Carabao Cup final: Chelsea’s route to Wembley

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea – Carabao Cup – Semi Final – Second Leg – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Chelsea take on Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday.

Here, the PA news agency looks at how Thomas Tuchel’s Blues made it to Wembley.

Third round: Chelsea 1 Aston Villa 1; Chelsea win 4-3 on penalties (September 22)

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Reece James drilled home the decisive spot-kick after Chelsea were dragged into a shoot-out by Villa. The visitors’ young forward Cameron Archer grabbed a second-half equaliser to cancel out Timo Werner’s opener for the Blues. Full-back James had set up Werner’s header with a neat cross, then kept his nerve to despatch the winning penalty.

Fourth round: Chelsea 1 Southampton 1; Chelsea win 4-3 on penalties (October 26)

Chelsea v Southampton – Carabao Cup – Fourth Round – Stamford Bridge

Kepa Arrizabalaga, left, and Reece James, right, celebrate Chelsea’s penalty shoot-out win over Southampton (Nick Potts/PA)

James again converted the winning penalty, reprising his pivotal role from the third round. Hakim Ziyech teed up Kai Havertz for a goal just before half-time that had Chelsea hoping to take control. But after the interval Che Adams pounced to put the tie back on level terms. Kepa Arrizabalaga conjured two fine late saves to push the clash into a shoot-out, and again the Blues kept their heads. Theo Walcott and Will Smallbone missed from the spot for Saints, but James stayed cool again to send Chelsea through.

Quarter-final: Brentford 0 Chelsea 2 (December 22)

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Positive coronavirus tests and injuries wrecked Tuchel’s selection plans, with the Blues boss fielding three teenage academy stars. But Pontus Jansson’s own goal 10 minutes from time helped the Blues sneak ahead, before Jorginho’s penalty sealed the win.

Semi-final first leg: Chelsea 2 Tottenham 0 (January 5)

Chelsea v Liverpool – Premier League – Stamford Bridge

Kai Havertz, pictured, found the net as Chelsea took control in their semi-final against Tottenham (Adam Davy/PA)

Havertz’s early effort handed Chelsea total control against an outclassed Tottenham, who were further pegged back by a Ben Davies own goal. The Blues were determined to seize the initiative in the home leg and so it proved, with the clean sheet only boosting their dominance. Antonio Conte cut a subdued figure on the touchline in enduring a miserable return to his former club.

Semi-final second leg: Tottenham 0 Chelsea 1; Chelsea win 3-0 on aggregate (January 12)

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Toni Rudiger’s early effort handed Tottenham a mountain to climb to stop rivals Chelsea reaching their first League Cup final since 2019. Spurs falling further behind in the overall tie early in the second leg allowed the Blues to close out the triumph and move into the final with minimum fuss.

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