Belfast Telegraph

Chelsea 2 - 0 Tottenham: Blues lift League Cup after comfortable victory

At first glance, Mourinho barely looked bothered by the occasion as he waited for the dignitaries pre-match. The Chelsea boss stood with his hands in his pockets, the top button of his shirt undone, his tie loose.

But the concentration on his face showed he was taking anything but a casual approach to the match. He was up for it.

Still, he could not prevent Tottenham dominating the opening exchanges.

A 1,500-mile midweek trip to Florence had not sapped Spurs of the energy, dynamism and intensity which have become the hallmarks of Pochettino's team.

Lloris, who started ahead of Michel Vorm, tipped a looping Branislav Ivanovic cross wide, but other than that the Tottenham goalkeeper remained largely untroubled.

Four Chelsea players tried and failed to halt Kane in his tracks as he darted towards goal. Cesc Fabregas stopped the striker in his tracks illegally and Anthony Taylor awarded a free-kick 23 yards out.

Eriksen whipped the set piece over the wall and past Petr Cech - but the ball rattled the bar and bounced to safety.

Spurs pressed Chelsea high up the field and successfully picked holes in their defence.

Danny Rose, Walker and Andros Townsend got in behind - but their final ball was poor.

Tottenham looked the more threatening team, but other than saving a weak Kane shot, Cech had little to do.

Zouma prevented Eriksen from causing havoc. The one time he got past the big Frenchman, Cech was on hand to save at his near post.

Referee Taylor had to work hard to keep a lid on proceedings.

Gary Cahill clattered into Rose shortly after the Spurs left-back had bundled Eden Hazard over.

Costa, who had earlier clashed with Eric Dier, squared up to Nabil Bentaleb after the Algerian reacted to a push in the face from the £32million striker.

Taylor booked Dier for a foul from behind on Costa 10 minutes before the break.

Mourinho, who did not budge from the touchline, saw his team snatch the lead in the final minute of the half.

Nacer Chadli was penalised for a foul on Ivanovic and Willian whipped in the free-kick to the near post. Bentaleb's header fell into Terry's path and he fired past Lloris - after a big deflection off Dier.

The heavens opened during the interval and Spurs could not manage a repeat of their quick start to the first half when play resumed.

Despite the presence of three Tottenham players around him, and the slippery surface, Fabregas drew a top-class save from Lloris with an acrobatic effort.

A few minutes later, Chelsea had a two-goal cushion. Fabregas slotted the ball into Costa after a well-worked move from the half way line and the Spain striker drove a low shot towards the back post which was accidentally turned past Lloris by Walker's right boot.

Hazard, a constant threat all afternoon, almost got the goal his performance deserved in the dying minutes.

Mourinho brought Didier Drogba on in the closing stages for what could be his last Wembley hurrah for the Blues.

And the Portuguese revelled in the glory as the Chelsea fans chanted his name at the final whistle.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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