Tottenham Hotspur manager, Mauricio Pochettino, has said the Carabao Cup’s new away goals rule cost his side, after they were beaten on penalties by Chelsea in Thursday’s semi-final.
With Spurs leading 1-0 from the first leg, goals from N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard turned the tie around for Maurizio Sarri’s men at Stamford Bridge.
Fernando Llorente headed home Danny Rose’s cross to level the tie at 2-2 on aggregate, but Eric Dier and Lucas Moura missed from the spot to give Chelsea’s a 4-2 penalty shoot-out triumph.
Previous Carabao Cup rules would have seen Spurs force extra-time and potentially progress on away goals with the tie levelled at 2-2, but the competition changed its rules this term.
“I think it’s a competition. We came here to try and win the game and to try and be in the final.
“Congratulations to Chelsea. I think they deserved [to win].
“We made an unbelievable effort. This season we are fighting not only with the opponents with everything that’s happened. That is not an excuse. It’ll make us stronger. We have three more competitions, still. We arrived in a semi-final and lost to Chelsea, one of the best teams in Europe.
“I can only feel proud of the performance and the way we competed. When you arrive in this type of situation, you have to compete. We did that in both legs.
“In the Copa del Rey in Spain, and other competitions in Europe, if you score away from home… and it’s 2-2 at the end of 180 minutes, I think the team who scored away from home goes through. Last season, they changed the rules and now we’re out because of penalties.
“I was joking with [assistant] Jesus [Perez] about that. Only I feel proud. I told the players I feel proud. We have unbelievable players and squad, the performance of everyone from the team, and how we play… I can only congratulate them,” Pochettino said after the game.