Chelsea sends warning to Liverpool ahead of Carabao Cup final

Chelsea send strong message to Liverpool  ahead of Carabao Cup final as Mauricio Pochettino finds effective formula

Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea produced a complete performance to almost seal a shock away win at Manchester City.

Former City winger Raheem Sterling was nearly the match-winner as he curled in before half-time after a stunning counter-attack involving Cole Palmer and Nicolas Jackson.

That sensational goal was just reward for a wonderful tactical, battling and high-quality display away at the Treble winners.

But sitting too deep for too long allowed Rodri to find an equaliser as City finally scored through his emphatic strike in the 83rd minute.

It remains a positive performance from Chelsea ahead of next week’s Carabao Cup final against Liverpool despite little progress being made in the league, with the Blues still sitting in 10th.

Can Sterling win over Chelsea fans?

Sterling has endured much criticism, having been booed off at Stamford Bridge in the wretched 4-2 home defeat by Wolves at the start of the month.

Ahead of this trip to the Etihad, all the talk was about Cole Palmer as Chelsea’s new hero, but it was the other former City winger who provided the moment of magic in the end.

With Pep Guardiola’s pre-match praise ringing in his ears, he was a threat throughout the 90 minutes as part of a clever Pochettino counter-attacking game plan.

After wasting a one-on-one opportunity, he stunningly finished his second big chance by curling the ball past Ederson.

Sterling has been one of the top performers in a mixed season for Chelsea and this goal could help him win hearts and minds.

Colossal Disasi and life after Silva

Axel Disasi produced his best display in a Chelsea shirt as he dominated the Premier League’s leading marksman, Erling Haaland.

The France international produced fantastic blocks, tackles and headers throughout the 90 minutes, as Chelsea predictably had to endure large spells of pressure against the champions.

However, they dealt with everything thrown their way, barring a few wasted Haaland chances.

Levi Colwill was also exceptional, stepping in alongside Disasi, which bodes well with Benoit Badiashile and Thiago Silva both out injured. Trevoh Chalobah also showed he can contribute with his late showing.

Cup final hopes built

A tweaked 4-3-3 tactical set-up shows Chelsea can play effectively on the break against England’s best teams.

Pochettino’s decision to sit deeper and counter-attack worked like a dream as Jackson and Sterling kept finding themselves bearing down on goal.

Chelsea have been one-dimensional at times this season, but ahead of the Carabao Cup final at Wembley, they’ve shown they can mix it up with the best.

Conceding late at City is no shame as the champions have been unbeatable at home this season. But Pochettino has food for thought ahead of Wembley, as do rivals Liverpool.

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