Chelsea youngster earns Thomas Tuchel’s roar of approval in Carabao Cup final loss to Liverpool



It was a gut-wrenching defeat for Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final as the Blues lost by the narrowest of margins.

Kepa Arrizabalaga‘s Wembley penalty miss sealed Chelsea‘s fate as runners-up, despite an impressive display against the Premier League’s most in-form and threatening team.

The Blues prevented Liverpool from scoring for the first time since January 13, when Jurgen Klopp’s side faced Arsenal in the Carabao Cup semi-final, and were without Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and new signing Luis Diaz.

Since Chelsea last faced Liverpool in the league on January 2, Trevoh Chalobah had played just eight minutes against Plymouth in the FA Cup before completing 120 minutes on Sunday.

The young defender was a key part of the Blues earning their clean sheet, alongside Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger, as he featured in his first domestic final for the Blues, alhough he did feature on the bench of Antonio Conte’s 2018 FA Cup success against Manchester United.

Chalobah told football.london : “I remember it was the day before, leading up to training, Andreas [Christensen] got injured and they told me I’d be travelling with the squad.

“Here’s me thinking I would be travelling and watching the game in the stands – I was happy with that, over the moon to be travelling – but I got to the changing room and I saw my name on the bench. I was about to cry.

“I called my dad, told my family in the family group chat that I’m on the bench, and they were over the moon as they were already coming to the game as well. It was unbelievable, a mad experience.”

It was likely a similarly late call that allowed Chalobah to start against Liverpool, as it was revealed on the eve of the game that Andreas Christensen would not travel with the squad to Wembley after suffering an Achilles issues.

Former Huddersfield Town loanee Chalobah made his first start in eight weeks against one of the more potent attacks in world football, and one he has had some struggles with in the Premier League.

It seemed the Reds looked to target Chalobah’s side of defence and for the most part he was up to the task. The Blues didn’t have to wait long for the 22-year-old to produce a brilliant tackle on Diaz, with Tuchel forcefully making his presence felt in the technical area to show his approval.

It was Diaz on the left of the Liverpool attack who recorded more touches than his attacking teammates, as he showed a propensity for a no-look pass and relentlessly ran down the flank to challenge the Chelsea defence.

The Colombian gave Chalobah some cause for concern, no doubt, but the youngster was able to guard his box well and trod the line between patience and reluctance to commit to a tackle pretty well.

Chalobah made more interceptions (7) than Silva and Rudiger combined, while also blocking three shots, making three clearances and producing three tackles. It was a busy game for him but he did it all without conceding a foul.

While Chalobah’s last trip to Wembley in 2018 was a ‘mad experience’, he remains part of a young cohort at Chelsea but it’s clear his expectations are entirely different. He took starting the game entirely in his stride and his presence was felt.

Christensen may have been in Tuchel’s plans to start the match, but as he did in pre-season to earn a place in the starting XI for the UEFA Super Cup final against Villarreal, Chalobah proved he is more than just an afterthought but rather a capable member of the first team set-up.





Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.