He had an early chance in the game, and was also highly involved in Chelsea’s goal in the first half. All in all, a superb display by the young talent – it’s just a shame we were unable to progress in the competition.
A Defensive Mistake Costs Us
Despite the promising performance by our new keeper, it was a mistake within our defenders that cost us the goal by Spurs in the latter stages of the game. The defence were unable to deal with the cross by Reguilon, with Emerson ultimately losing his man and resulting in a Lamela goal with just over five minutes to go. It was a sloppy mistake which ended in an extremely disappointing night for the visitors.
Lampard Got It Wrong
Speaking of Emerson, the left-back was brought on for Ben Chilwell in the 66th minute – and was perhaps one of the many odd decisions made by Lampard on the night. Although the starting XI looked pretty positive, there were some notable problems in midfield, and bringing on N’Golo Kante was unfortunately not the solution. Starting Werner on the left wing was potentially another concern, with the German looking better up front or working more narrow in previous matches in his career, but with the current injury issues on the wings, his decision to start him there was understandable. However, the major issue was the penalty shootout and the problems surrounding Mason Mount. The youngster was clearly tired in the game, having played in all of Chelsea’s matches so far, so needed to be rested or taken off in the second half. The fact that he also took the penalty over Werner was worrying, with our new striker unable to take any on the night.
However, one problem that looked particularly daunting to me was the lack of urgency after the first goal – and particularly in the second half. Yes, it’s just the Carabao Cup, but this is a game against our fiercest rivals and our past manager. Therefore a win, in my opinion, was vital. However, the boys looked off pace after Werner’s goal and there was no urgency to get the job done and prevent the game from going to penalties.