Chelsea toiled against Tottenham at Wembley on Tuesday night, with Maurizio Sarri opting to play Eden Hazard up front in their League Cup meeting.
Olivier Giroud was named on the bench, but given he has been working his way back from his own injury troubles, the Frenchman wasn’t risked as a starter.
Instead, he was eventually introduced with just over 10 minutes remaining in the first leg semi-final encounter, while Alvaro Morata wasn’t even included in the squad.
As noted by Marca, the 26-year-old is being heavily linked with a switch to Sevilla as he continues to struggle for Chelsea, but it was in fact an injury which forced him to sit out the clash with Spurs.
As seen in the tweet below, Sarri revealed prior to the game that the Spaniard had picked up a hamstring issue in training on Tuesday and so wasn’t risked.
That would have been a setback despite Morata’s general struggles, as his confidence would arguably have been high after scoring a brace in the win over Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup this past weekend.
Instead, he was forced to watch on as his teammates struggled to find a breakthrough against Spurs, with Harry Kane breaking the deadlock in a tight affair with an emphatic penalty in the first half.
It remains to be seen if Morata is still a Chelsea player when these two sides meet in the second leg on January 22, as speculation remains rife over a possible exit, as noted by Marca above.
.?@ChelseaFC? boss Maurizio Sarri says Morata suffered a slight problem with his hamstring in training today and was withdrawn from the squad as a precaution.
What rotten luck for the Spanish striker ? pic.twitter.com/Zdo4dujCmo
— Ian Abrahams (Moose) (@BroadcastMoose) January 8, 2019