It had to take a penalty shootout for Chelsea to defeat Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup and thus book a place in the final against Manchester City.
Chelsea lost the first leg at Wembley 1-0, and the Blues were the better side but no thanks to a controversial VAR decision, Harry Kane scored the only goal of that game from the spot.
In the second leg, Chelsea were again the better side, and the Blues were cruising for a good win after going into the break 2-0. Tottenham scored early in the second half through a header from Fernando Llorente which changed the course of the game.
Despite Spurs improved performance in the second-half, Sarri admitted after the game that his side deserved to win the game without penalties.
“I think that they reacted very well tonight,” he said.
“But I didn’t attack my players, I only said we had a problem. The reaction was very good but I think we need to have motivation with continuity now, but I was very happy with the performance before the penalties.
“Of course it’s better because we will now play a final, a very difficult final but I was very happy with the performance. Also if there was a different outcome from the penalties (I would have been happy).
“I think in the last three or four matches we had a problem, firstly motivation and then the players stopped to having fun on the pitch. Now with this performance and result we can once again find enthusiasm which is very important.
“I think we have to think about the 180 minutes, the two matches. In two matches I think we deserved to win, and I think in this match we deserved to win without penalties.”
Despite the shortage of key players due to injury, Mauricio Pochettino was optimistic before the game that his side can defeat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night.
“I am so optimistic,” Pochettino was quoted as saying in the Daily Mirror. “We are going to prepare for Chelsea, try to find solutions. Try to be solid, aggressive, offensive and keep our identity.
“Of course it’s going to be tough. I don’t say we’re going to win easily on Thursday. But we are going to try.
“That is the most important thing and I know that afterwards, I will be happy because the squad we have is going to give their best to be in the final.”
Tottenham definitely looked weak without the likes of Dele Alli and Harry Kane, and Spurs might struggle in their absence.