Chelsea Fight Back to Draw with Newcastle Before Winning on Penalties to Reach English League Cup Semifinals
Despite controlling 78% of possession, Chelsea narrowly avoided elimination. They only managed to equalize in the 92nd minute thanks to a mistake by Kieran Trippier, sending the game into a penalty shootout. There, Trippier continued to be Newcastle’s villain, missing his penalty along with Matt Ritchie as the visitors lost 2-4. One of Chelsea’s successful penalty takers was new signing Christopher Nkunku, making his Stamford Bridge debut after recovering from a half-year injury.
The League Cup represents the most realistic chance at a title for both Chelsea and Newcastle this season. With both teams beset by injury crises, the managers fielded strong lineups, making for an intense match from the start.
In the 7th minute, Chelsea missed an opportunity to take the lead when Conor Gallagher hit the crossbar. The hosts paid the price nine minutes later, conceding after a series of errors. First, Moises Caicedo failed to control a simple pass from Levi Colwill, granting Newcastle a counterattack. Then, defender Benoit Badiashile miscued in the box, allowing Callum Wilson to beat goalkeeper Dorde Petrovic for his 46th Newcastle goal in his 100th appearance.
Chelsea poured forward but suffered without finding an equalizer. Enzo Fernandez went off injured in the 30th minute, replaced by Armando Broja. The Albanian striker had a goal disallowed for offside in the 38th minute.
Newcastle defended staunchly with the lead, limiting Chelsea’s chances despite their dominance of possession. Chelsea’s best chance came early in the second half when Nicolas Jackson narrowly missed the far post. Earlier, Raheem Sterling had spurned two opportunities, ramping up manager Mauricio Pochettino’s frustration.
Even Nkunku’s introduction in the 69th minute failed to improve Chelsea’s fortunes. But just when fans were losing hope, the hosts capitalized on a dreadful mistake from Trippier. He failed to control a Chelsea cross in the box, allowing Mikhaylo Mudryk to pounce and equalize 1-1 in the second minute of added time.
Trippier has been Newcastle’s star performer this season but his form has dipped sharply in December. Suspended for the Premier League, he came on in the second half against Chelsea, his mistakes forcing Newcastle into a penalty shootout. Looking nervous, he hit the post with their second penalty before Ritchie failed to beat Petrovic, as Newcastle lost the shootout 2-4. Chelsea’s Palmer, Gallagher, Nkunku and Mudryk all converted their attempts.
Chelsea joins Fulham and Middlesbrough in the semifinals, with the last spot contested between Liverpool and West Ham.
The lineup for the match.
Chelsea: Petrovic, Disasi (Maatsen 78), Silva, Badiashile, Colwill (Gusto 46), Caicedo, Enzo (Broja 32), Gallagher, Palmer, Sterling (Mudryk 78), Jackson (Nkunku 69)
Newcastle: Dubravka, Livramento, Lascelles, Botman (Burn 46), Krafth (Trippier 46), Miley, Bruno Guimaraes, Longstaff, Almiron, Gordon (Ritchie 52), Wilson