Chelsea found themselves 1-0 behind at the halfway point in the two-legged Carabao Cup semi-final after being hit on the counter before half-time and failing to find a way past Middlesbrough’s determined back-line.
The Blues will have 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge to turn the tie around, but will need to create more than we did at the Riverside Stadium in this evening’s first leg.
The closest Chelsea came to a goal was a couple of Cole Palmer efforts in the first half. He couldn’t find the target, though, putting wide after intercepting a risky defensive pass by Middlesbrough, and then hitting over from close range when the keeper spilled a long-range shot from Enzo Fernandez.
Instead they went in at the break behind, after a long ball over the top allowed the home side to take the lead through Hayden Hackney against the run of play, and couldn’t find a way to level the scores in the second half.
The home fans roared their team on from kick-off and were nearly rewarded when Levi Colwill misjudged his header back to Djordje Petrovic from a long punt upfield by the Middlesbrough goalkeeper, with Emmanuel Latte Lath threatening to punish the early error, but his shot lacked power and Petrovic collected easily.
That early attack came at a cost for the home side, with Disasi’s attempt to block leaving Latte Lath in some pain, and his game was at an end inside the first five minutes.
Middlesbrough lost a second player to injury after just 20 minutes, Alex Bangura unable to continue after going down following a fairly innocuous push in the back by Noni Madueke.