A contentious VAR call handed Tottenham the advantage heading into the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final against a Chelsea side that for long periods dominated the play without ever really testing Paulo Gazzaniga.
Harry Kane’s 27th-minute penalty was the difference on the night, but aside from the one costly mistake by Kepa Arrizabalaga, to bring down the England captain inside the area, it was an end to end contest that promised goals.
However, it delivered nothing else more than a speculative cross come shot from Callum Hudson-Odoi and N’Golo Kante’s flicked shot which cannoned off the base of the post.
Chelsea amassed 17 shots in total, with five on target, but yet their clearest chance in the second half fell to Andreas Christensen who got his feet mixed up just at the wrong time. Kepa’s save from Kane right at the end left the tie firmly in the balance for the return leg in two weeks time.
Kepa Arrizabalaga - 6
Poor judgement to allow Kane the opportunity to knock the ball past him and draw the penalty.
Cesar Azpilicueta - 6
Solid enough defensively but needed to offer more potency going forward on a night where Chelsea were heavily dependant on crosses into the area.
Antonio Rudiger - 7
The penalty situation could not be attributed to him and overall he dealt superbly with Kane’s threat.
Andreas Christensen - 7
Possessed the extra yard of pace necessary to handle the runs in behind from Son and Sissoko. Was first to almost every ball played into the feet of Kane, and distributed with great composure. Missed a glorious opportunity to bring Chelsea level.
Marcos Alonso - 6
Afforded plenty of space in attacking areas out wide but with no one to target with his balls, he was of little effect.
N'Golo Kante - 8
Took control of the midfield with five brilliantly timed tackles, whilst he grew into his attacking role with two long-range shots as well as a flicked effort that hit the post in the first half.
Jorginho - 6
Held up and passed the ball quickly and accurately but lacked incision despite being the dominant force in the midfield throughout the second-half.
Ross Barkley - 6
Another anonymous performance that amounted to some neat exchanges with Jorginho but no meaningful attacking ventures.
Callum Hudson-Odoi - 7
Seemingly buoyed by the interests of Bayern Munich, Hudson-Odoi commanded the pitch, never afraid to ask for the ball his first thought was always to test Gazzaniga.
His end ball needs work but at 18 he has a lot of time to improve that, hopefully for Chelsea’s sake this work won’t take place in Bavaria.
Eden Hazard - 8
Was forced to drop deep into his own half to pick up the ball and as the focal point of Chelsea’s attack.
He was a clear target for Tottenham’s defenders as he is for any defence, being fouled seven times – the most fouls he has been on the end of this season, but yet he still managed to complete an impressively high five key passes and eight dribbles.
Willian - 5
His performance was lacklustre and he pondered in possession failing to get any shots on goal before being replaced ahead of the more direct Hudson-Odoi.
Pedro – 5, was quicker to deliver the ball but lacked the accuracy to create any opportunities of note.
Mateo Kovacic – 5, a good player in possession but Chelsea already had enough of those on the pitch and desperately needed someone to finish off the ball not retain it.
Olivier Giroud – 5, in 12 minutes he touched the ball just three times, with the stats speaking of what little impact he had.