Chelsea suffer double blow ahead of Carabao Cup final

Chelsea’s comfortable 2-0 win over Lille in the Champions League last-16 first-leg clash was slightly overshadowed by second-half injuries to Mateo Kovacic and Hakim Ziyech.

Germany forward Kai Havertz nodded in Ziyech’s fizzing corner, before Christian Pulisic slotted home from N’Golo Kante’s threaded pass in a dominant last-16 first-leg victory.

The Champions League holders are now firm favourites to reach the quarter-finals, with Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Liverpool racing into view.

Chelsea could be left to sweat on the availability for that Wembley clash of two in-form players though, after injury scares for Ziyech and Kovacic.

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel called on his players to become more consistent during matches after their 2-0 Champions League win over Lille.

Both Morocco forward Ziyech and Croatia midfielder Kovacic hobbled out of the clash with the glum expressions of those harbouring more than just knocks.

Thomas Tuchel will certainly hope for good news on two players who would expect to have a say in Sunday’s Wembley proceedings.

Speaking to BT Sport, Tuchel said: “I should have subbed Mateo at half-time. I have not spoken to the doctor about Hakim and hope it is not serious. Today is Tuesday, there are a lot of days to recover until Sunday. I hope they will be ready.

“It is almost like the story of the season: every second game we do substitutions only because of injuries and not because of tactical reasons. It follows us.

“It was another clean sheet and a well-deserved clean sheet. It was hard work to not allow chances to a strong team. It was a bit up and down, some very good moments, some weaker moments, some unforced errors, but we never gave big chances away.” – Sky Sports

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