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Pochettino ‘proud’ of Spurs after Carabao Cup exit

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Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino was proud of his side’s “brilliant” performance following their Carabao Cup semi-final defeat at Chelsea on Thursday.

Despite holding a 1-0 aggregate lead from the first leg at Wembley, Chelsea soon got back on level terms with Spurs at Stamford Bridge with the unmarked N’Golo Kante scoring from 20 yards out after a corner-kick.

Eden Hazard then handed Chelsea a 2-1 aggregate lead before the break after being set-up by Cesar Azpilicueta.

But Fernando Llorente managed to put away Danny Rose’s cross in the second-half to put things back level between the sides on aggregate.

Neither team could find a match-winner and so the tie was decided on a penalty shoot-out with David Luiz scoring the decisive spot-kick to seal a 4-2 win for Chelsea.

Nevertheless, Pochettino expressed his pride over the way his side played on the night with likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli sidelined for the encounter due to injury.

“I’m very disappointed, I thought we competed really well,” Pochettino told SpursTV.

“We need to feel proud about our performance and proud of the players. They need to be congratulated because we were so brave and we played really well in the second half, that was brilliant.

“In the first half, until we conceded, I thought we were in control. We changed the way we played a little in the second half and it was difficult for Chelsea to read the situation.

“They couldn’t adapt to the formation, that was good. We surprised them and started to create chances.

“I’m disappointed we didn’t score a second goal and then penalties, it’s about a little luck. We won against Watford (in the third round) and this time it went the opposite way.

“We tried, we fought and we stay with our heads up, feel proud and keep going. We need to be ready for Sunday (Crystal Palace in the FA Cup) because the competition doesn’t wait for you.”

Ben Davies and Moussa Sissoko both came off with injuries during the semi-final defeat and will likely be doubts for Sunday’s FA Cup fourth-round game against Crystal Palace.