Tottenham Hotspur

Antonio Conte doubles down on decision to start Pierluigi Gollini against Chelsea

By Sean Walsh
Gollini made a costly error
Gollini made a costly error / Catherine Ivill/GettyImages
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From Tottenham Hotspur Stadium - Antonio Conte has said there are 'more important' things to worry about than his decision to replace Hugo Lloris with Pierluigi Gollini in Spurs' Carabao Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea.

Lloris, who is the captain of Tottenham and the France national team, started the first leg a week ago, but was only named to the bench for the return fixture on Wednesday.

That decision proved costly for Spurs. Backup goalkeeper Gollini made a critical error that saw Chelsea take complete control of the tie, losing out to Antonio Rudiger from a corner and conceding the dagger blow in the first half.

Despite being criticised by fans and media for overlooking Lloris in a crucial game, Conte doubled down on his pre-match explanation that Gollini is Spurs' cup goalkeeper - despite the Frenchman starting a week ago.

"About Hugo Lloris, before my arrival [at Spurs], Pierluigi has always played in Carabao Cup and the Conference League. I think when you’re in a team like Tottenham, it’s important to give chances to the keeper because Pierluigi showed to be reliable," Conte said in a press conference.

"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."

Conte added: "I repeat, I made this decision and 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."

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