Welcome to 2020, where injury time at the end of the second half somehow feels longer than the entire 90 minutes that came before it.
That can go both ways, too – and it will certainly be at the forefront of these managers’ minds as Chelsea and Spurs clash in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night.
Jose’s charges were undone by another completely stupid VAR handball call on Sunday, while Lamps needed every last second of that clock to come from three goals down to… West Brom?
The psychology here is what’s important, and if these two sides had drawn lesser opposition and neither manager had history with the other club, I’d say we’d have a lovely little behind-closed-doors reserve fixture.
But I’m not quite sure that’s the case here. Expect fireworks as Jose Mourinho can sniff another trophy that he can cite as progress. Oh, and Mr. Lampard? You might want to speak to Jose about how to get re-hired by the club that are about to sack you if you mess up Roman’s £200m summer investment.
Here’s your three best bets for arguably the tie of the round. Midweek League Cup action has never felt so spicy.
Lampard needs this more, and Spurs’ fixture congestion simply cannot be ignored for the time being. Mourinho would love to roll out the same XI and claim another ‘big’ win but he can’t at the moment.
The reasons for that are duel-pronged. Firstly he’s got Maccabi Haifa on Thursday before going back to Old Trafford on Sunday. But also, putting out the same XI often sends a message that last week wasn’t good enough, and bar some woeful officiating that made him depart pitchside early, Spurs would have won by a goal to nil.
And as we all know, one-nil wins are the staple of Jose Mourinho sides. Small margins.
This Spurs team is going to be set up to defend, and while most won’t like it – that’s going to have to be the way to victory if Jose throws out a weakened side, and clearly our traders are aware of this based on the price.
What I do like, however, is that Chelsea have a striker who is perhaps the most understated in the history of the Premier League who’s almost guaranteed to start and he’s perfect against sides that sit in.
Take a look at that Spurs bench from Sunday.
Does it fill you with confidence? There’s a lot of bit-part players who rely on either central strikers or top-end distributors to get them the ball. If Jose knows this, he may well even attempt to throw an even weaker team at it.
Perhaps the build-up is even more important than the personnel here – and if we assess that, bar the blitz against Southampton’s defensive line that based themselves on the halfway line, we find Spurs struggling to create anything from open play.
I like the value here.