Middlesbrough secured a shock 1-0 victory over Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg, as Josh Coburn’s extra-time strike sealed a memorable win for the Championship side at the Riverside Stadium.
It was a hard-fought battle between the two teams, with both sides creating several chances throughout the game. Chelsea, led by under-fire manager Thomas Tuchel, were looking to bounce back from their recent Premier League struggles, while Middlesbrough were hoping to cause an upset and take a step closer to a major final.
The first half saw both teams create opportunities, with Middlesbrough’s Piero Mingoia coming close to breaking the deadlock with a powerful strike that was parried away by Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. At the other end, Chelsea’s attacking trio of Romelu Lukaku, Hakim Ziyech, and Timo Werner were unable to find a way past Middlesbrough’s resolute defense.
As the game headed into extra time, it was Middlesbrough who found the breakthrough. Josh Coburn, a product of the Middlesbrough academy, latched onto a loose ball in the box and fired a low shot into the bottom corner, sending the home crowd into raptures.
Chelsea pushed for an equalizer in the closing stages, but Middlesbrough held firm to secure a famous victory and take the advantage heading into the second leg at Stamford Bridge.
The result will come as a major disappointment for Chelsea, who were looking to use the Carabao Cup as a potential route to silverware this season. Tuchel’s side have struggled for consistency in recent weeks, and this defeat will only add to the pressure on the German manager.
For Middlesbrough, it was a night to remember as they continue their impressive run in the Carabao Cup. The Championship side showed great resilience and determination to secure the win, and they will now be full of confidence as they prepare for the return leg against Chelsea.
The result sets up an intriguing second leg at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea will be looking to overturn the deficit and book their place in the final. However, Middlesbrough will be buoyed by their performance and will believe that they are capable of causing another upset against their Premier League opponents.
Overall, it was a thrilling encounter between Middlesbrough and Chelsea, with the Championship side ultimately coming out on top. The second leg promises to be a fascinating contest, as both teams battle it out for a place in the Carabao Cup final.