Thomas Tuchel guided Chelsea into a third semi-final under his management with a gritty 2-0 win over Brentford in the League Cup, setting up a two-legged tie against Tottenham in January.

The Blues toiled for much of the evening in west London before the pressure eventually told when Reece James forced an own goal and Jorginho converted a penalty in the final 10 minutes.

It was a particularly pleasing performance and result with a much-changed side, including three teenage debutants from the start in the guise of Harvey Vale, Jude Soonsup-Bell and Xavier Simons.

After the match, the Chelsea head coach had positive words for the character of his team, the young players stepping up and the impact of his substitutes from the bench.

‘I’m very pleased,’ said the boss. ‘It was a brilliant performance and a brilliant result so I’m very happy for the players. They showed great mentality.

‘They were very disciplined, very structured, and within that structure we performed individually. It was very well done from them.

‘It was a brilliant result given the circumstances, the line-up and the situation. Some of the guys who played were youngsters and the other guys had not many minutes like Trevoh, Saul and Barkley but they stepped up in a tough place.’

Tuchel was happy with the three Academy debutants who started and the support they received…

‘They were good. They did very well, so congratulations to them. They were hugely involved in this win. It was their first time, and they had two training sessions with us, and I’m happy for them.

‘They did not train for one week when the Academy was closed because of Covid and then we invited them to come with us two days ago. They were listening carefully and they did their jobs tonight.

‘It also shows the character of the eight other guys. It’s easy to play with our guys, they are helpful and supportive.’

The boss also picked out Kepa for particular praise after a string of important saves in the first half…

‘I’m very happy and super impressed with Kepa. It’s not a surprise anymore but he’s in that state of mind as a person, a character and a sportsman where he just delivers.

‘This is what he shows every day in training and that’s why he gets the rewards and has these kind of performances. He was a big factor today in the first half especially.’

Tuchel was able to change the game with his subs, which he was understandably happy about…

‘We knew we could have five big changes with a lot of quality, and also fresh legs because they were not overused.

‘That helped us a lot and was needed. I’m a big supporter of five changes.’

There was also an update on returning players from isolation…

‘If I understand it right, we need a negative test first of all and we had that for Romelu, Callum and Chilwell today. Ben will not be involved in the Aston Villa game but the other two can be on the pitch tomorrow if they test negative.

‘The guys have had some symptoms so we will have to see. The Premier League is the toughest place to play so it’s good news but I’m not over-excited because I need to check to see how they are.’

Finally, Tuchel gave his thoughts on the semi-final draw…

‘It was clear it was going to be a tough draw because there are four strong teams. Tottenham is nice for our fans, a London derby but very difficult.

‘We did everything to be in the semi-final. We deserve it so we’re looking forward to it.’