The 2021-22 edition of the Carabao Cup is drawing to a close when a semi-final moves on to the second leg to determine the first runner-up.
Chelsea travels to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to take on Spurs after the Blues took a sweeping first leg win at Stamford Bridge. The 2-0 victory gives Chelsea an advantage as they move towards the decisive showdown.
An opening goal by Kai Havertz and an own goal by Ben Davies ensured Chelsea’s victory, a victory that prompted Spurs boss Antonio Conte to declare “There is a lot of work to be done” in his role at Spurs.
“Chelsea proved to be much better than us,” added Conte. “If you compare the two teams there is no comparison.” So, with that in mind, what do Spurs need to do to overcome the defeat in the first leg and how can Chelsea hold a place in the final?
Do away goals count in the Carabao Cup semi-finals?
To begin with: no, as a tiebreaker in the semi-finals of the League Cup according to the tournament rules. That means if the aggregate score is tied at the end of regulation time for the second leg, teams will go to 30 minutes of overtime and a penalty shoot-out if necessary.
The EFL Cup actually used the away goal tiebreaker for two-game series until the 2018-19 competition, when it was eliminated along with overtime for single-game elimination rounds.
Regulation 14.5 of the tournament statutes explains:
If the total score is tied at the end of the ninety minutes in any of the following: the second leg of the Semifinal; or in the final tie, an extra half hour will be played and if the aggregate score is still tied at the end of overtime, the winner of that competition match will be determined by taking kicks from the penalty mark in accordance with procedures approved by IFAB.
How can Chelsea advance to the Carabao Cup final?
After a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea sits in a very advantageous position, but the job is not done. Chelsea’s midfield performed admirably and led the way for the first 90 minutes.
In the next second leg, a win or draw of any kind would lead Chelsea to the EFL Cup final at Wembley Stadium. A loss of a goal would also do the job.
Chelsea have reached the EFL Cup final in eight previous editions, winning it five times. He last reached the final in 2019 and the Blues’ most recent EFL trophy came in 2015.
If Chelsea lose by two goals, leaving the overall score tied, the teams would advance to extra time and a possible penalty shootout if the tie persists. If the Blues capitulated completely and were defeated by three goals or more, Tottenham would advance to the final.
How can Tottenham advance to the Carabao Cup final?
The 2-0 loss at Stamford Bridge leaves Antonio Conte and the Spurs in need of what would be a famous home turnaround to reach the final.
A loss or a draw would see Spurs eliminated, as would a victory by a goal.
Tottenham need a two-goal win to send the semi-finals into extra time and potentially a penalty shoot-out, which would suddenly see them with a mental advantage against home fans.
If the Spurs somehow pull off an impressive three-goal victory, they would advance to the final without the need for penalties.
Spurs advanced to the Carabao Cup final last year, losing to Manchester City by a narrow 1-0 scoreline. He has nine all-time final appearances with his last title in 2008 over Chelsea.