Antonio Conte defends decision to rest Hugo Lloris after Chelsea defeat
- Pierluigi Gollini goalkeeping error led to Chelsea winner
- Thomas Tuchel ‘happy’ with Wembley final looming
Antonio Conte defended his decision to rest Hugo Lloris and start Pierluigi Gollini in goal after Tottenham’s hopes of reaching the Carabao Cup final were dashed.
Gollini was at fault when Antonio Rüdiger headed Thomas Tuchel’s side into a 3-0 aggregate lead at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Wednesday night, but the Spurs manager insisted he had no regrets about picking the Italian goalkeeper instead of his captain.
Conte, who wants backing in the transfer market this month, argued he has bigger things to worry about than Lloris’s deputy and admitted his side were unable to compete with Chelsea.
“Before my arrival at Tottenham, Pierluigi has always played in Carabao and the Conference League,” he said. “I think when you’re in a team like Tottenham, it’s important to give chances to the keeper because Pierluigi has shown to be reliable. Then we have to play three games in seven days against Arsenal, Leicester and Chelsea again.
“I think he deserved this chance to play an important game. In this moment we cannot compare Chelsea with Tottenham. I think that Gollini played a good game. In the first game we lost 2-0, today we lost only 1-0. I think that we have to try to think about situations that are much more important than this. Believe me.”
Conte also said he was following the “club line” after he dropped Tanguy Ndombelé from his matchday squad. The France midfielder was booed off during Sunday’s FA Cup win over Morecambe after he taking his time to leave the pitch when substituted.
“It was a technical decision, but I don’t take the decision if I don’t consult the club,” said Conte. “There is the club line and I have to follow the club line.”
Conte refused to criticise the officials after Spurs, who host Arsenal on Sunday, had two penalties and a goal correctly chalked off following VAR reviews. “I don’t like to comment on VAR decisions,” the Italian said.
“I did this in the past and I’ll continue to do this in the present and in future.”
Tuchel became the first manager to lead Chelsea to the finals of the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup. “We are very happy because Wembley is waiting – full house, cup final, this is where you want to be,” the German said.