AT WEMBLEY STADIUM
CHELSEA 2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0
Chelsea revel in first trophy of manager’s second stint as they close in on league
CHELSEA boss Jose Mourinho expects his side’s triumph in the Capital One Cup final against Tottenham to usher in a new trophy-laden era for the club.
A deflected strike from skipper John Terry and unfortunate own goal from Spurs full-back Kyle Walker powered Chelsea to victory yesterday and handed Mourinho the 21st trophy of his managerial career, but the first since returning in 2013 for a second stint in charge at Stamford Bridge.
An extra-time win against Liverpool in the 2005 League Cup final proved the portal for a highly successful first spell in the west London hotseat and five major honours in three years.
And on a day when their Premier League hopes were boosted by Manchester City’s demise at Liverpool, the Portuguese – who slipped on the Wembley turf as his team celebrated – underlined the importance of victory.
“For the club it is one more cup, but it is the first one for a new team and it is important for the boys,” said Mourinho, whose last title came in 2012 when Real Madrid won La Liga.
“I know I have a team to build. There is Petr Cech, John Terry and Didier Drogba and after that everyone else belongs to the generation of new players so as a team it is very important.
“It is also important for me before the game to have the same feelings as my first final, to feel the same happiness after victory and to feel like a kid at 52 years of age. I feel myself with titles. It is difficult for me to live without winning things. I went two seasons without a trophy and it felt like 20 years. This is a good problem and good feeling to have.”
Chelsea made the more enterprising start but Tottenham threatened to pierce the Blues’ backline on 10 minutes when playmaker Christian Eriksen crashed a trademark 25-yard free-kick against Petr Cech’s crossbar.
For a clash with plenty of intensity there was a distinct lack of quality in the attacking third until the stroke of half-time when Premier League leaders Chelsea breached the Tottenham rearguard with their first shot on target.
The Spurs defence was collectively culpable, failing to deal with an innocuous Willian free-kick as the ball fell invitingly to Terry, a veteran of Chelsea’s 2005 success in this competition, whose shot evaded Hugo Lloris via a telling deflection off Harry Kane.
As the opening period entered stoppage time the Blues flirted with taking a huge stride towards their first trophy since lifting the 2013 Europa League in Amsterdam, only for Lloris to grasp Gary Cahill’s free header following a Cesc Fabregas corner.
Tottenham recovered from a one-goal deficit against Chelsea in the 2008 final but any notion of a comeback looked forlorn 11 minutes after the re-start when Fabregas picked out countryman Costa and his left-footed shot across goal was inadvertently diverted beyond Lloris by Walker.
6 Petr Cech
Untroubled after Eriksen’s free-kick
7 Branislav Ivanovic
Unflustered but curbed in attack
8 Kurt Zouma
Pace helped unfamiliar midfield role
6 Cesar Azpilicueta
Stood ground after head injury
8 John Terry
Did main job perfectly. Goal a bonus
Provided nuts and bolts of midfield
7 Gary Cahill
Late blocks prevented nervous finale
6 Cesc Fabregas
Neat but not at early-season heights
Did not shirk defensive duties
7 Diego Costa
Truculent and key to second goal
6 Eden Hazard
Improved but only flashes of menace
SUBS: Cuadrado (Willian 76) 5; Oscar (Fabregas 88) N/A; Drogba (Costa 90) N/A
6 Hugo Lloris
Not much he could do on either goal
6 Kyle Walker
Tenacious. Unlucky deflection
6 Eric Dier
Relished physical battle with Costa
6 Jan Vertonghen
Swept calmly and effectively
6 Danny Rose
Attacking impetus and eager at back
8 Nabil Bentaleb
Composed and authoritative
7 Ryan Mason
Looked increasingly weary
5 Nacer Chadli
On cusp of impact but produced little
6 Christian Eriksen
Cracked bar with free-kick but faded
5 Andros Townsend
Lively although lacked penetration
5 Harry Kane
Unable to get better of Blues defence
SUBS: Dembele (Townsend 62) 6; Lamela (Mason 71) 5; Soldado (Chadli 80) 5