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Chelsea 6-1 Middlesbrough: Pochettino’s men make it to the Carabao Cup final

Chelsea secured their spot in the Carabao Cup final with a 6-1 home victory over Middlesbrough on Tuesday, winning 6-2 on aggregate.

Mauricio Pochettino’s team delivered one of their standout performances of the 2023/24 season, earning a ticket to Wembley and extinguishing Middlesbrough’s aspirations for a cup upset.

The Blues will face either Liverpool or Fulham in the final next month, as Liverpool holds a 2-1 advantage heading into the second leg at Craven Cottage on Wednesday.

Despite Middlesbrough dominating the initial phase, Chelsea came close to taking an early lead. A precise long ball from Thiago Silva found Ben Chilwell, who beat goalkeeper Thomas Glover but sent his header over the bar.

Chelsea broke the deadlock and leveled the aggregate score in the 15th minute. Chilwell’s dynamic run allowed him to elude Middlesbrough defenders, setting up Raheem Sterling. Sterling then passed to Armando Broja, whose first touch was poor, and Jonny Howson’s retreating effort seemed to guide the ball into an empty net.

Middlesbrough had a near-immediate chance to score from a corner, with Morgan Rogers entering the box and firing towards the near post, only to be thwarted by a low save from Djordje Petrovic.

Chelsea’s second goal arrived just before the half-hour mark. Sterling’s clever flick reached Axel Disasi on the overlap, and although Broja’s shot was off target, Enzo Fernandez slotted home the loose ball.

A third goal followed as Chelsea seized control. Disasi reclaimed the ball high up the pitch, capitalizing on a sloppy pass from Matt Clarke and converting from a low Sterling cross.

Chelsea added a fourth before halftime as Cole Palmer capitalized on Hayden Hackney’s errant pass to Dan Barlaser, calmly slotting the ball into the bottom corner.

In the second half, Levi Colwill came close to a fifth, narrowly missing the post with a fierce effort.

Middlesbrough faced a scare when Dael Fry’s first touch in the six-yard box was stolen by Sterling, but the defender recovered to deny an open goal.

Chelsea’s fifth goal came from Palmer, who steered in a low cutback from Conor Gallagher after Middlesbrough turned the ball over in their own half.

Substitute Noni Madueke added another goal, cutting inside from the right and curling the ball beyond Glover.

Although Middlesbrough had a goal disallowed for offside, Rogers scored a legitimate goal in the dying moments.

Despite Middlesbrough’s consolation, Chelsea claimed victory, and Madness’ “One Step Beyond” echoed loudly around Stamford Bridge after three minutes of stoppage time.

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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