Mauricio Pochettino admits Chelsea had to suffer after beating Newcastle on penalties to reach the Carabao Cup semi-finals.
The West Londoners looked to be crashing out of the competition to last season’s beaten finalists, after Callum Wilson fired Newcastle in front.
Chelsea’s Levi Colwill conceded possession with a careless pass in the build up, before another error, from Benoit Badiashile, allowed the forward to fire home an excellent finish and open the scoring.
Conor Gallagher had seen an effort hit the bar in the opening minutes, while Raheem Sterling saw an effort cleared from the goal-line as Chelsea struggled to find a breakthrough.
Chelsea’s equaliser eventually came in stoppage time, as Mykhailo Mudryk stole in to level after Kieran Trippier’s defensive mistake for Newcastle.
In the resulting shootout, Chelsea won 4-2, with Trippier capping a miserable night with a missed spot-kick, before Djordje Petrovic saved from Matt Ritchie to send Chelsea through.
“It was a really good game,” Chelsea boss Pochettino reflected, via the club’s official website.
“We suffered when we conceded, it was our mistake. I said to the players to always believe until the end. The goal was possible because we believed.
“Sometimes in football you need some luck, and it came. Credit to the players because they were fantastic. We are so happy. The fans and the club deserve this sort of feeling. It’s a big motivation. We are waiting for the draw tomorrow.”
“These types of games and the way we went through are important for the development of the team,” the Argentine added.
“It’s the same as games when you don’t play well. Both are really important for this group to evolve and develop.
“When you saw the whole squad, including players who were injured and wanted to share their happiness in the middle of the pitch, it looks like we are a healthy group of players that only need time.
“Our responsibility is to guide them and create a platform for them to really improve. With time we are going to create a very good team that can compete, increase the competition, and be in the place Chelsea should be in.”
Fulham and Middlesbrough have also progressed to the last four, with the winners of Liverpool’s clash with West Ham to complete the semi-final line up.