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Mykhailo Mudryk‘s stoppage-time equalizer against Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge salvaged a 1-1 draw, setting up Chelsea‘s semi-final trip via penalties.

Just when Eddie Howe‘s team appeared to have done enough to cruise past the hosts—who had trouble producing for much of the game—Mudryk slotted home following a mistake from Kieran Trippier.

Callum Wilson‘s counterattack earlier in the half had given the visitors the advantage. But when it came down to penalty kicks, Trippier was at fault once more. He missed one from 12 yards out, and Matt Ritchie‘s crucial kick was saved by goalie Djordje Petrovic to help Chelsea win.

For Mauricio Pochettino, who will dance long into the night in west London, this is finally a moment to savour and delight. His Chelsea into the Carabao Cup semifinals, where they were cruelly eliminated by a valiant Newcastle United on penalties. For the Blues, it was very nearly more of the same: lots of promise but ultimately headed for a miserable end to another ninety minutes in this extravagant project.

In a desperate search for motivation, inspiration unexpectedly materialized when their much-maligned £88.5 million player, Mykhailo Mudryk, not only made another disastrous mistake. In stoppage time, he poked his way into the corner. In the shootout, he calmly converted a penalty. Under Pochettino, Chelsea might just be off to a thrilling start on this most exciting of nights.

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