X reacts as Middlesbrough stun Chelsea in Carabao Cup

  • Chelsea were uninspiring as they fell 1-0 to Middlesbrough in the semi-final first leg
  • Hayden Hackney on target for the hosts; Cole Palmer missed several good chances
  • Two sides will meet at Stamford Bridge on January 23
Chelsea were nowhere near good enough
Chelsea were nowhere near good enough / Richard Sellers/Allstar/GettyImages

Mauricio Pochettino had warned his Chelsea side that they could not repeat their underwhelming performance against Preston North End when they travelled to face Middlesbrough in Tuesday's Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.

Chelsea did not match that performance, but they got infinitely worse.

A 1-0 defeat has the Blues' hopes of Carabao Cup glory hanging by a thread heaidng into January 23's second leg.

This game got off to a truly uninspired start. Boro were quick out the blocks but soon faded as Chelsea took control of the ball... which is usually bad news.

It looked like Chelsea's control would pay off when Cole Palmer pounced on a mistake and went running straight at Boro goalkeeper Thomas Glover shortly after the hour mark.

'Cold' Palmer looked positively lukewarm, however, as he dragged his effort wide of the post.

That profligacy would soon be punished as Boro took the lead through Hayden Hackney.

The classy midfielder was there to tap home after a long ball over the top left Thiago Silva in quicksand and gave Levi Colwill another chance to prove he is not a left-back.

Before the first half was over, Palmer found time to miss two further chances.

Glover dropped a strike from Enzo Fernandez right into the midfielder's path, but Palmer somehow scooped the ball well over the empty goal, before sending a low effort right at the goalkeeper.

With no changes at half-time and Chelsea predictably underwhelming in the early stages of the second half, the vibe on social media became a little sour.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino was in the firing line, with some supporters clearly hoping to see the back of the Argentine in the near future.

The game petered out to a limp, pathetic loss for Chelsea. 72% possession, 18 shots compared to six from Middlesbrough, and yet not once did the Blues look like winning this.

Roll on the second leg.