Tottenham Hotspur went to Stamford Bridge, a place where they NEVER have trouble ever, to face Chelsea in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semifinals.
It, uh, didn’t go well.
Spurs laid an egg in this match, especially in the first half. Kai Havertz scored a heavily deflected goal off of Davinson Sanchez (I’m actually shocked it wasn’t called an own goal) after just four minutes, and Spurs shot themselves in the foot again in the first half after Tanganga cleared a ball off of Ben Davies’ face and past Hugo Lloris to put Chelsea up 2-0.
Conte switched shape with a halftime sub and Spurs came back to play Chelsea much closer to even in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to get on the scoresheet. The final score remained 2-0, meaning Spurs have a whale of a job to get to their second consecutive League Cup final next week.
It’s always tough to really analyze a game when you’re half watching it at work, but here are a few observations.
- The first half was quite easily the worst half of football we’ve seen yet under Conte. Spurs not only didn’t have a shot on target, they didn’t have a shot PERIOD. Two first half own goals, completely dominated in the center of the pitch, awful defending. Whoof.
- That opening goal was an absolute cluster. Just a terrible pass from Tanganga to set everything in motion, and then let Havertz just waltz past him. Sanchez didn’t exactly cover himself in glory either.
- The Skippbjerg midfield was just the wrong choice against this Chelsea side — neither were pushing high up the pitch, and Chelsea had a 3 v. 2 advantage which allowed them acres of space from which to play out of the back. Spurs were again desperate for midfield creativity, especially with Doherty and Royal on the flanks.
- The second goal? Man, I don’t know. The soccer gods hate us. Tanganga cleared a ball that went in off of Ben Davies’ face. How do you assign blame to that? That’s some God of Chaos crap right there.
- Regardless: Tanganga. Wow. Buddy. I thought I was having a rough day at work, but that was really something!
- Credit to Conte for bringing in
TangangaTanguy at halftime, rolling the dice, and switching to a 4-3-3. Spurs looked immediately better and more competitive, if not good enough.
- Tanguy wasn’t spectacular, but he, along with the formation change, did stuff that Spurs just weren’t doing at all in the first half. Was he good? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But he wasn’t BAD.
- Hot take: Davinson Sanchez #actually did a really good job on Romelu Lukaku today.
- I’m not a blame the ref guy, but the match official was REALLY letting things go today. Sarr should’ve had a second yellow, and Chelsea got away with murder on multiple occasions, basically chipping and shoving Spurs on counters and not getting called for it. It was super frustrating.
- We don’t have much from this match, but we do have Bryan Gil putting Christian Pulisic in a blender at the end, and I’ll always savor that memory.
- Look, a 2-0 deficit isn’t impossible to overcome, especially with the second leg at White Hart Lane, but Spurs just made their lives super difficult, and they’ll need to put in an infinitely better performance in a week than they did today.