Date published: Thursday 24th January 2019 10:53
Maurizio Sarri believed his side should have wrapped up their Carabao Cup semi-final with Tottenham before going to penalties, but was impressed with the performance.
The Blues went ahead after 27 minutes, as N’Golo Kante’s strike from the edge of the box went through several pairs of legs before beating Paulo Gazzaniga.
The hosts soon moved ahead in the tie, as a quick free-kick scrambled Spurs, allowing Eden Hazard to pick out the corner and make it 2-1 on aggregate.
Spurs would fight back early in the second half, as Danny Rose crossed in for Fernando Llorente to level the tie.
Penalties would be required to separate the sides, and misses from Eric Dier and Lucas Moura allowed Chelsea to progress into the Carabao Cup final, where they will meet last season’s winners Manchester City.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Sarri said: “I think we deserved to win 3-1 or 4-1 tonight but the opponents were able to put us in trouble at the beginning of the second half.
“But, we played very well and were very dangerous and had a lot of opportunities.
“I was very happy with the performance. We reacted very well. The players had a very good level of determination so I was very happy with the level of performance.
“I think that in 180 minutes in the two matches we deserved to go to the final.”
Sarri had an interesting outburst regarding new signing Gonzalo Higuaín.
“Higuain was lucky because if he saw us in the last match he would be a little bit worried I think!” explained Sarri.
“But we are able to play a lot. In the last three or four matches we were not able to be dangerous. Tonight was better.”
Asked whether he got a response from his players after criticising them following the 2-0 loss at Arsenal, Sarri lashed out over claims that he publicly shamed his squad.
“I didn’t attack my players,” insisted Sarri.
“I said only that we had a problem. The problem was the motivation.
“In this match we reacted really very well. Now we have to show continuity.
“We will try [to win the final] but it’s really very difficult against Manchester City.
“In my opinion City are the best team in Europe so it will be very difficult, but of course we will try.”
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