Mauricio Pochettino reveals his plan for Carabao Cup final after Chelsea thrashed Middlesbrough

Mauricio Pochettino said he is desperate to win the Carabao Cup in his first season at Chelsea after watching his team sweep aside Middlesbrough 6-1 to reach next month’s final at Wembley.

Stamford Bridge has suffered from a quiet atmosphere in recent months, often exacerbated by Chelsea failing to break teams down early, but a repeat here never looked like being a risk as they booked a meeting with either Liverpool or Fulham on February 25.

“I’m desperate to win a trophy here,” said Pochettino. “We won in three trophies in one and a half years at Paris (St Germain) and we want to win here.

“I’m desperate to win. That is the headline.

“It’s really important for us, we’re going to have Fulham or Liverpool, two amazing teams, it will be difficult. But now is the moment to believe we can win.”

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg at the Riverside Stadium, the hosts tore into their Championship opponents and banished memories of a chastening loss on Teesside.

Boro’s captain Jonny Howson inadvertently got the ball rolling by diverting past his own goalkeeper after 15 minutes, though Armando Broja was poised to tap home had the defender not intervened.

From there on, Chelsea steamrollered Michael Carrick’s side. Enzo Fernandez scored after being set up by good link-up play from Axel Disasi and the excellent Raheem Sterling, then Sterling feeding the surging Disasi to sweep home the third.

Boro caused problems for themselves trying to play out from the back, the match-winner from the first leg Hayden Hackney losing possession and gifting Cole Palmer Chelsea’s fourth before half-time.

Palmer, the top scorer for Pochettino’s side since his move from Manchester City, made it five late on before substitute Noni Madueke curled home via a deflection.

Morgan Rogers’ goal was greeted with a roar from travelling fans who had long since their Wembley dream slip away.

Pochettino added: “Now we need to prepare for Friday against Aston Villa (in the FA Cup), but this is an important step for us. The confidence and the belief in ourselves is so important.

“That is going to help because of the motivation. Players who are so close to coming back (from injury) – tomorrow, maybe a few injured players will want to come for training, seeing that the final is close.”

Boro manager Carrick reflected on a tie that ultimately proved too great a hurdle for his side despite heroics on Teesside two weeks ago.

“(The players) will learn from that after they have gotten over the disappointment,” he said.

“We had a big night at the Riverside where we managed to beat a really good Chelsea team. We just couldn’t get it done here unfortunately.”

Photo Credit: ChelseaFC/ X

Chelsea Player Ratings Vs Middlesbrough: Palmer, Disasi, Sterling, others shine as Mudryk anonymous

Chelsea made it to their first major final under Mauricio Pochettino – and did it in style.

The Blues needed to stage a comeback after losing to Middlesbrough 1-0 in the first leg.

And Cole Palmer, Axel Disasi, Enzo Fernandez, Noni Madueke and an own goal Jonny Howson have booked the Blues a Wembley spot.

Djordje Petrovic 6

Well beaten by Rogers’ excellent strike, having been relatively untroubled to that point.

Axel Disasi 8

Started and finished the move for the third goal and influential in the second, after bursting into the box and squaring a cross after Sterling’s back-heel. Rogers stepped inside him for the Boro goal but the tie was long since done.

Thiago Silva 7

Composed defensively when called on and positive with his passing.

Levi Colwill 7

Back in the middle, he was a little jittery from the off but grew into the game as Chelsea took complete control. Avoided the yellow card which would have ruled him out of the final.

Ben Chilwell 8

Made the opening goal with a dart inside and incisive pass for Sterling. Boro found it hard to pick him up on an impressive return to the starting lineup.

Moises Caicedo 7

Stood up to the physical threat posed by Boro and recycled the ball well.

Enzo Fernandez 8

Burst into the box to finish smartly and put Chelsea ahead in the tie. A bustling performance.

Raheem Sterling 9

The architect of the first three goals, crossing for Broja before twice linking up with Disasi. Had the beating of his man down the right all night.

Cole Palmer 9

Finished calmly to make it 4-0 after pickpocketing Daniel Barlaser on the edge of the box and made his second goal look easy, an unerring strike into the corner.

Mykhailo Mudryk 4

Anonymous or wasteful in a poor 45-minute run out, notable only for a booking for dissent. Hooked at half-time.

Armando Broja 6

Credited with Howson’s own goal, although probably thankful for the defender’s intervention after a sloppy touch. Pressed well but rarely a goal threat.


Noni Madueke (Mudryk 45′) 7

Capped a lively performance with a well-taken goal, albeit long after the tie was over as a contest.

Alfie Gilchrist (Chilwell 65′) 6

Solid at right-back.

Conor Gallagher (Broja 65′) 8

Grabbed two assists with a smart balls for Palmer and Madueke in an impressive run out.

Carney Chukwuemeka (Caicedo 71′) 7

Composed as Chelsea saw out the game.

Leo Castledine (Sterling 84′) 6

Made his debut late on.

Not used: Badiashile, Washington, Curd, Bergstrom.

(Watch Goal on Video) Madueke scores! 82’… Chelsea 6-0 Middlesbrough

The visitors give the ball away again in a dangerous area.

Madueke picks it up and drives into the box, before cutting onto his favoured left-foot.

He looks to put it in the far corner before the defender on the line volleys it into the opposite top corner.

Middlesbrough come forward and finally get the ball in the back of the Chelsea net but it is ruled out for offside.

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(Watch Goal on Video) Palmer scores! 43’… Chelsea 4-0 Middlesbrough

Barlaser gets caught on the ball and Palmer takes it off him.

He waits to see if the keeper commits to a dive, before slotting it into the bottom corner.

This could well turn into a horror show for the visitors.

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(Watch Goal on Video) Disasi scores! 37’… Chelsea 3-0 Middlesbrough

Palmer slides the ball down the wing to Sterling.

He spots the run of Disasi and finds the defender in the box who slots home to pretty much put this game to bed.

The gulf in class between the two sides is there for all to see.

It looks like two sides playing each other from different leagues.

Photo Credit: ChelseaFC/ X

(Watch Goal on Video) Enzo Fernandez doubles Chelsea lead! 29’… Chelsea 2-0 Middlesbrough

Chelsea have turned the tie on its head now as the game is going all kinds of wrong now for Boro.

A ball comes in from the right and Broja can’t get his shot away.

As Disasi cuts it back from the byline, Broja scuffs at a shot that then deflects into the path of Fernandez.

It deflects out left to Fernandes, who hasn’t been picked up by Howson.

The defender slots the ball into the back of the net to make it 2-0 (agg 2-1).

Photo Credit: ChelseaFC/ X

(Watch Goal on Video) Stamford Bridge erupts as Chelsea take the lead! Chelsea 1-0 Middlesbrogh

The start that Chelsea had hoped for! They lead Middlesbrough four attempts to two so far in the match.

It’s an excellent ball in from Sterling, who cuts his pass across the middlesbrough penalty area.

Chilwell does well in the middle of the park and finds Sterling in the box.

He cuts inside and as the keeper looks to close him down he squares it Broja.

As the striker looks to shoot, it seems to get hit into his own net by Howson.

Initially it looked like he had scored but the replays showed that Howson had cut across him at the last moment and fired the ball into the back of his own net in an attempt to cut out the attack.

Agonising stuff for Middlesbrough who had started so well. It’s 1-1 now on aggregate!

Photo Credit: ChelseaFC/ X