Chelsea convincingly qualified for the final of the League Cup, England’s second cup tournament, on Tuesday evening. At home, coach Mauricio Pochettino’s team was too strong for Middlesbrough 6-1.
Liverpool and Fulham will play for the second final spot on Wednesday. Liverpool won the first meeting 2-1, partly due to a goal by Cody Gakpo. The final battle is scheduled for the end of February.
In Middlesbrough’s Riverside stadium, Chelsea lost the first match 1-0 to the mid-table team from The Championship, the second tier of England. “We have ninety minutes to resolve the situation,” Pochettino said before the return.
The Chelsea manager could draw hope from the past. Middlesbrough has not scored a single goal in the last nine times they visited West London. The last match in which a Middlesbrough player managed to score at Stamford Bridge dates back to September 2001.
Caught off guard
About 5,000 Middlesbrough supporters who traveled saw their team completely overwhelmed by Chelsea in the first half: it was already 4-0 at halftime.
Chelsea took the lead within fifteen minutes, helped by Middlesbrough midfielder Jonathan Howson. In an attempt to defuse a low cross from Raheem Sterling, he worked the ball behind his own goalkeeper. His intervention was necessary to prevent striker Armando Broja from scoring, but had the opposite effect.
Chelsea then simply walked away from Middlesbrough, where 19-year-old Rav van den Berg (ex-PEC Zwolle) had started in the starting line-up and Anfernee Dijksteel (ex-AFC) came in.
Thanks to goals from Enzo Fernández, Axel Disasi and Cole Palmer, the lead had already increased to 4-0 at half time.
Just like with the opening goal, Chelsea took advantage of a defensive error with the fourth goal. This time it was Daniel Barlaser who misjudged a simple pass on the edge of the penalty area, with Palmer taking advantage of the excellent opportunity.
Palmer also made it 5-0 fifteen minutes before the end. Substitute Noni Madueke scored for the 6-0. Van den Berg could not clear the former PSV player’s effort off the line: 6-0.
The bright spot for Middlesbrough was the goal of honor in the 88th minute, a nice shot by Morgan Rogers into the far corner. With this, Middlesbrough finally ended the long goal drought at Stamford Bridge.
The post first appeared on nos.nl