Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte believes his side deserved better after being knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Chelsea.
Leading 2-0 following the first leg at Stamford Bridge, the Blues booked their place in the final as Antonio Rudiger’s first half header sealed a 3-0 win on aggregate.
The result has dented Conte’s hopes of winning silverware in his first season in charge, having also been knocked out of the Europa Conference League at the group stage following a UEFA ruling.
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Despite failing to score against Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea across two legs, Spurs put in a largely positive display but were thwarted by VAR on three occasions.
Firstly, Rudiger’s rash challenge on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was ruled to have been just outside the box, having originally been given as a penalty by referee Andre Marriner. Then, a second half penalty decision following goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga’s challenge on Lucas Moura was also correctly overturned.
Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane in action against Chelsea.
Image credit: Getty Images
England striker Harry Kane then thought he had pulled his side back into the contest shortly after the hour mark, only for VAR to rule out his effort for offside.
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After the game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Conte said: "Over two legs, Chelsea deserved to go to the final.
But I think in the second leg tonight, we deserved a better final result.
“We created many chances and the players played with a great intensity, with a will, a desire, not to lose the game.
"We were also a bit unlucky. I don’t like to use this word, but sometimes it can happen during the game, two penalties that were changed and a goal disallowed after VAR.
"Then, we had many chances to try to score. But at the end, I repeat, Chelsea deserved to reach the final, and we have to know this."
It was a disappointing night for Conte, whose only hope of securing a trophy this season appears to be the FA Cup.
The Premier League side survived a major scare to beat League 1 Morecambe FC 3-1 in the competition last weekend, and they will now face Brighton in the fourth round.
As for Chelsea, they await either Liverpool or Arsenal, with the first leg of their semi-final tie taking place at Anfield later this evening after originally being postponed.
The Carabao Cup final will be held at Wembley on February 27.
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