Chelsea overcame five clubs en route to Sunday's Carabao Cup final. Each tie posed a different challenge, each tie saw different members of Mauricio Pochettino's squad step up. These are the stories behind the victories...

Second round: Chelsea vs AFC Wimbledon

With no European football on the Blues' agenda this season, our Carabao Cup campaign began in the second round with a visit from the Dons.

Pochettino made seven changes to his side, one of which was handing Noni Madueke his first start of the campaign. The 21-year-old delivered what was needed that night at Stamford Bridge...

'We were going into the game off the back of a 3-0 victory over Luton, and It was our first game in the Carabao Cup so we just wanted to get into the next round.

‘I remember we went 1-0 down in the game from a penalty which probably wasn’t a penalty, but that’s how it goes sometimes. So we had to respond and I was pleased to equalise with a penalty because it was my first goal of the season.

'Wimbledon, credit to them, they were good that day. But we got the job done in the second half as Enzo scored the second to take us to the next round.'

Third round: Chelsea vs Brighton & Hove Albion

After back-to-back home defeats in the Premier League, there was pressure on the Blues to secure a positive result when Brighton visited Stamford Bridge.

The Chelsea side that night was strong and there was a first start in Blue for summer signing Cole Palmer, whose previous three appearances had all come as a substitute. The 21-year-old made an instant impact and hasn't looked back since...

‘I think we got told the team on the day of the game so I knew was going to start, and having that first start come at Stamford Bridge was nice to be fair.

'I remember the first touch I had in the game was good and I thought, "I'm going to play well." Then I got the assist in the second half and it went from there.'

It was Nicolas Jackson that Palmer teed up five minutes into the second period. It was an early display of the England international's imagination around the penalty box as he slipped the ball through the legs of Jan Paul van Hecke to find the Blues forward.

‘I think that [the assist] probably helped me settle – and that Brighton match was the start of a run of games for me. So it did help me I think here.'

Fourth Round: Chelsea vs Blackburn Rovers

Back at Stamford Bridge once again, Chelsea needed to show a response against Blackburn after a disappointing defeat to Brentford in the Premier League the weekend prior.

The Blues did what was required against the Championship side, but the night has lived longer in the memory of Benoit Badiashile, who made his return after more than four months out with a hamstring injury. It was a special comeback...

'It had been a long time since I last played because of my hamstring, so I was just so happy to be back involved with the team. I was playing alongside Axel [Disasi] in the defence too which was really nice.

'We have known each other a long time and played alongside each other many times at Monaco. That made it easier to come back into the team because of the relationship we have on the pitch.

'That I got the goal was a great feeling because of the time I had out but also because it was important. Cup games are different, there is that extra tension because you know that one mistake can mean you're out.

'So to score was special, and then we got the second [through Raheem Sterling] and we could be a little calmer. For me, it was just really nice to experience that game and be back playing football.'

Quarter-final: Chelsea vs Newcastle United

Chelsea had claimed a morale-boosting victory over Sheffield United three days before Newcastle's visit. Yet overcoming Eddie Howe's side would not be easy.

The Magpies started well and claimed a somewhat fortuitous lead in the 16th minute after Callum Wilson capitalised on a mistake in the Chelsea backline to fire beyond Djordje Petrovic.

Newcastle then retreated into their own half and challenged the Blues to find a way through their backline. As frustration grew inside Stamford Bridge during the second period, Pochettino turned to Mykhailo Mudryk. He remembers the moment well...

‘Watching from the bench is more worrying than when you come in and play. When you come in, there are no other thoughts in your mind other than you need to help your team.

'You're there to change the game if you are brought on from the bench. The manager asked me to go into the box and try to find the moment [to score].

‘I remember Malo put the cross in and I saw Trippier was going to take a touch. So, I tried to read the situation and I was first to the ball. He didn’t expect me there, maybe he thought that he could get it out of the box.

‘Then it was the finish and it was an unbelievable moment, my biggest goal at Chelsea so far.'

‘When we went to penalties, I was thinking: "if we don’t win the game then my goal means nothing; we need to get this done, win the game and go to the semi-final".

‘We spoke before the penalties as the team and with the manager, and we took the decision that I was going to shoot [the fourth penalty]. I didn’t feel any pressure.'

Just as Palmer, Conor Gallagher, and Christopher Nkunku had done before him, Mudryk converted from 12 yards. Petrovic then made the key save to deny Matt Ritchie and Chelsea were through.

‘Realising we were one step away from going out of the cup to then being in the semi-finals in just like one click, it was like a small fairytale.'

Semi-final: Chelsea vs Middlesbrough

Championship opposition awaited Chelsea in the last four. The first leg took place at the Riverside Stadium and the Blues were below par and beaten 1-0 by Middlesbrough. It meant there was work to be done in the second leg at Stamford Bridge.

Pochettino named a strong side, which included a first start since returning from injury for Ben Chilwell. On the opposite flank, Axel Disasi started at right-back. He picks up the story...

‘After the first leg at their stadium, we were all disappointed about the result. We weren’t expecting it. Ahead of the second game, we were all focused and said in the dressing room this is an opportunity to win a trophy

'We had to fight because we knew that we could do better. When we started the second leg, we were very hungry to win. I think in the first-half that day was great because it showed our focus and we scored a lot of goals.'

Disasi's display stood out. He played a key role in Enzo Fernandez's goal – which put us ahead in the tie – and then started and finished off a well-worked attacking move for our third goal of the evening.

'When I got the ball I had the opportunity to continue my run and score. It was a nice goal and a different feeling from my first goal against Liverpool. It was great and it was a nice night for us.

‘I was very happy to win the game and go to the final. For me, to have the opportunity to win a trophy in my first year at Chelsea is great, but I knew that by coming here I would get chances like this.

'We have this opportunity as a club, we will do everything to win this trophy.'