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Kepa and Reece James are the heroes of Chelsea’s penalty shootout AGAIN when the Blues beat Southampton

In a season of victories came another. Chelsea have reached the quarterfinals of the Carabao Cup, but what an effort.

It required sanctions, and before that, a battle that no one expected. The managers had made 15 changes between them, so go figure.

And yet what a fight. It ended 1-1. He first went through Chelsea via Kai Havertz, then turned to Southampton, drawing through Che Adams, before the carnage of a wavy second half.

Kepa Arrizabalga was the hero of Chelsea's penalty shootout once again as Chelsea outscored Southampton on shots from the point.

Kepa Arrizabalga was the hero of Chelsea’s penalty shootout once again as Chelsea outscored Southampton on shots from the point.

Chelsea's substitute goalkeeper saved Theo Walcott's penalty as the Blues scored another Carabao Cup victory.

Chelsea's substitute goalkeeper saved Theo Walcott's penalty as the Blues scored another Carabao Cup victory.

Chelsea’s substitute goalkeeper saved Theo Walcott’s penalty as the Blues scored another Carabao Cup victory.

At the time, it was considered fair that Fraser Forster was the hero. He was a wall. Forget the penalties for a moment, because it was his contribution in the 90 minutes that belongs to the light. Salvage followed salvage, particularly in the second half, most notably in saves from Kai Havertz and Saul. There were up to seven more.

A substitute for low resistance equipment, for sure. A standout, without a doubt.

But then to the kicks. Theo Walcott missed the second for Southampton, and Mason Mount missed the corresponding effort for Chelsea. All square at that point. But Will Smallbone skipped fourth for the visitors and with Chelsea’s fifth, Reece James clinched the victory.

They will be looking for bigger prizes this season. They always do it. But for now, they keep winning, ugly or not.

Will Smallbone (right) was the unfortunate Southampton player to jump in to give Chelsea the advantage of the penalty shoot-out.

Will Smallbone (right) was the unfortunate Southampton player to jump in to give Chelsea the advantage of the penalty shoot-out.

Will Smallbone (right) was the unfortunate Southampton player to jump in to give Chelsea the advantage of the penalty shoot-out.

Reece James hit the winning penalty to seal the penalty shootout victory and give Chelsea a place in the round of 16 of the Carabao Cup.

Reece James hit the winning penalty to seal the penalty shootout victory and give Chelsea a place in the round of 16 of the Carabao Cup.

Reece James hit the winning penalty to seal the penalty shootout victory and give Chelsea a place in the round of 16 of the Carabao Cup.

Obviously, there are much bigger images for both managers. For Hasenhuttl, it’s all about proximity to the bottom three in the Premier League, which is why he made nine changes to the team that tied with Burnley at the weekend. Only Mohammed Salisu and Ibrahima Diallo were retained in an XI that also saw a winger, Yan Valery, reused as a center midfielder.

Tuchel was more reserved with six changes and a moderately strong team. A reflection that Chelsea has come out at this stage in four of the previous six seasons? It felt that way.

Of the Tuchel survivors, there was another start for Callum Hudson-Odoi, who made a strong contribution to the Norwich beating, albeit this time in a less favored role on the right, and among the starters was Ross Barkley, given his first start. . it’s from the season. There was also a place for Saúl Niguez, who makes only his fourth appearance since he arrived on loan from Atlético de Madrid.

Thomas Tuchel made six changes from Chelsea who beat Norwich 7-0, including an unusual start for Saul Niguez (right).

Thomas Tuchel made six changes from Chelsea who beat Norwich 7-0, including an unusual start for Saul Niguez (right).

Thomas Tuchel made six changes from Chelsea who beat Norwich 7-0, including an unusual start for Saul Niguez (right).

He’s had a rough couple of months at Stamford Bridge, and while he’s not the kind of midfield that anyone could easily crash into, no one expected a Spanish international to find him that difficult. At least this game got off to a good start. His first handful of touches allowed for a quick play down the middle and after six minutes he forced a good save from Fraser Forster with a header. From there, it faded and the mystery continues.

Havertz, looking for that spark of momentum shift of his own, also approached with momentum that doubled slightly, before Forster saved a second. The third chance, a minute before the break, he did it. Hakim Ziyech assisted with a corner kick and Havertz headed in his third goal of the season.

Southampton, for what they were worth, had been decent without being too efficient. In the first half, the best they could handle was a semi-threatening shot from Stuart Armstrong that deflected Kepa favorably into Chelsea’s goal. Beyond that, they had not generated any sense of danger.

In the 90 minutes, Chelsea took the lead just before the break when Kai Havertz led the Blues at Stamford Bridge.

In the 90 minutes, Chelsea took the lead just before the break when Kai Havertz led the Blues at Stamford Bridge.

In the 90 minutes, Chelsea took the lead just before the break when Kai Havertz led the Blues at Stamford Bridge.

Che Adams leveled the cup tie for Southampton when he hit home from close range just a few feet away.

Che Adams leveled the cup tie for Southampton when he hit home from close range just a few feet away.

Che Adams leveled the cup tie for Southampton when he hit home from close range just a few feet away.

To the second half and a response from Southampton that was quick. In one of the first passages of the game, Kyle Walker-Peters broke and shot on goal, achieving a save from Kepa. Adams stabbed on the rebound and the game was level.

Adam Armstrong came close in the frenzy that followed, with Havertz, Reece James, Barkley and Marcos Alonso all taking chances in the opposite direction for Chelsea. The Carabao Cup suddenly looked quite attractive.

Both managers chased the win: Hasenhuttl pitched on Theo Walcott and Shane Long; Tuchel removed Mason Mount and Chilwell from their bench. Barkley was among those hooked, having failed to seize the opportunity.

In the 72nd minute, Saul received an opening on the edge of the Southampton area, but it opened and then had another attempt from a similar range, which Forster flipped over. The goalkeeper was clearly the most outstanding player in the game.

Will Smallbone nearly snatched it from Southampton with a header a moment later, before Alonso threw one at the other end. With every mistake, penalties seemed inevitable.

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