Thomas Tuchel’s side, Chelsea, overpowered London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 during the Carabao Cup first leg semifinal at the Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night.
After news came that the second semi-final between Arsenal and Liverpool slated for Thursday had been called off, all eyes were on the Bridge to gauge Antonio Conte’s return.
Conte’s Tottenham have been unbeaten in eight domestic games since the Italian took over but they were no match for their Chelsea opponents, especially in the first half.
An unforced error from Japhet Tanganga opened the door for Chelsea to nick the first goal in the fifth minute. Kai Havertz got on the end of a pass from Marcos Alonso and his goal-bound was helped on its way by Davinson Sanchez.
An own goal from Ben Davies in the 34th minute dashed the hopes of the visitors as Tanganga header from Hakim Ziyech’s free-kick hit the defender and bounced into his own net.
Romelu Lukaku returned after his recent reckless and self-serving interview but he got a decent response from the Chelsea fans who look to have forgiven the Belgian.
Missing quite a number of failed attempts to double Chelsea’s lead in the first half.
Timo Werner also returned to action after more than six weeks and he had the chance for a third but his lob was not high enough to beat Hugo Lloris.
Chelsea will believe they should have killed the tie off and Conte knows his side have to be better in the second leg on January 12 to have any chance of progressing to the final.