Chelsea thrashed Middlesbrough on Tuesday night to advance to the League Cup Final for the second time in the last three seasons. A six-goal outburst at Stamford Bridge offset the shocking Middlesbrough win in the first leg of the League Cup semifinal. Cole Palmer, who was wasteful in that first leg, secured a brace at Stamford Bridge. He was one of five goal-scorers for Chelsea who set the Blues up for a chance at a trophy.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side scored four goals in the first half. The first of those was an own goal that Jonny Howson bundled into his own net. An urgent Chelsea pushed on and eventually grabbed the lead in the tie after just half an hour. Enzo Fernandez got on the scoresheet for the fourth time this season to pile the misery on Boro. Then, Axel Disasi and Cole Palmer each scored before the referee blew the halftime whistle.

The barrage continued in the second half, as Chelsea worked to establish a six-goal lead on the night. Goals from Cole Palmer and Noni Madueke came just four minutes apart in the second half to put a bow on Chelsea’s night in the League Cup semifinal. Middlesbrough did save some blemishes by preventing the shutout in the 88th minute. Morgan Rodgers scored, but by that time the game, and the tie, had wrapped up.

Major task ahead for Chelsea in League Cup Final

Now, Chelsea waits for Wednesday’s contest to see which team advances between Liverpool and Fulham. Liverpool won the first leg, 2-1, at Anfield after trailing in the second half. Fulham may provide a tough task with Mohamed Salah away on international duty. However, Liverpool’s side is far deeper and more talented than Fulham.

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If the Reds advance, the League Cup Final on Feb. 25 will be a rematch of the 2021/22 cup final. Liverpool defeated Chelsea on the day via penalties en route to a domestic cup double. The second leg of Liverpool’s tie and the final in one month are both available on ESPN+ for viewers in the United States.

PHOTO: IMAGO