Michael Carrick revealed details of Middlesbrough’s scary 24 hours before securing a late 1-1 draw with promotion-chasing Southampton.

Emmanuel Latte Lath headed in a 90th-minute equaliser after Adam Armstrong had put Saints into the driving seat.

It had come after 70mph winds battered the south coast and forced a hairy two attempts at landing into Southampton Airport on Thursday.

Boro boss Carrick said: “We didn’t get to the hotel until about 10pm last night after our flight was abandoned coming into land.

“We were getting blown all over the place as we were trying to coming into land and then we ended up having to take off again. We almost got diverted to Birmingham.

“It was tasty. Some of the boys were slightly tetchy, it wasn’t pleasant.

“Some of the boys are talking about getting onto the coach on the way back!”

Middlesbrough have 11 injuries, including four centre-backs on the sidelines, which forced midfielder Jonny Howson into the backline.

Howson’s horrifically sliced attempt to clear Kamaldeen Sulemana’s cross gifted Armstrong the opener – his 19th goal of the season and 30th he has been involved with in the league.

“To go 1-0 down and Jonny playing centre-half, it felt like a long day but I’m proud of them,” said Carrick.

“The boys showed what they were capable of against a strong side and with the jabs the boys have had with injuries.

“A lot of teams have had injuries but it has been a revolving door. The boys have adapted unbelievably well.

“I am so so pleased with the boys. We felt we deserved something from the game. I enjoyed watching it. I was desperate for the boys to get something after their effort.”

Ivorian striker Latte Lath’s late header was his 10th of the season and made Saints pay after Che Adams missed a series of gilt-edged chances.

“Che will be frustrated he hasn’t scored,” said Southampton manager Russell Martin. “But it isn’t the reason we lose.

“We still need to defend properly and win the game 1-0.

“I’m really disappointed and frustrated. We should have scored three or four goals. If you aren’t going to score enough to win it you need to defend with your lives.

“The goal is rubbish, it is nowhere near as good a chance as any of ours but he has taken it well.

“We created a lot of chances and on another day we win with a lot of goals but we couldn’t get that next goal and it really hurt us.

“What better way to take out our frustration than on Monday in a really big game (away at promotion rivals Ipswich).

“The lads are annoyed. I was so angry straight after the game so I took a bit of time to talk to them because there was an opportunity there, especially with the result at Leicester (who lost 1-0 to Bristol City).

“But there will still be a lot of twists and turns and some crazy results because the end of the season does some crazy things to teams and people feel pressure in strange ways.

“The game on Monday is perfect for us to bounce back and no one needs to build it up at all.

“We will do everything we can to learn from today. Hopefully we can use the frustration and turn it into a positive.”

Second-half goals from Emmanuel Latte Lath and Marcus Forss gave Middlesbrough a 2-0 victory at Loftus Road and ended QPR’s recent resurgence.

Latte Lath broke the deadlock on 64 minutes as Rangers were unable to clear a free-kick and Matt Clarke nudged the ball towards the Ivorian striker, who sent a right-footed volley past goalkeeper 12 Asmir Begovic and into the corner of the net.

Forss then doubled the lead 12 minutes later following a counter-attack after Rangers’ Chris Willock appeared to have been fouled near the edge of the Boro penalty area.

Jonny Howson played the ball to the right to Luke Ayling, who crossed for Forss to head home at the far post.

The defeat means QPR, who were unbeaten in their previous four matches, sit just one point above the relegation zone.

They were on the front foot for most of the first half and went close to scoring an early goal when Steve Cook’s header from Lucas Andersen’s right-wing corner struck Howson and went over.

The in-form Sam Field headed over from another Andersen corner and Ilias Chair fired wide as the hosts continued the threaten.

Boro goalkeeper Seny Dieng, playing against his former club, then pushed away a strike from Willock after some neat build-up play by Rangers.

Dieng was also able to keep out an audacious attempt by Chair to catch him off his line.

At the other end, Riley McGree blasted a shot wide of the target, but Boro offered very little before the interval.

They were better after the restart – prompting QPR boss Marti Cifuentes to make a triple substitution 10 minutes into the second half, sending on forwards Lyndon Dykes and Paul Smyth along with on-loan Newcastle midfielder Issac Hayden.

Playmaker Chair was one of those to make way and the home side struggled to create clear-cut chances after his withdrawal.

The changes initially had some effect, with Rangers showing more urgency and Dieng surviving another attempt to embarrass him – this time when Jimmy Dunne’s lob from the right-hand side landed on the top of the net.

But it was Michael Carrick’s Boro who seized the initiative and Rangers, who had started so brightly, faded badly and never looked like recovering after going behind.

Mauricio Pochettino is looking to “build a team that can match the mentality” of Chelsea after his side reached the Carabao Cup final with a 6-1 semi-final second-leg victory over Middlesbrough.

Jonny Howson’s own goal settled the Blues’ early nerves as further strikes from Enzo Fernandez, Axel Disasi, Noni Madueke and a Cole Palmer brace booked their place at Wembley on February 25 against either Liverpool or Fulham.

Boss Pochettino said: “The most important thing is keeping the focus, seeing reality in the way we need to see the reality and see the difference between what is Chelsea and what is the team we are building.

“They are two different things. Our challenge is the history of Chelsea, the capacity to win titles and build a team that can match the mentality of this club.”

Ben Chilwell started for the first time since recovering from a hamstring injury and impressed at left-back.

Pochettino felt Chilwell and goalscorer Disasi set a standard with their performances and now wants to see such displays consistently.

“They were important today but we need to be consistent,” Pochettino added.

“Players like Chilly could do 65 minutes but the objective is to arrive at 80 minutes, hopefully do the 90 minutes, and then be consistent playing every two or three days. That is the most important thing.

“Now we need to help players like him to get their best form, but at the same time we are competing. We can think we are going to play with Chilly or Reece (James), but we know then after 10 or 15 minutes of the second half we have players that we need to change.

“They were important but with Chilly it is after five months we couldn’t use him. We were using different players like Levi Colwill or Marc Cucurella, who is also injured. We have two right-backs that today we couldn’t count on in Reece James and Malo Gusto, so we are using Axel.”

Chelsea’s recent upturn in form has seen them pick up three successive Premier League wins and they now have a cup final to look forward to.

Pochettino has seen a marked improvement in his side since the beginning of the season and said reaching Wembley was an objective from the start.

“The results are good, we are improving since the beginning of the season,” Pochettino added. “In all the circumstances we need to be happy because we are competing with a lot of things going on again and to reach the final was the first objective from the beginning.”

Chelsea put defeat in their Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Middlesbrough behind them to book a first Wembley appearance since 2022 with a ruthless 6-1 win at Stamford Bridge.

Four first-half goals for Mauricio Pochettino’s side effectively ended the tie as a contest as a Jonny Howson own goal and strikes from Enzo Fernandez, Axel Disasi and Cole Palmer showed a clinical side to Chelsea rarely seen this season.

Noni Madueke and a second from Palmer wrapped up an emphatic comeback late on before Morgan Rogers gave travelling Boro fans a reason to cheer two minutes from time.

By then, the hosts had long since ensured their place in the final, a 6-2 aggregate win ensuring they will face either Liverpool or west London rivals Fulham on February 25.

Chelsea dominated possession early but took until 11 minutes to fashion their first chance, Ben Chilwell appearing unmarked inside the box and heading fractionally wide from Thiago Silva’s drilled ball over the top.

And it was the returning Chilwell whose vision and delivery fashioned his side’s opener. The ball through the middle for Raheem Sterling cut Boro’s defence in two and Sterling, foregoing the chance to shoot, looked up and fed Armando Broja – but before he could knock it past Tom Glover, Boro captain Howson inadvertently diverted it beyond his own goalkeeper.

Rogers fired towards Djordje Petrovic’s bottom corner from a clever corner routine as the visitors sought an instant response, the keeper saving at the foot of the post.

But the game was looking increasingly like Chelsea’s to lose, and just before the half-hour mark they led for the first time in the tie.

Sterling manoeuvred out of a cul-de-sac via a delightful back-heel to feed Disasi, who sprinted up on the overlap. Charging into the box, he cut the ball back for Broja whose scuffed shot diverted into the path of Fernandez for the simplest finish guided into the corner.

Sterling and Disasi combined again minutes later to make it 3-0, the England forward sliding in his team-mate to sweep home first time as the visiting supporters behind the goal saw dreams of reaching Wembley evaporate.

Boro bravely sought to play their way out from the back despite the torrent of Chelsea goals that threatened to wash them away but their hero from the first leg, Hayden Hackney, had a hand in gifting Chelsea their fourth, leaving Dan Barlaser exposed with a catastrophic pass that let in Palmer to finish inside the post with typical cool.

The hosts were looking to reach a first major final since Todd Boehly’s Clearlake Capital consortium completed its buyout of the club in May 2022 and with the job all but done by the break, a sense of ease rarely observed this season passed around Stamford Bridge.

Carrick’s side still looked to get on the ball and play in the second half, an approach that did them credit if at times it seemed like inviting a fifth Chelsea goal.

It arrived with 15 minutes to play. Substitute Conor Gallagher ran the ball to the byline and cut back for Palmer to open up his body and score beyond the exposed Glover.

Madueke, sent on at half-time, danced through and made it six via a deflection off Ray van den Berg minutes later.

Rogers’ goal at the death brought a roar of approval from the visiting fans. In truth, their side had never looked like earning the win they craved on their long journey south.

Boss Michael Carrick has urged Middlesbrough to seize their chance after reaching the Carabao Cup semi-finals.

Jonny Howson, Morgan Rogers and Matt Crooks eased them into the last four with a 3-0 win at Port Vale.

The Championship side reached a major domestic semi-final for the first time in 17 years, since losing to West Ham in the last four of the FA Cup in 2006.

An injury-hit Boro made light work of their League One hosts to avoid an upset and are the only EFL team left in the last four.

Carrick said: “Sometimes in your career there are times and you have to make the most of the opportunity when it comes your way.

“When the door opens you have to run through it and the boys certainly sprinted through it.

“We’re not stupid. We know whoever’s left in the draw probably wants to play us and see it as a chance to get to Wembley.

“It’s a hell of an opportunity. It’s about us and what we can achieve. You’re in a semi-final and it’s motivation and inspiration itself.

“It was a fantastic attitude and mentality. We’re decimated in terms of numbers in the squad but it’s part of the journey and we’re enjoying it.

“We’re in the semi-final and who would have thought it, it’s a great thing to look forward to. Who knows what will happen next, we’ll see who we get.”

Howson opened the scoring after 11 minutes when his 25-yard strike clipped Jason Lowe and looped in over Connor Ripley.

Vale, who demonstrated plenty of endeavour, tried to recover but fell further behind after 23 minutes when Sam Silvera crossed for Rogers to find the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Gavin Massey lifted Vale’s best chance over from close range and Crooks wrapped up the victory eight minutes into the second half, bullying his way through and finding the bottom corner.

The hosts lost Oliver Arblaster to a serious leg injury and boss Andy Crosby admitted they were second best.

He said: “We are trying to play in a way in our own league, with control and counter pressing but as soon as there was space on the transition you could see the difference between the players.

“They executed the finishes well, maybe got a bit of luck with the first which took a deflection over Connor but they deserved to win the game and hopefully they can progress in the semi-final.

“Ollie has a really bad gash around his knee, it’s gone right through to the bone and he’s gone to hospital. He has been so good for us and he’s our number one concern.”

Middlesbrough cruised into the Carabao Cup semi-finals after breezing past Port Vale 3-0.

Jonny Howson, Morgan Rogers and Matt Crooks fired the 2004 winners in to the last four with a comfortable win at Vale Park.

Boro had not made a major domestic semi-final since losing to West Ham in the last four of the FA Cup in 2006.

Vale’s big night – their first League Cup quarter-final – was ruined by the incisive and efficient visitors within 23 minutes.

Gavin Massey missed the hosts’ best chance but Boro boss Michael Carrick, a two-time winner with Manchester United, ultimately navigated a tricky tie with ease given their injury problems.

So depleted were the visitors that Carrick named four substitutes without a senior appearance, including 17-year-old Law McCabe, but it was the experienced Howson who fired them ahead after 11 minutes.

Boro had threatened through the middle and the midfielder was able to easily find space. With defenders giving him time, the 35-year-old needed no second invitation and his 25-yard shot clipped Jason Lowe to loop over Connor Ripley.

Missing 10 players due to injury and resting Rav van den Berg, with an eye on their bid to stay in touch with the Championship’s play-off pack, the visitors had a platform.

Ethan Chislett curled an early free kick over and plucky Vale – 15th in League One – had nothing to lose, only for a second Boro goal after 23 minutes to seal the game.

Again, it was a simple build up with Sam Silvera winning the ball on the right and he kept his composure to pick out Rogers on the edge of the box.

The former Manchester City forward was left completely unmarked to stroke a fine low finish into the corner – his fourth goal of the competition.

Yet, far from shrinking, Vale kept going and should have pulled a goal back three minutes later only for a stretching Massey to lift over from close range.

Boro should have been out of sight just before the break when Crooks shot over but it was just a warning as the midfielder struck eight minutes into the second half when he barged his way through and drilled into the bottom corner.

Worse was to follow for the hosts when Oliver Arblaster was carried off with a serious leg injury just before the hour.

It sucked the life out Vale and, from then, Boro were happy to see the game out and Ripley denied Calum Kavanagh a debut goal when the visitors threatened a late fourth.

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