Boro secure first-leg advantage over Chelsea in Carabao semi-final

Aliya Moses
2 Min Read

Hayden Hackney’s first-half finish for the Championship side put Michael Carrick’s men in front to the delight of the home crowd, while Cole Palmer uncharacteristically spurned three excellent opportunities for the misfiring Premier League team.

Mauricio Pochettino’s team dominated possession but did not do enough to find the equaliser on the night and succumbed to a fifth away defeat in six matches. They have left themselves with work to do to reach the final at Wembley. Boro can dream.

Boro played with intent from the outset. Levi Colwill’s poor defensive header allowed Emmanuel Latte Lath through on goal inside the first minute of the match but the forward failed to connect properly, his shot proving comfortable for Djordje Petrovic.

It was doubly costly for Carrick’s side because Axel Disasi’s desperate lunge in trying to block the shot caught Latte Lath and the Ivorian was forced off injured as a result of the challenge. Josh Coburn replaced him but Boro then lost Alex Bangura too.

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Chelsea were unable to capitalise but should have taken the lead when Jonny Howson gifted possession to Palmer. His shot was dragged wide of the post when well-placed and the Premier League side were punished for this profligacy soon afterwards.

Daniel Barlaser sent Isaiah Jones away down the right flank and his low cross was swept home by Hackney. Moises Caicedo did not track the run but it was a neat finish from the 21-year-old academy graduate to raise the temperature inside the Riverside Stadium.

Read Also: Liverpool’s Alexander-Arnold hit by knee injury

Pochettino had urged Chelsea to start with more purpose than they had in the FA Cup win over Preston but it was their failure to take advantage of Boro’s errors that was the issue here. Palmer missed an even better chance than his first just before the interval.

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