Conte’s decision to rest captain Hugo Lloris was surprising, and back-up goalkeeper Pierluigi Golini was to blame for Antonio Rudiger’s winning goal, which gave Chelsea a 3–0 lead on aggregate and effectively tied the tie as a contest. way killed.
Golini ran from his line but Mason failed to connect with Mount’s corner, which threw Rudiger into the net.
The mistake was not unexpected given Golini’s shaky performance so far this season and it left Conte with something to explain.
Conte said he chose to rest Lloris, who are currently negotiating a contract extension, which includes Sunday’s north London derby at home to Arsenal, and also suggested Golini could be a part of his predecessor. Under was the club’s cup goalkeeper. Nuno Espirito Santo.
But assuming Lloris was fully fit, he needed no rest, as he last played at Stamford Bridge the week before, with Gollini also deputizing in the weekend’s FA Cup win over Morecambe.
Spurs were believed to be trailing 2–0 from the first leg and facing a tall order, but it was still a semi-final at home against one of their arch-rivals.
This wasn’t Conte’s only weird selection of nighties. Before the ball was kicked, the decision to start Japhet Tanganga and Matt Doherty, who had struggled badly at Stamford Bridge last week, raised eyebrows while one of Spurs’ outstanding players this season, Oliver Skip, did not.
Was Conte looking to Arsenal or even talking about the strength of his squad for the club in the wake of Monday’s no-holds-barred meetings with Daniel Levy and Fabio Paratici over transfers? Whatever the case, his selections, particularly Lloris’ omission, felt like miscalculations, reducing the already slim chances of a famous return from Spurs.
Conte has credit in the bank, but if the same selection had been made by Nuno, Spurs fans would certainly have a little doubt where to put at least some of the blame for the defeat.
The head coach is certainly the last person to be blamed for the level of Spurs’ squad, which, despite a spirited second half, was again badly exposed by their rivals.
With Heung-Min Son, Eric Dior, Christian Romero and Sergio Reguilon all absent, the Spurs were too weak to bother the Blues, even though Conte played their strongest available XI, so including Lloris would make a significant difference. was not likely. ,
VAR disappoints Spurs but doesn’t dispute calls
The hosts were thwarted three times by VAR, Mike Dean, who reversed Andre Mariner’s decision to award Spurs penalties on either side of half-time and dismissed Kane’s goal for offside.
The decisions sparked excitement at the far end but Dean’s call was uncontroversial, despite Conte’s animated reaction at the touchline.
Pierre-एmile Hjberg did well in the first half to draw a foul from Antonio Rudiger with the score 1–0, but the initial contact was outside the box, tripping himself only after Hjberg went down inside the area. Gone.
There was no doubt that Kepa Arrizabalaga clearly won the ball in the second-half challenge with Lucas Moura and the only mystery was why referee Andre Mariner felt compelled to award the penalty in the first place.
Kane’s goal should not have even stood as only one Chelsea player – Rudiger – was between the striker and the goal when he conceded a pass from Lucas behind Kepa.
It was a disappointing law, but a law nonetheless, which ensured a good night for VAR, without which the match could have been very different.
Another soft goal cost Spurs
The tie demonstrated the gap in quality between the clubs, which Conte exposed after the first leg, but was nevertheless settled by three soft and preventable goals.
Two Jaffett Tanganga mistakes gifted Chelsea a 2–0 lead at Stamford Bridge, while Golini’s mistake was for Rudiger’s winner.
Goal conditions would frustrate Conte, but more than two feet away Chelsea comfortably beat Spurs, catching him at arm length in the second half of both games.
Like the Spurs, the Blues were missing players including wing-backs Reece James and Ben Chilwell, prompting Tuchel to play four again, but each of his choices would have comfortably improved Spurs’ best XI.
Chelsea’s third loss this season put the pressure on Sunday’s home derby against Arsenal, the first of three league games that should shape Spurs’ ambitions this season.
Away games follow against Leicester and Chelsea, after which it should be clear whether Spurs can really sustain the top four challenge.