Chelsea reach the Carabao Cup final after producing a hard-fought 1-0 win against Tottenham in the semi-final second leg (3-0 on aggregate) at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Antonio Rudiger’s first-half header was the difference in north London as Chelsea produced an important victory in a game where Tottenham correctly had two penalty decisions overturned and a goal disallowed by VAR.
Chelsea dominated possession in the first half and their third goal of the tie arrived in the 17th minute. A corner into the box was met by Rudiger ahead of Pierluigi Gollini, who misjudged the flight of the ball, to give Chelsea a comfortable advantage.
Tottenham grew as the half progressed. Harry Kane’s was inches away from pulling Spurs level in the tie just past the half hour mark, but he could not turn in Davinson Sanchez’s near-post header from a corner.
And there was a moment of VAR controversy three minutes before half-time when referee Andre Marriner awarded a penalty for a rash sliding challenge from Rudiger on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. After a two-minute VAR review led by Mike Dean, the decision was that the foul was just outside the box.
In the 57th minute Marriner pointed to the spot again when Arrizabalaga tackled Lucas Moura inside the box, but replays showed he produced a clean tackle and the penalty was chalked off.
After Arrizabalaga pulled off a brilliant save to deny a driving header from Emerson Royal on the hour mark, Tottenham had an equaliser ruled out by VAR.
Kane’s right boot was just offside before he put the ball into the empty net. With Arrizabalaga out of his goal ahead of play, Kane was deemed to be just ahead of Andreas Christensen with only Rudiger in front of him.
The game stopped in the 84th minute for around seven minutes after a fan was taken ill in the stands, but Chelsea were untroubled for the remainder of the half.
Thomas Tuchel’s side will play Liverpool or Arsenal in the final at Wembley Stadium on February 27.