Football – League cup: Chelsea snatch their qualification on penalties against Southampton

In the Premier League as in other national competitions, Chelsea remain ruthless. With a revised starting eleven, the leader of the English championship has hardly got the best of Southampton after a thrilling match (1-1, 4-3 tab), this Tuesday evening in the round of 16 of the League Cup. Kai Havertz (44th) and Ché Adams (47th) had scored in regulation time, before the Blues snatch their qualification on penalties.

Malang Sarr, Trevoh Chalobah and Ross Barkley holders, Jorginho, Mason Mount and Thiago Silva on the bench, others still – Édouard Mendy and Cesar Azpilicueta, to name a few – absent from the scoresheet: it is a Chelsea new look which presented itself on the lawn of Stamford Bridge, this Tuesday against Southampton. So, inevitably, the mechanics could seem a little less well oiled than usual. There was waste, it’s true. Some approximations, too. One could however think that Kai Havertz and others had the assets to fold the matter in the regulation time.

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Already dangerous twice (16th, 26th), the German international also found the fault just before the break, taking the ball with his head on a corner perfectly taken by Hakim Ziyech (1-0, 44th). What to give a rather logical advantage to the Blues. This was, however, short-lived. Upon returning from the locker room, Kyle Walker-Peters put Kepa to work. Repelled, the ball dragged within six meters. Che Adams did not need to be asked to send him to the back of the net (1-1, 47th). It didn’t take much more to uninhibit the very catchy Saints even more. And give more depth to an increasingly animated meeting.

Forster, however, had everything to be the hero

Throughout this breathtaking second period, the two goalkeepers are, undoubtedly, the ones who shone the most. Kepa kept his afloat as the ship pitched. But what to say, then, of the performance of Fraser Forster? From the height of his double meter, the English goalkeeper disgusted Saul (7th, 74th, 75th), frustrated Barkley (59th) and deprived Havertz of the double (49th). In a state of grace, the last rampart of Southampton had everything to be the hero of the evening, the one who would offer qualification to his training at the end of the penalty shoot-out. The scenario was ultimately quite different.

Because Theo Walcott sent his attempt on the post, because Will Smallbone sent his ball into the stands and Forster, despite his parade against Mount, was then unable to face the precision of the other London shooters. . As in the previous round, which had seen him laboriously get rid of Aston Villa (1-1, 4-3 tab), Thomas Tuchel’s gang narrowly qualified for the next round, in this case the quarterfinals. final. At the moment, everything is smiling at Chelsea.

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