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Pochettino praises his players despite Carabao Cup semi-final exit

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino was full of praise for his players despite seeing his side knocked out of the Carabao Cup at the semi-final stage, after a penalty shoot out defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

An injury depleted Spurs went into tonight’s game up 1-0 from the first-leg at Wembley, but without star attackers Harry Kane and Dele Alli.

Chelsea dominated the first period, taking a deserved lead trough N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard. Spurs put in a spirited display in the second period though and Fernando Llorente pulled a goal back with a close range header, which sent the game straight to penalties after 90 minutes.

Brazilian defender David Luiz would hit the decisive spot kick that sends Chelsea through to the final, after Eric Dier and Lucas Moura missed for the visitors.

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Speaking after the game Pochettino was philosophical in defeat and admitted that he was proud his sides battling performance.

“We won at Wembley. They beat us here. I’d prefer to lose on penalties [than in the game]. Congratulations to Chelsea. We’ll keep going in the FA Cup game against Crystal Palace,’’ Pochettino told Sky Sports.

“In the second half we played so well and dominated and had chances. Over 180 minutes it was 2-2. Chelsea would have been disappointed at Wembley. That’s football.

“We changed in the second half. I think we started to dominate. In the first half before we conceded the first goal, we played well and had control. That’s football. When you have Hazard, Pedro, Giroud, Kante, they can score.

“The team was so good. I feel so proud. I’m so happy with the performance and the way we fought. After two amazing games I praise my players.”

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