Beaten 1-0 in the first leg, Chelsea let loose in the semi-final return of the League Cup on Tuesday against Middlesbrough (6-1), a second division team against which Axel Disasi distinguished himself, to reach his first final of the Todd Boehly era. The American co-owner of the “Blues” will finally discover the setting of Wembley, on February 25 against Liverpool or Fulham, and get even closer to a first trophy since taking control in May 2022.
Without the European Cup to play, the current ninth in the championship partly places its hopes in this League Cup, the gateway to the modest Europa Conference League. The 1-0 setback in the first leg at “Boro” was quickly erased on Tuesday in London, in the 15th minute on a cross from Raheem Sterling that midfielder Jonathan Howson catapulted into his own net. Around the half-hour mark, lightning struck twice the visitors, eleventh in the Championship, too soft defensively and surprised in particular by the overstepping of French defender Disasi.
The 25-year-old ex-Monegasque, who arrived this summer, first entered the area and his cross, deflected by Armando Broja, benefited Enzo Fernandez (29th, 2-0). He then intercepted a ball on the halfway line, continued his effort and adjusted the goalkeeper before celebrating like a real attacker, with a slide on his knees (36th, 3-0). The defender, used on Tuesday as a right back, was even close to a second goal in the second half, but he missed his recovery in front of the goalkeeper (69th). The double of the evening was for Cole Palmer (42nd, 78th), before a final pawn from newcomer Noni Madueke (81st).
The only false note for Disasi came from too loose marking on Morgan Rogers (88th, 6-1), "Boro" striker who saved the honor against the visitors' yard. It's now seven wins in a row for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in all competitions.
The “Blues” will return to their stadium on Friday in the FA Cup against Aston Villa, before going to championship leader Liverpool on January 31. A rehearsal before the final? The Reds start their semi-final second leg as favorites on Wednesday after their 2-1 first-leg victory against Fulham.