Tottenham’s pursuit of silverware under Antonio Conte came to an end this evening as they fell to a 3-0 aggregate defeat to London rivals Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-finals.
Last weeks first leg was a fairly one-sided affair, with Chelsea putting in a dominant display to earn a 2-0 win over a lacklustre Spurs side that rarely threatened, and the start to this game began in much the same manner.
The first big chance of the game would fall to Romelu Lukaku, the Belgian unsurprisingly winning his physical battle with Ben Davies, holding off the challenge of the Welshman before seeing his effort smartly saved by Pierluigi Gollini.
Chelsea would however take the lead inside the first 20 minutes, and like in the first leg, it felt rather avoidable from Spurs perspective, with Gollini failing to deal with a corner from the right as Rudiger got away from his man, got to the ball, and managed to steer the ball goal-bound with his back.
Spurs thought they had been handed a potential route back into the tie as they were awarded a penalty with five minutes of the first half to play for a foul by goalscorer Rudiger. However, on first glance, it seemed to have taken place outside the box, a view eventually confirmed by VAR who advised Andre Mariner to award a free kick instead – Giovani Lo Celso’s resulting effort ultimately being struck against the wall.
Mariner would point to the spot once more just 10 minutes into the second half after Kepa Arrizabalaga was judged to have brought down Lucas Moura, though a swift review of the pitchside footage again saw the decision changed, with the Spanish ‘keeper having put in a superbly timed challenge on the Brazilian.
After Andre Marriner awarded #THFC a penalty, VAR once again stepped in to reverse the decision…🔄
Did they make the right call? 🖥 pic.twitter.com/EcZDXL2Bgs
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) January 12, 2022
That decision seemed to spark Spurs into life, though VAR would again come to hinder their hopes of a comeback as Harry Kane saw an effort ruled out for offside with 25 minutes of the game to play.
Spurs created a few half chances but were unable to get anything out of the tie, and speaking afterwards, Tottenham boss Conte felt his side deserved more than the 1-0 defeat, but conceded that Chelsea ‘deserved to reach the final’.
“At the end of the two games Chelsea deserved to reach the final in this competition, we have to be honest,” he told Sky Sports.
“In the second half we created many chances to score and we deserved a result better than losing 1-0 but if you have a judgement over the two games Chelsea deserved to win.”
Spurs host Arsenal in the latest North London derby at the weekend, and Conte is hopeful his side can recover quickly ahead of the game.
“We have to recover some players. When we lose one, two or three players we’re in a bit of trouble.”