80 min: Both teams make a change. Son is replaced by Lamela, while the very promising Hudson-Odoi makes way for Giroud, who as an erstwhile employee of Arsenal gets the reception you’d expect.
78 min: Chelsea have enjoyed 65% of the ball in this second half. The majority of the play’s been in the Spurs half, too. The visitors must wonder how they’re not on terms. Hudson-Odoi barrels down the left, Alonso tries to turn the resulting cross in at the near post, but it’s blocked out for a corner. Nothing comes of the set piece.
76 min: Barkley is replaced by Kovacic.
74 min: Hazard cuts in from the right and flicks a pass down the channel for Kante. The ball slaps Alderweireld’s arm. You’ve seen those given – he’s close, but not super-close – but the referee isn’t interested. Neither is the VAR dude. In fairness to Alderweireld, upon second view, he might have been trying to take his arm away.
72 min: It’s been a fast-paced match pretty much from the get-go. Hazard makes good ground down the right but is stopped by Alli; Kane flicks a pass down the left which Son busts a gut in trying to reach. Nothing’s quite coming off at the moment, for either team, but you can’t mark anyone down for effort. It’s made for a great spectacle.
70 min: Good work by Azpilicueta down the right earns Chelsea a corner. But Hazard’s delivery is uncharacteristically dismal, failing to beat the first man.
68 min: Wembley is bubbling away. This has been a highly entertaining semi so far, and the crowd are doing their bit. It’s a great atmosphere. And people say the League Cup doesn’t count for anything. Don’t listen to them, kids.
66 min: Sissoko powers down the right. Kane takes over and hooks the ball further down the wing. Son nearly breaks into the box. He can’t get a shot away. But Sissoko has kept going, and nearly gets the ball under control on the penalty spot. Nearly, but not quite. A hectic, seat-of-pants attack finally comes to an end. But Chelsea were nearly opened up for the first time in a while. That break for Kane’s treatment has done Spurs some good.
65 min: The Spurs physio gives Kane the thumbs up, despite the star striker mumbling something about his calf. Kane’s back in the action soon enough.
64 min: Kane is down looking pained. As he gets treatment, it’s a chance for Spurs to regroup. They’ve been second best since the restart.
63 min: Willian is replaced by Pedro, who scored here for Barcelona in the 2011 Champions League final, the opening goal of their 3-1 victory over Manchester United.
62 min: Hazard dribbles down the right, enters the Spurs box, and takes a shot. It’s high and wide, but the ref decides it’s come off Alderweireld for a corner. Replays aren’t conclusive, so it’s probably for the best that the set piece comes to nought.
61 min: Chelsea are pressing Spurs back. The home side can’t get out of their final third. Hudson-Odoi, Willian, Kante and Hazard are seeing an awful lot of the ball down the right, but can’t prise the hosts open. There’s a sense that it might only be a matter of time, though.
59 min: Sanchez comes straight through the back of Hazard in the centre circle and goes into the referee’s notebook.
58 min: Hazard jinks down the right and crosses. It loops off Rose and over the crossbar. For a second, Gazzaniga was worried about the freak looper there. It’s a corner from the right. Hazard whips it to the near post, where Barkley flicks to the far post. Christensen is haring in, unchallenged. But he clanks his volley wide left from close range. What a chance that was!
57 min: Azpilicueta has three goes at delivering a cross into the Spurs box from the right. The third attempt hits the arm of Rose, and the Chelsea man wants a penalty. But the ref’s not interested; there wasn’t much space between the two players, and no reaction time.
55 min: Good work by Hudson-Odoi down the right. His deep cross is chested down by Trippier and gathered by Gazzaniga. Chelsea are beginning to dominate this.
54 min: Another fine save by Gazzaniga, who denies Kante’s dipper, turning the ball away from his right-hand post. Chelsea will soon start wondering what they have to do to score.
53 min: Hazard skedaddles in from the left , waltzes past Eriksen, and sends a dipping screamer straight down Gazzaniga’s gullet. There have been precious few signs that this game will end with just the one goal scored.
52 min: Alli and Sissoko exchange passes as the ball’s shuttled in from the Spurs right. Kane is teed up, 30 yards out, and pearls one towards the bottom left. Kepa does extremely well to save. The resulting corner isn’t up to much.
51 min: … nowt. Gazzaniga plucks the corner from the sky. No sweat.
50 min: Kante drives forward, and slips the ball right for Hudson-Odoi, who offloads to Hazard. Chelsea’s star man drops a shoulder and very nearly makes room for a shot from the edge of the box. But he’s crowded out so meanders right, then chips left towards Alonso at the far post. Sanchez rises to concede a corner. From which …
48 min: Sanchez impedes Hazard as he dribbles down the middle of the park. Willian takes the free kick, wedging the ball down the inside-right channel. Hudson-Odoi very nearly brings it down in acres of space – the rest of the box was loaded on the left – but just misses it. Gazzaniga gathers, and the flag had gone up for offside anyway.
47 min: … the ball’s worked to Eriksen, 20 yards out. He has a shot which Kepa gathers, but not in a wholly convincing style. For a second, it looked like he was in the process of fumbling it, but recovered his composure in time.
46 min: Kane slips a reverse pass down the inside-right channel for Alli, who is stopped from shooting by the outstretched leg of Rudiger. Alli went over in the area, but it was a perfectly timed tackle. Corner, from which …
And we’re off again! Chelsea get the ball rolling for the second half. No changes. Meanwhile here’s Ed Wall. “One thing I’m unclear about with the VAR decision on the offside – if the assistant referee has raised his flag during the buildup, doesn’t that completely affect how the players (especially on the defensive side) react? Shouldn’t he be keeping his flag down if the decision is marginal and leaving the decision to the VAR team? It strikes me that Kepa was completely baffled for a split second as to what to do, and this might have been poor keeping, or because he was unsure if Kane was really offside.” It’s almost as though VAR is just replacing one set of problems with another. But most people seem happy enough with it, so here we are.
HALF TIME: Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Chelsea
And that’s that for the first half. Chelsea shaded it in terms of possession, and have hit the post twice. But it’s Spurs who have the lead thanks to the power running of Harry Kane. The second half is poised perfectly. Don’t you go anywhere!
45 min +2: So nearly a sensational equaliser! Hudson-Odoi Crosses from the right. The ball deflects off Rose and looks like looping over Gazzaniga and into the top left! But the keeper fingertips the ball onto the left-hand post. As the ball bounces across the face of goal, Alderweireld slams the ball clear. Spurs escape!
45 min: Hudson-Odoi hasn’t stopped running all half. Here he doesn’t stop running into Rose, and earns a brief lecture from the referee.
43 min: Alonso, deep on the left, curls into the box for Hazard, who can’t control. But the ball nearly drops to Hudson-Odoi, who momentarily considers van Bastening a volley goalwards from a position out right. But the ball deflects through to Gazzaniga.
41 min: Chelsea are beginning to regain their early rhythm. Hudson-Odoi drifts in from the right, opens up his body, and looks to whip a curler into the top left. He overcooks it, but not by so much. It was Chelsea’s eighth attempt on goal so far; Spurs have just had the two. But look at the scoreline.
40 min: A little space for Alonso, set clear down the left by Willian. Alonso curls the ball to the near post, where Kante nips in ahead of Alderweireld and Trippier, and clips a first-time effort off the bottom of the left-hand post! Goal kick.