Chelsea overcome Tottenham in Capital One Cup final at Wembley
Jose Mourinho won the first trophy of his second spell with Chelsea as the Blues beat Tottenham 2-0 in the Capital One Cup final at Wembley, avenging their 2008 defeat in the same competition.
Spurs enjoyed good periods of possession in the first half but Chelsea captain John Terry opened the scoring just before half-time and Diego Costa forced an own goal from Kyle Walker shortly before the hour-mark.
Mourinho, whose first trophy in his first spell with Chelsea was also the League Cup in 2005, has maintained his record of winning silverware in his second season with every club he has managed. Tottenham’s seven-year wait for glory continues.
Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino picked 10 of the 11 players who had started in their 5-3 league win over Chelsea on New Year’s Day – the only change being Eric Dier’s inclusion at centre-back in place of Federico Fazio.
Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho raised eyebrows with his selection, opting to play Kurt Zouma in midfield alongside Ramires, who got the nod in the absence of the suspended Nemanja Matic.
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Chelsea started strongly and Hugo Lloris had to scramble the ball behind as Branislav Ivanovic delivered a deep cross to the back post – and the Blues defender then headed just wide from the ensuing corner.
However, Spurs quickly responded and, when Harry Kane won a free kick after a mazy run on the edge of the Chelsea box, Christian Eriksen whipped a free kick against the crossbar. Kane then ran from inside his own half before sending a low effort at Petr Cech.
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Mourinho’s side had another brief sight of goal as Costa teed up Eden Hazard, who mis-hit his 20-yard effort well wide. But Tottenham were gaining control of an open and entertaining contest and left-back Danny Rose took Lloris’ long kick down and raced forward before sending an overly ambitious shot across goal from the left flank.
The temperature rose as Costa put a hand into Nabil Bentaleb’s face, resulting in a confrontation, and Kyle Walker then went shoulder to shoulder with the Brazilian and squared up to him before Dier was booked for a foul on the Chelsea striker.
Spurs continued to pose problems and Eriksen created the space for a left-footed shot, which was blocked, while a powerful Mason strike hit Kane immediately after.
Tottenham were playing positively and quickly but were guilty of rushing at times, with Nacer Chadli and Mason both being guilty of long-range efforts which were nowhere near the target.
Instead it was Chelsea who took the lead just before half-time. Cesc Fabregas delivered a free kick into the danger area and the ball fell to Terry, whose close-range shot hit Dier’s heels and flew past Lloris.
The Blues nearly doubled their lead soon after from another set piece, with Ivanovic putting Fabregas’ corner back across goal and Cahill heading at goal, only to be denied by Lloris.
The first 15 minutes of the second half were very even, but Chelsea created the first chance after the interval as Fabregas forced Lloris into a diving save with a bicycle kick, and it was 2-0 in the 56th minute as Costa’s shot from a narrow angle took a big deflection off Walker and flew behind Lloris into the net.
Pochettino swapped Townsend for Mousa Dembele but, with the frustrated Kane being well marshalled, the Blues continued to look the more dangerous side.
Hazard went close with a curling effort before chipping the ball to the back post for Fabregas, who was put off by a vital late touch from Rose and headed wide.
Chelsea then settled in to see the game out and, although Kane had a late chance inside the box, Terry slid in to make a last-ditch intervention and divert the ball wide, ensuring there was to be no late drama and that he would get to lift another trophy.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose, Bentaleb, Mason (Lamela 71), Townsend (Dembele 61), Eriksen, Chadli (Soldado 79), Kane
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Ramires, Fabregas (Oscar 88), Willian (Cuadrado 76), Hazard, Costa (Droga 90)