Sarri insists Chelsea can make it through to final

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino (left) gestures on the touchline alongside Chelsea bos

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino (left) gestures on the touchline alongside Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri during the League Cup semi-final first leg at Wembley Stadium (pic: John Walton/PA Images). - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The former Napoli boss felt his team deserved more against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri believes they can overturn a one-goal deficit and beat Tottenham Hotspur to qualify for the League Cup final.

Harry Kane’s 27th-minute penalty separated the rivals in a pulsating London derby at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday night.

Video Assistant Referee (VAR) awarded the spot-kick, but Sarri was encouraged by the performance of his team.

Asked if the Blues are in a strong position despite the 1-0 defeat, he replied: “I don’t think so.

“Tottenham v Chelsea is a very difficult match for us, but I think also for them.

“It will not be really very easy to win at Stamford Bridge, but after this performance, if we are able to play at the same level then I think we can do it.”

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The 59-year-old was frustrated with the result in the semi-final first leg, but praised his players for being in control of the game.

He pointed to the number of shots they had in comparison to Tottenham with Kante and Callum Hudson-Odoi hitting the post as well in the first half.

Sarri added: “In this match we played better than the opponents. We were in control of the match, we defended very well against a team who are very dangerous in the offensive phase, so I think we deserved more.

“We played about 70 balls into the opposition area against 11 balls from Tottenham in our area. We had 18 shots against seven, five goal opportunities against two, so we deserved more.

“I am really disappointed with the result, but I am really happy with the performance because in my opinion this one is one of the most important performances of my team in the season.”

When pressed on his final comment – this being a crucial moment in the campaign for the Blues – Sarri explained: “We played with a very good level of application and determination with heart and with the soul. We played continually for 95 minutes.

“Usually in the last matches we defended very well for 60 minutes and then we have had problems in the last 20, 30, sometimes 15 minutes.

“But in this match the level of application was the same for 95 minutes, so I am really very happy with this.”

Spurs and Chelsea will renew acquaintances again on Thursday, January 24 for a spot in the League Cup final against either Manchester City or Burton Albion.