Chelsea reach final
Published on: Friday, January 14, 2022
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Rudiger (right) scores during the match against Tottenham.
LONDON: Thomas Tuchel said Chelsea reached the League Cup final despite “playing with fire” as Antonio Rudiger’s goal andthreeVARdecisionshelpedthe Blues seal a 1-0 win at Tottenham on Wednesday.

Rudiger’s first half header ensured Chelsea pressed home the advantage they had earned with a 2-0 win in the semi-final first leg last week.

Tuchel’s team also had VAR official Mike Dean on their side as Tottenham were given two penalties by Andre Marriner, only for reviews to overturn both, while Harry Kane saw a goal disallowed for offside.

Chelsea, 3-0 aggregate winners, will play Liverpool or Arsenal in the final at Wembley on February 27.

Liverpool host the coronavirus-delayed first leg of their semi-final against the Gunners on Thursday.

“We started good. We had big chances and controlled the match, but I had the feeling we played with fire,” Tuchel said.

“We allowedchances fromsloppymistakes andwere lucky. We almost gave a penalty away for no reason, for a bit of over-confidence.

“We needed luck to not give away another penalty, to have an offside VAR decision.”

Tuchel is the first manager in Chelsea’s history to lead the club to the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup finals, a feat he has achieved just 350 days after his first game in charge in January 2020.

ItisChelsea’s first LeagueCup final appearance since 2019 as they aim to win the competition for the first time since 2015.

“We need to play better if we’re going to really deserve results like this.Wehave tomeetthe standards,” Tuchel said.

Tottenhamhavenotwonamajortrophy since lifting the League Cup in 2008 and their options for ending that droughtthis season are dwindling.

Antonio Conte had conceded it would be hard to overturn the deficit against a team of Chelsea’s quality.

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