Chelsea win the 2015 Capital One Cup with an assured 2-0 victory against Tottenham.
The Blues, who struggled in the first-half as Tottenham got the better of this all-London affair, had John Terry to thank for giving them the lead just before the break, and then Walker’s critical deflection off Costa’s shot guided home the second Chelsea goal.
It gives Mourinho his first trophy in two years, and Chelsea their first trophy since the Europa League title in 2013, and how they celebrated the win post-match.
But it could have all been a very different story. Mourinho, whose side had a full week to prepare whilst Tottenham were knocked out off the Europa League mid-week, opted to experiment with his side with Nemanja Matic suspended. Kurt Zouma was the holding midfielder but was ran ragged in the first half.
Tottenham had the half’s best chance, from Eriksen’s free-kick. Cech had it covered, but it was a delicious strike that cannoned back off the crossbar.
Chelsea just could not grow into the cagey game, inviting Tottenham pressure, and whilst there was no real test of either goalkeeper, Tottenham were superior in possession.
Enter John Terry in the 44th minute. Ivanovic did superbly to win a free-kick wide on the right, and Willian’s whipped ball in caused havoc for Tottenham’s defenders, whose zonal-marking system was a shambles. Rose’s half-hearted clearance dropped for Terry to lash home.
Chelsea’s tails were wagging and Cahill nearly doubled their lead in the dying stages of the first-half. Had it been left to Zouma, perhaps the young French man would have generated better power.
It was the perfect scenario for Chelsea, as Mourinho was surely going to shift the system at half-time: Zouma as a midfielder was just not working. Now, it worked in their favour as Zouma could alternate with five at the back.
But it did not take long for the second Chelsea goal, whoever will go down as the goal-scorer. Costa dummied Walker inwards but took the right-back on the outside. His left-footed drive looked to be going off-target, but Walker’s deflection took it past Lloris.
Then it was Chelsea’s game. Hazard’s curling shot nearly crept into the far post, but the cushion was there and there is no better side to defend.
Kane and Eriksen will be disappointed with their contributions especially as Chelsea’s back-line was vulnerable on more than one occasion, but the last 10 minutes did see a reinvigorated Tottenham side. Kane looked set to score but for Terry’s vital block.
And then came the celebrations, the Mourinho phone call to his wife, and, as Mourinho said, “20 minutes more of celebration and then we concentrate on West Ham at Wednesday”.
Man of the Match
THE WHOLE CHELSEA TEAM: All players contributed well to this victorious Capital One Cup. On the day, you would have to give it to John Terry for the winning goal and a crucial last-ditch block from Kane; the guy epitomises Chelsea. But, as Mourinho said, you have to hand it to the players who did not play today too — Courtois for his semi-final heroics, Luis too, so the whole Chelsea team deserves to celebrate this trophy. 10/10
Mourinho was not holding back with his celebrations: “You are never too old to celebrate! For me this is [trophy number] 24 but I am like a kid with the first one. Now I blow kisses to everyone that is happy because we are happy, but this is quick, there is no time for big celebrations.”
Pochettino was gracious in defeat, but could take positives for his evolving side: “Firstly I want to congratulate Chelsea on their victory — they played very well. We fought until the final moment and that was important. We have a very young group and it was a first final for a lot of our players.”