HomeChelsea 6-1 Middlesbrough (6-2 agg): Blues reach EFL Cup final with crushing...

Chelsea 6-1 Middlesbrough (6-2 agg): Blues reach EFL Cup final with crushing win

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Chelsea exacted revenge for their first-leg defeat to Middlesbrough in the EFL Cup semi-finals on Tuesday, crushing the Championship side 6-1 at Stamford Bridge to reach next month’s final.

Chelsea spurned several clear-cut chances in their surprise 1-0 defeat at the Riverside Stadium two weeks ago, but they produced a far more clinical display to blow Michael Carrick’s team away in the second leg.

Middlesbrough captain Jonny Howson put through his own net to level the tie early on, then Enzo Fernandez and Axel Disasi struck as Chelsea put themselves firmly in control within 36 minutes.

Cole Palmer took advantage of a defensive mix-up to add a fourth before the break, then the former Manchester City man made it a brace late in the second half with Middlesbrough a beaten team.

Noni Madueke came off the bench to add a late sixth before Morgan Rogers netted an excellent consolation, but that was all the 4,300 travelling fans had to celebrate as Chelsea teed up a final clash with either Liverpool or Fulham.

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Making his first start since September, Ben Chilwell played an influential role as Chelsea levelled the tie after just 15 minutes. He drifted inside to find Sterling, who unselfishly squared for Armando Broja. The striker took too long to shoot, but Howson inadvertently prodded past Tom Glover while looking to challenge him from behind.

Sterling and Broja were also involved in the Blues’ go-ahead goal 29 minutes in. Sterling’s clever backheel released Disasi into the box, and though Broja was unable to turn the Frenchman’s cutback home, his effort deflected kindly for Fernandez to sweep into the top-left corner from six yards out.

That goal left Middlesbrough battling just to stay in the tie, and their hopes of a trip to Wembley Stadium were dashed when Disasi added a third, breaking forward to turn Sterling’s low cross home.

Things went from bad to worse for the visitors six minutes later as Daniel Barlaser failed to control Hayden Hackney’s pass on the edge of his own box, allowing Palmer to slot his finish into the bottom-left corner.

With a tricky FA Cup tie against Aston Villa to come on Friday, Chelsea began the second half at a far lower tempo, with Levi Colwill going close with a curling, left-footed effort.

Conor Gallagher then came off the bench to lay on two goals as Chelsea rubbed further salt into the visitors’ wounds late on. First, the midfielder darted past Barlaser before picking out Palmer for a side-footed finish, then his throughball allowed Madueke to sit Rav van den Berg down before stroking home.

The travelling Middlesbrough fans continued to back their side despite Chelsea’s rampant display, and they had a goal to savour late on as Rogers ambled forward before whipping a fine effort into the bottom-right corner.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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