English Premiership

Five things we learnt from the League Cup final

2015-03-02 11:46
John Terry (Getty Images)

London - Chelsea defeated Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the League Cup final on Sunday.

Here are five things we learnt from the Wembley showpiece:

1. Mourinho's gamble pays off

With Nemanja Matic suspended, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho sprang a surprise by selecting French defender Kurt Zouma to replace the Serbian in central midfield.

Chelsea had been overpowered by Tottenham in their 5-3 defeat at White Hart Lane on New Year's day. But Zouma, charged with keeping a close eye on Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen, ensured there would be no lack of muscle to Chelsea's challenge this time.

The 20-year-old rose to the occasion admirably, making Mourinho's switch look a stroke of genius as he tirelessly tackled and harried the Spurs into submission.

2. Peerless Terry leads by example

While his personality will always make him a polarising figure, few can deny John Terry remains by far England's most dominant central defender.

The Chelsea captain delivered a defensive masterclass to keep Tottenham's in-form striker Harry Kane under wraps and still had time to pop up with the opening goal when his deflected shot found the net in the final minute of the first half.

It was the kind of performance that must make England manager Roy Hodgson wish the 34-year-old would come out of international retirement.

3. Costa makes his mark

Diego Costa has become the snarling face of Chelsea following his move from Atletico Madrid last year and his recent three game ban for stamping on Liverpool's Emre Can clearly hadn't taken the edge off his aggressive style as he clashed with Kyle Walker and shoved a hand into Nabil Bentaleb's face in the first half.

But, just as importantly, the Spain striker remained a menace in the penalty area, as he proved with Chelsea's second goal when his astute movement off his marker created space for a powerful shot that deflected in off Walker for a 56th minute own goal.

4. Kane not able to shine

The precocious Tottenham striker arrived at Wembley hailed as the brightest young striker in English football after netting 24 times in a breakthrough campaign.

However, after a bright start which saw him test Petr Cech with a low strike, Kane, expected to earn his first senior England call-up later this month, experienced a rare off-day in his first major final with a subdued display that left Tottenham desperately short of cutting edge.

5. More glory to come for Chelsea?

Before they had even kicked off at Wembley, it had already been a good day for Chelsea as Manchester City, their main rivals for the Premier League title, slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Liverpool.

A victory for Manuel Pellegrini's side at Anfield would have closed the gap on leaders Chelsea to just two points, but instead Mourinho and company were able to focus on winning their first silverware of the season knowing their advantage at the top of the table remained intact.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Sunday, 17 December 2017
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United, The Hawthorns 16:15
AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool, Vitality Stadium 18:30
Monday, 18 December 2017
Everton v Swansea City, Goodison Park 22:00
Friday, 22 December 2017
Arsenal v Liverpool, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.