Pochettino: This is just first-half

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Chelsea were beaten 1-0 by Middlesbrough during their Carabao Cup semi-final match on Tuesday night.

The Blues conceded the goal late in the first half after Hayden Hackney finished off a quick counterattacking move by Boro.

Chelsea had 72% of the ball, and recorded 18 shots on goal compared to six for the home side, but ultimately, the Blues couldn’t make the dominance count, as they lost the first leg of the game.

Cole Palmer was particularly wasteful in front of goal for Chelsea. The 21-year-old, who was deployed as a false nine, missed numerous opportunities to equalise, and possibly win the game, but Mauricio Pochettino has now revealed he actually liked the way his side played on the night.

Pochettino strongly believes Chelsea will win the second leg and qualify for the final.

“I think today the approach was good, we cannot say anything about the attitude,” the Argentine told Sky Sports afterwards.

“Only that we made some mistakes in the first half, I think we gave the chances to score and then, yes, they were so aggressive and really tough.

“They played in transition, in counter-attack, and with a really deep block. It was difficult for us to break down this block.

“We had many chances to score and didn’t score, that is football, of course. Really disappointed, but it is the first half of the tie because after this 90 minutes we have another 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge. I think we need to be positive.”