Middlesbrough manager Michael Carrick has described Chelsea’s 6-1 win in the Carabao Cup semi final as ‘brutal’ and ‘ruthless’.
Boro beat Chelsea 1-0 in the first leg earlier this month but Mauricio Pochettino’s side put on a clinical display in the return fixture at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday evening as as Enzo Fernandez, Axel Disasi, Cole Palmer and an own goal from Jonny Howson put the hosts 4-0 ahead by half time.
Palmer netted his second after the break, while half-time substitute Noni Madueke scored Chelsea’s sixth before Boro netted a late consolation through Morgan Rogers.
Chelsea will now play either Liverpool or Fulham in the Carabao Cup final on February 25.
‘We’re hugely disappointed,’ Carrick said after Boro’s defeat at Stamford Bridge.
‘The game unravelled quite quickly, brutal in a way, really, it was quite a ruthless game for us, with six shots on target there or thereabouts and six goals, it’s pretty brutal.
‘I feel massively for the players after their effort and attitude on the night.
‘In the end, we got punished, couple of mistakes and quite quickly they punish you for that. So we’re disappointed, of course, but I’m massively proud of how they stuck at it.
‘Second half, coming out in those circumstances is not easy but no one wavered, we stuck together, and we showed our spirit. I was really proud of them for that.
‘We were realistic at half time. There was no shouting or screaming, it was a case of, ‘come on, what’s next?’. We wanted to make the most of it after coming this far. None of our lads have ever been involved in a semi final of this size in a major cup competition, so that in itself is massive.
‘It’s a new experience for them, unchartered territory, and so a lot of the boys will be better for going through this experience. How they dealt with it, what they faced, what the challenges were and how they faced up to them. Once the dust settles and the disappointment wears off, that experience will be vital.
‘I thought we started pretty well in the game actually, albeit maybe just a short time, maybe 10 minutes or so. We got punished straight away and then had a chance to go 1-1 from the corner, a decent chance for Morgan.
‘It’s the type of things that went for us in the first leg, but over two legs, against a team that level above, it’s not easy to stay with them. In the end, they were just too strong for us.’
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