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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at Wembley Stadium

Wembley talking points as Chelsea put themselves through re-run of Carabao Cup final agony

FA Cup semi-final

Man City 1-0 Chelsea

For the second time this season, Mauricio Pochettino's side failed to put away a side there for the taking at Wembley.

For Liverpool and their flood of youngsters needed to fill in for crocked first teamers in the League Cup final, read a City side running on empty after 120 killing minutes of Champions League football against Real Madrid three days ago.

Bernardo Silva's 84th minute goal sealed the deal to break Stamford Bridge hearts.

Here, we look at some of the key talking points.

The sense of an opportunity missed

There is no escaping it. Chelsea really could not have asked for a better set of circumstances in which to destroy Man City hopes of another domestic double.

The tiredness in the City ranks was obvious from the start in the way they misplaced passes and struggled to create any real danger. At times, they were downright sloppy.

The Blues had two extra days to prepare for this one and arrived on the back of that 6.0 against Everton. Confidence was sky high.

They drew twice with City in the league too, so had every reason to believe they could do it.

But they failed to cash in. Nicolas Jackson missed the best chances and will take most of the flak, but there was a collective failure to take advantage of their superior energy levels. Poor decision making in the final third proved costly.

Doubts in Pochettino project will not go away

Much of the fanbase has struggled to warm to the Blues boss and even two great domestic cup runs may not convince them they are on the right track to restore their elite status prestige.

He is still the ex Spurs manger who has yet to win any silverware in this country. He is still the man who could not prevent his own players from squabbling over a penalty.

That would be a harsh summary of the Argentinian's time so far, though, and in a few thrilling games, a rosier future has suggested itself. But he could do with getting the club back into Europe via a league placing.

The home from home that once was Wembley, is now a cursed venue

Even just a goal would have been nice. Another blank follows the 120 minutes without scoring against Liverpool in February's League Cup final and two Cup final blanks against them a couple of seasons ago. What they wouldn't have given for one of the six they rattled past the Toffees on Monday.

During the glory years of Lampard, Drogba and Terry, Wembley defeats were unthinkable. They triumphed in 07, 09, 10 and 12 and the loss to Spurs in the League Cup in the middle of that run seemed so shocking. Nowadays it has become the norm.

Of course, getting to play there remains a good habit. Especially impressive is their ability to get there in non vintage years. But they dearly would love to kick that losing habit into touch.


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