‘Good for Tottenham’ to reach Carabao Cup semis – Conte

Jason Soutar
Antonio Conte during a match

Antonio Conte admits it is “good for Tottenham” to reach the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup after knocking out West Ham.

Spurs beat their London rivals 2-1 on Wednesday evening at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium thanks to goals from Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura.

In the semi-final draw the north Londoners were put up against Conte’s former club, Chelsea.

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“It’s good for Tottenham to reach the semi-finals of this competition,” Conte said. “You can see the names of these teams that have reached the semi-finals – Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal with us – so every side wants to try to lift this trophy.

“When I was at Chelsea this trophy was not second, but we used to play young players that did not start in the 11. Now I’m seeing in England to win a trophy is very difficult. We have had to beat an important team like West Ham and they eliminated [Manchester] United and [Manchester] City. In England it’s very difficult to win something.

“For sure we can do better but I’ve seen improvements in some parts, especially when in possession of the ball. We tried to control the game and we scored the first goal, it was an amazing goal involving many players.

“The performance was good and it’s important to recover. We played many players that have had Covid. They kept the intensity but we have to manage the situation very well. Today was good and important for me that I know I can count on a squad of many players.”

Spurs’ semi-final opponents Chelsea advanced through after beating Brentford 2-0 at the Brentford Community Stadium.

With the Blues still ravaged by Covid-19, boss Thomas Tuchel handed debuts to academy prospects Harvey Vale, Jude Soonsup-Bell and Xavier Simons for their last-eight meeting with their west London neighbours.

They left it late but Pontus Jansson’s own goal finally broke the deadlock and Jorginho wrapped up victory from the penalty spot.