Chelsea press conference recap: Thomas Tuchel on Brentford win, academy debuts and N’Golo Kante
Chelsea advanced to the Carabao Cup semi-finals after beating Brentford in a London derby with a performance that wasn’t pretty but got the job done.
A homeward goal from Pontus Jansson and a penalty from Jorginho, both after half-time, were enough for Chelsea to advance to the final four.
Thomas Tuchel included three Blues academy stars from the start as he faced injuries and forced absences from Covid-19. Jude Soonsup-Bell, Harvey Vale and Xavier Simons all made their senior debuts from the start at Brentford.
Trevoh Chalobah quickly recovered from his injury at Wolves on Sunday to start on Wednesday, while Mateo Kovacic was named in a starting XI for the first time since October 23 after his own injury and a forced absence by Covid.
Brentford should have been ahead in 12 minutes, but Yoane Wissa’s free header from ten yards was pushed back by Kepa.
The Blues were well in the lead in the first half but didn’t create too many clear chances, resorting to long-range shots on goal that Brentford was delighted with.
Vale had Chelsea’s best chance in the first half, but his free header from ten yards was directly on Alvaro Fernandez as both sides entered the break 0-0.
Tuchel made changes at halftime, bringing in Jorginho and Christian Pulisic for Mateo Kovacic and Soonsup-Bell. In the middle of the half, the three beginners had been replaced while Xavier Simons and Harvey Vale were replaced by Mason Mount and Reece James.
N’Golo Kante was also featured and the Frenchman had his say in Chelsea’s opening goal 13 minutes to go as his brilliant footwork freed James, who walked through and Pontus Jansson made his way to his own net.
The Blues’ lead was doubled minutes later after Fernandez knocked Pulisic into the box. Jorginho stepped in and sent the keeper the wrong way to seal a place in the bottom four.
We’ll hear from Tuchel shortly, so don’t go anywhere.