The 2021-22 edition of the Carabao Cup is nearing its conclusion as one semifinal moves into the second leg to determine the first finalist.
Chelsea travels to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to take on Spurs after the Blues earned a comprehensive victory in the first leg at Stamford Bridge. The 2-0 win gives Chelsea a leg up as it pushes towards the decisive matchup.
An opening goal from Kai Havertz and an own-goal by Ben Davies secured the victory for Chelsea, a win which pushed Spurs boss Antonio Conte to declare “There is a lot of jobs to do” in his position at Spurs.
“Chelsea showed to be much better than us,” added Conte. “If you compare the two teams there is not a comparison.” So, with that in mind, what do Spurs need to do to overcome the first-leg loss, and how can Chelsea hold on for a berth in the final?
Do away goals count in the Carabao Cup semis?
To start: no, away goals do not count as a tiebreaker in the League Cup semifinals according to the tournament rules. That means if the aggregate scoreline is level at the end of regulation of the second leg, the teams will head to 30 minutes of extra time and a penalty-kick shootout if necessary.
The EFL Cup actually did use the away goals tiebreaker for two-leg series up until the 2018-19 competition, when it was scrapped along with extra time for single-game elimination rounds.
Regulation 14.5 of the tournament statutes explains:
If the aggregate score is level at the end of ninety minutes in either: the second leg of the Semi-Final; or in the Final Tie, an extra half hour shall be played and if the aggregate score is still level at the end of extra time the winner of that Competition Match shall be determined by the taking of kicks from the penalty mark in accordance with procedures as approved by IFAB.
How can Chelsea advance to Carabao Cup final?
After a 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea sits in a very advantageous position, but the job is not done. The Chelsea midfield performed admirably and led the way through the first 90 minutes.
In the upcoming second leg, a win or draw of any kind would see Chelsea through to the EFL Cup final at Wembley Stadium. A one-goal loss would also do the job.
Chelsea has made the EFL Cup final in eight previous editions, winning it five times. It last made the final in 2019 and the Blues' most recent EFL trophy hoist came in 2015.
Should Chelsea lose by two goals, leaving the aggregate scoreline level, the teams would progress to extra time and a potential penalty shooutout if the draw persists. If the Blues were to completely capitulate and see defeat by three goals or more, Tottenham would go through to the final.
How can Tottenham advance to Carabao Cup final?
The 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge leaves Antonio Conte and Spurs needing what would be a famous turnaround at home to reach the final.
A loss or draw would see Spurs eliminated, as would a one-goal victory.
Tottenham needs a two-goal win to send the semifinals to extra time and potentially a penalty shootout, which would see them suddenly holding a mental advantage in front of the home fans.
Should Spurs somehow manage a stunning three-goal win, they would go through to the final without needing penalties.
Spurs advanced to the Carabao Cup final last year, losing to Manchester City by a narrow 1-0 scoreline. It has nine all-time final appearances with its last title coming in 2008 over Chelsea.