Tottenham Hotspur need an excellent match today and a big win in order to turn around a 2-0 deficit in the second leg of the League Cup semi-final. They got, frankly, neither. Spurs conceded a soft first half goal off of a mistake from backup keeper Pierluigi Gollini and were the victims of three VAR calls that (correctly) ruled out two penalty shouts and a Harry Kane goal. Chelsea won the match 1-0 and the tie 3-0 on aggregate and advance to the League Cup finals. Spurs were left to lick their wounds and prepare for Sunday’s home North London Derby.
Here are some brief reactions to the match.
- I don’t think there’s a whole lot to learn about this match. Conte put out a weakened lineup due to the North London Derby on Sunday, choosing to rest Hugo Lloris. Spurs are missing a couple of key defensive players due to injury and it again showed today. That’s an easy target for upgrade this month if they can find the right defender. Otherwise, Chelsea were just... better, and Spurs shot themselves in the foot once more by giving up a soft goal.
- Look, I know we’re all mad at Tanguy Ndombele right now, but if there’s one player who deserves to be shipped out this month it’s Pierluigi Gollini. This guy... man. I can’t even. He’s just SO BAD. I don’t know if we win the game with Hugo playing but I know my mental state would be a lot less frayed.
- Hojbjerg’s VAR’d no-penalty in the first half was annoying. Like, the correct call was made but I don’t understand how it wasn’t then called a red card for Rudiger for DOGSO. Frustrating, even though I freely concede Spurs didn’t deserve anything from that half.
- Spurs weren’t great today but Gio and Emerson were both pretty dang solid, and I was glad to see it.
- The worst part about the whole VAR thing was that it got the calls correct all three times. Even when VAR is good it still manages to suck the fun right out of a match.
- Spurs were better in the second half, but it just wasn’t enough. As frustrating as it is to lose in another cup semi-final, it would’ve taken a Herculean effort to come back today, which was always unlikely.
- Whatever. Just win the NLD this Sunday.