Champions League: Chelsea suffer double injury blow ahead of Carabao Cup final


Chelsea manager, Thomas Tuchel, could be without midfielders Hakim Ziyech and Mateo Kovacic for Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Liverpool.

The two players picked up knocks in a 2-0 win over Lille in the Champions League on Tuesday.

The win put the Blues in control of the Round of 16 leg tie.

Yet despite picking up an important win, the result was somewhat overshadowed by fresh injury setbacks for Thomas Tuchel’s side.

Mateo Kovacic and Hakim Ziyech both limped off the pitch at Stamford Bridge and are now major doubts for the clash against Liverpool at Wembley in five days.

With doubts over the fitness of Mason Mount and the form of striker Romelu Lukaku, it represents worrying team news for the Blues ahead of the final.

Kai Havertz opened the scoring for the Blues with a header in the eighth minute from Ziyech’s corner to give Tuchel’s side lift off in the tie.

It followed a bright start for the home side, who were dominant in the early stages against their French opponents – who despite winning last season’s Ligue 1 title are languishing in mid-table this campaign.

Without Lukaku in attack – dropped to the bench after registering just seven touches in 90 minutes against Crystal Palace – the Blues looked sharper and more decisive in the final third.

Lille got more of a foothold in the game soon after but the Blues were always on top and they got their second goal just after the hour mark as Christian Pulisic slid the ball home after N’Golo Kante’s charging run and pass.

Yet before that goal went in, central midfielder Kovacic – who has already missed eight games through a combination of illness and injury – was forced to limp off with a muscular injury, replaced by Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

There was a similar story for the in-form Ziyech, who was instrumental again for Tuchel’s side in this encounter.

The Moroccan limped off, appearing to hold his ankle after falling to the ground under no contact in what was another worrying development for the Blues.

Ziyech was replaced by substitute Saul Niguez to see out the game for Tuchel’s team.

Tuchel said of the injuries after the game: “I don’t know. I should have subbed Mateo Kovacic at half-time so could have had one more change.

“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.

“We don’t like to have that many injuries and more impact from the bench on a tactical matter. I hope they will be ready for Sunday.”

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