League Cup Final. Chelsea vs Tottenham.
Kind of worried for Chelsea today. No Matic. They have often struggled for balance defensively in midfield without Matic available. Hoping Chelsea play two CMs behind Fabregas like they did in Paris against PSG. If they play Fabregas as box-to-box alongside only one holder, I worry about Eriksen getting too much space. He wrecked havoc on Chelsea's defense on New Year's Day.
I think Tottenham might be slight favourites heading into this one.
Update: sounds like Mikel is a doubt too due to injury so Cesc + Ramires as CMs looking more and more likely.
Update: Zouma has started as destroyer in midfield with Ramires and Fabregas alongside them. Fabregas looks very deep in first 30 minutes. Defensive midfielder + two box-to-box midfielders. Chelsea struggling to get on the ball and create chances in final third. Very defensive lineup. Tottenham the aggressor thus far.
It is disappointing there is no Matic today. This is not attacking Chelsea that were so much fun to watch in the first half of the season. This is the park-the-bus Chelsea Mourinho turns to when he is in a tough spot.
Update: Chelsea struggling to build any passing movements. Playing Zouma is like playing with a man less in midfield. Zouma is doing nothing when Chelsea have possession. He has been superb defensively in protecting that zone but the attack has really suffered. Ramires isn't doing much either. So Fabregas cannot move forward because they cannot hold onto the ball properly and build attacks. So it more about direct passes forward and one-on-one play from Costa, Hazard and/or Willian.
Chelsea do not look capable of scoring a goal from possession based attack in open play. If they score, it'll either be from a counter attack or a set piece. And there goes, GOAL by John Terry from a set piece. Stupid needless foul by Chadli in a dangerous area to gift Chelsea that chance. Tottenham have only themselves to blame.
Tottenham getting very little from Chadli or Andros Townsend. Neither providing the team enough quality going forward. Eriksen is being shut out by Zouma. Tottenham struggling to create chances. Need to make some changes (Chadli & Townsend) at halftime. Lamela should be coming on.
Update: Zouma is pretty much man-marking Eriksen. Eriksen needs to switch positions with one of Tottenham's wings. Force Zouma to make a decision. He'll either go with Eriksen and leave an open space for Tottenham to exploit or Eriksen can get free of Zouma (albeit in a less advantageous part of the pitch for him). Do not understand why Eriksen is staying so central all the time. It is making him easy for Zouma to defend him & for Chelsea to maintain overall defensive shape.
Update: Goal Costa! Nice through ball from Fabregas but there was still a lot of work for Costa to do. Costa's close control gets him a yard of space away from his defender, smashes the shot in, deflection, Lloris has no chance, beats him at near post. Chelsea up 2-0!!
It should be plain sailings here on in for Chelsea. Their defense has been great. Tottenham do not look like scoring. Hard to see Chelsea losing a two goal advantage.