Tottenham had a mountain to climb as Spurs kicked off at home against Chelsea in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semifinal matchup on Wednesday. By halftime, the mountain had gotten even taller.
Chelsea holds a 3-0 aggregate lead after Antonio Rudiger’s first-half header added to an already imposing lead. A Kai Havertz strike and Ben Davies own-goal gave the Blues a deserved first-leg advantage, and now Rudiger’s goal has put Chelsea on the brink of Wembley.
Coming into the match, Spurs need a two-goal victory to even send the matchup to penalties, and now a gargantuan three-goal turnaround would be necessary to have a sniff at the final.
MORE: Do away goals count in Carabao Cup semis?
Chelsea, meanwhile, is set up nicely, just needing to avoid a major 45-minute letdown to book a spot in the final at Wembley.
Sporting News will be following the event live and providing score updates, commentary and highlights as they happen.
Chelsea vs. Tottenham live score
18th min – CHE – Antonio Rudiger
(All times Eastern)
48th minute: Back out for the second half, Rudiger has a go again with his head, but it’s over the bar this time, unable to double his tally. Chelsea looking strong and in control out of the break.
Halftime: Tottenham 0-1 Chelsa (0-3 on aggregate)
Chelsea is just too good for this Spurs side. Rudiger is making a case for Chelsea to open the check book, and the rest of the side has protected the lead quite well. Tottenham has had its chances, because they have good players, but the consensus is they’re not good enough for the level of ambitions Antonio Conte would prefer.
Home fans at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium boo the team back into the tunnel. 135 minutes gone by, 45 more to go, but it certainly feels like the last half of play is a mere formality, barring what would be a comeback/collapse of legendary proportions.
10 – Antonio Rüdiger’s opener was his 10th goal for Chelsea in all competitions, with those goals being scored at just three different stadiums (Stamford Bridge 5, King Power 3, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 2). Selective. #TOTCHE
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 12, 2022
44th minute: Overturned! A lengthy VAR review determines the foul happened inches outside the penalty area. Spurs have a free-kick, but not a penalty. Rudiger – for now – let off the hook
The ball is placed on the ground very nearly touching the edge of the 18-yard box. Hojbjerg, Lo Celso, and Emerson all standing over the ball. It’s Lo Celso, but his looping effort is blocked by a leaping Rudiger as the wall does its job.
#thfc Decision overturned. Free-kick to Spurs right on the edge. The right call. The initial contact was outside the box & Hojbjerg tripped himself once was inside
— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) January 12, 2022
40th minute: Penalty to Tottenham! Rudiger scores down one end but just now concedes a penalty on the other. He initially fouled Hojbjerg before the Spurs midfielder got to the penalty area, but the contact continues into the box and Hojbjerg goes down. Andre Marriner points to the spot.
VAR is having a look at the location of the foul. The side angle did appear to support the referee’s decision, but the overhead look puts it in doubt. Does Spurs have a lifeline?
Weird 5 minutes for Rudiger. Almost like he’s finding it so easy that he wants a bit of drama. Odd. #TOTCHE
— Jake Heasman (@jakeheasman) January 12, 2022
37th minute: Tottenham putting up more of a fight now, this time on the counter, but Emerson produces a weak effort that’s no problem for Kepa. Chelsea defending well tracking back when Spurs breaks.
Hudson-Odoi does well to get back and make the angle more difficult for Emerson to score. Ends with a tame shot at Kepa. #TOTCHE
— Simon Johnson (@SJohnsonSport) January 12, 2022
32nd minute: Spurs finally get on the front foot and Hojbjerg fires from distance, a great effort that’s just deflected wide. The ensuing corner gets Kane involved as its flicked to him at the far post but just out of his reach. Kane nearly went sliding into the post itself dangerously but managed to avoid injury. Promising, but not yet enough.
Fans and media going in on this Tottenham squad. It’s not good enough to compete with the big boys.
How many of Chelsea’s bench would get in the #THFC team tonight? All of them?!
Bettinelli, Alonso, Thiago Silva, Kante, Pulisic, Loftus-Cheek, Saul, Ziyech, Havertz
— Charlie Eccleshare (@CDEccleshare) January 12, 2022
25th minute: Relentless Chelsea possession, as they now have held 72% possession through the first 25 minutes of the match, despite conceding the first five minutes or so to Spurs. The Blues are convincing.
18th minute: GOAL! Chelsea! Antonio Rudiger has almost certainly put Chelsea into the final at Wembley. Off a corner, Spurs goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini came out to punch, and he didn’t get there before Rudiger who headed into the empty net. Chelsea had controlled the last 10 minutes after weathering the early Spurs pressure, and the goal was coming. You have to wonder at what point Chelsea decides to give Rudiger a blank check to keep him from leaving this summer.
Antonio Conte may be rueing his decision to sit Hugo Lloris. Before, Spurs needed to climb a mountain, now they need a rocket to space to turn this around.
#thfc Spurs now need 3 to take game to extra time. Will obviously increase scrutiny on Conte’s decision not to play Lloris.
— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) January 12, 2022
Chelsea had totally controlled the last 5-10 minutes, moving the ball around Spurs far too easily, and there they got their reward. V poor from Gollini as well.
— Jack Pitt-Brooke (@JackPittBrooke) January 12, 2022
10th minute: Chelsea just knocking the ball about, a real snooze-inducing possessional offense. Not terribly surprising given.
Then…bang, a long ball from the back is on a platter for Romelu Lukaku, who nearly opens the scoring but is just put off by Davinson Sanchez.
This is really how I expected Chelsea to play. The Blues aren’t going to force anything, they’re really comfortable just kicking the ball about and waiting for Spurs to open up. The onus is on the home side #TOTCHE
— The Pride of London (@PrideOLondon) January 12, 2022
7th minute: Spurs showing the early intent they need. Christensen hacks down Lo Celso, but Kane’s free-kick from just outside the top of the box is smashed into the wall. Ronaldo-esque.
Tottenham have played better in 8 minutes than they did in the whole game at Stamford Bridge last week in the first leg #TOTCHE
— Josh Bunting (@Buntingfootball) January 12, 2022
3rd minute: It appears Chelsea has situated itself as a 4-2-2-2 instead of the usual 3-4-3 Tuchel likes to deploy. Malang Sarr is playing left-back. Has Ralf Rangnick shown up in a Chelsea shirt?
1st minute: We’re under way! As commentator Peter Drury notes on kickoff, Tottenham cannot concede the first goal. They must score the first goal, in any way, shape, or form. Otherwise they’re sunk.
2:41 p.m.: History suggest Chelsea will come through unscathed. The demons of a past slip on a big European stage have been all but exorcised.
13 – In all competitions, Chelsea have progressed from each of their last 13 two-legged ties when winning the first leg, since going out to Liverpool in the 2006-07 Champions League semi-final. Command. #TOTCHE
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 12, 2022
2:37 p.m.: Spurs certainly won’t go down without a fight, but will they have enough to turn this tie on its head?
2:00 p.m.: Lineups are in. American international Christian Pulisic is on the Chelsea bench, along with last leg’s goalscorer Kai Havertz. Instead, Thomas Tuchel has chosen captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Calum Hudson-Odoi as the wing-backs.
For Tottenham, Antonio Conte may be conceding somewhat, with regular goalkeeper Hugo Lloris rested. Harry Kane is in the Spurs lineup, however, while Giovani Lo Celso gets a rare start in midfield.
Full lineups are listed below.
1:13 p.m.: A beautiful scene and a beautiful stadium.
12:45 p.m.: I have only just discovered this Twitter account, and yessssss feed me more N’Golo Kante content. It’s matchday!
Tottenham vs. Chelsea lineups
Tottenham is a mostly healthy side, but there is one big injury absence that will affect its chances in this match. Attacking force Heung-min Son is out for a month with a muscular problem that he didn’t feel until the day after the first leg at Stamford Bridge. That’s a big blow to a Spurs side already down by two goals and lacking goalscoring prowess of late.
Steven Bergwijn is also out due to a calf injury, plus the rumors surrounding his possible January exit. Eric Dier is a question mark due to a non-COVID related illness, and Cristian Romero could also make his return now that he’s back in training.
That has left Antonio Conte to name a weaker lineup, instead preferring to save the first-teamers for Saturday’s huge Premier League match against rivals Arsenal. While plenty of regulars like Davinson Sanchez, Harry Kane, and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are listed, Gio Lo Celso gets a rare start as does Matt Doherty, with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris rested.
Tottenham projected starting lineup (3-5-2): Gollini (GK) – Davies, Tanganga, Sánchez – Doherty, Højbjerg, Winks, Lo Celso, Emerson – Moura, Kane
Tottenham subs (9): Lloris (GK), Paskotsi, Sessegnon, Rodon, Skipp, White, Alli, Bryan, Scarlett.
Chelsea is lacking defensive options, but got good news that Cesar Azpilicueta ‘s struggles were due to nothing more than cramps and he continues on as Chelsea’s captain. Thiago Silva had tested positive for COVID-19 and while he returns, he only makes the bench, leaving Malang Sarr back in the lineup. N’Golo Kante is in the same boat, alongside the Brazilian defender amongst the substitutes.
Reece James and Ben Chilwell are out with their long-term injuries, while Trevoh Chalobah is also a miss with a hamstring strain. Edouard Mendy is on AFCON 2022 duty (and also tested positive for COVID-19 while with Senegal), so Kepa Arrizabalaga is the man in net for the forseeable future.
Thomas Tuchel has gone with Azpilicueta as a wing-back opposite Calum Hudson-Odoi , while preferring the out-of-form Timo Werner ahead of last leg’s goalscorer Kai Havertz up front. American Christian Pulisic is on the bench as well.
Chelsea projected starting lineup (4-2-2-2): Kepa (GK) – Azpilicueta, Christensen, Rudiger, Sarr – Jorginho, Kovacic – Hudson-Odoi, Mount – Werner, Lukaku.
Chelsea subs (9): Bettinelli (GK), Thiago Silva, Alonso, Kante, Loftus-Cheek, Saul, Havertz, Pulisic, Ziyech.
How to watch Tottenham vs. Chelsea
- Date: Wednesday, Jan. 12
- Time: 2:45 p.m. ET
- Streaming: ESPN+ (subscribers only)
The Wednesday EFL Cup semifinal second leg between Tottenham and Chelsea from London will be broadcast exclusively on ESPN’s streaming service, ESPN+.
Chelsea vs. Tottenham betting lines, picks & predictions
Pick: Double Chance parlay – Draw or Chelsea & under 2.5 goals (+110)
Prediction: Tottenham 1-1 Chelsea
- Moneyline: Tottenham +175 / Draw +245 / Chelsea +160
- Spread (Asian Handicap): Tottenham pick’em (+100) / Chelsea pick’em (-115)
- O/U 2.5 total goals: Over -105 / Under -110
- Both teams to score: Yes -145 / No +110