Chelsea beats Spurs 2-0 to clinch League Cup
JOHN Terry set Chelsea up for a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in Sunday’s League Cup final as Jose Mourinho claimed the first trophy of his second stint as manager.
Terry’s deflected strike put Chelsea ahead on the stroke of half-time at Wembley and Mourinho’s side sealed victory in the 56th minute when Spurs right-back Kyle Walker deflected Diego Costa’s effort into his own net.
It was Mourinho’s first title since he returned to Stamford Bridge in 2013 and his third League Cup after previous successes with the club in 2005 and 2007.
Victory completed a satisfying day for Premier League leaders Chelsea, who saw closest rivals Manchester City beaten by Liverpool earlier in the day, and kept them on course for a trophy treble, following their 1-1 draw at Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of the Champions League last 16.
Spurs had been hoping to end a trophy drought stretching back to 2008, when they had beaten Chelsea 2-1 in the League Cup final, but with star man Harry Kane shackled, they were unable to pull off a repeat of the 5-3 defeat they had inflicted on their London rivals on New Year’s Day.
It brought an end to a sorry week for Spurs, who were knocked out of the Europa League by Fiorentina on Thursday and now have only Champions League qualification to play for.
While Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino selected Hugo Lloris instead of usual cup goalkeeper Michel Vorm, Mourinho left his first-choice goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois on the bench, with Petr Cech starting.
But the biggest surprise on the Chelsea team-sheet was the presence of three centre-backs in Terry, Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma, the last of whom filled in for the suspended Nemanja Matic in an unfamiliar midfield destroyer role.
A pair of early set-pieces allowed Chelsea to force Spurs back, with Terry and Branislav Ivanovic heading off-target, but with Mourinho’s side sitting very deep, their opponents were invited to attack them.
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