Conte followed 'club line' in dropping Ndombele against Chelsea

The midfielder was booed off during Sunday’s FA Cup win over Morecambe and he missed Tottenham’s Carabao Cup exit.

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte.
Tottenham boss Antonio Conte.

ANTONIO CONTE HAS said he was following the “club line” after he dropped Tanguy Ndombele for the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg with Chelsea.

The Frenchman was absent as Antonio Rudiger’s first-half goal gave Chelsea a 1-0 win on the evening and a 3-0 aggregate overall as they booked a place in next month’s Wembley final against Liverpool or Arsenal.

Ndombele was booed off during Sunday’s FA Cup win over Morecambe after he took an age to leave the pitch when substituted and Conte has said the decision was made with the club to leave him out. The Italian told Sky Sports: “It was a technical decision, but I don’t take the decision if I don’t consult the club. There is the club line and I have to follow the club line.”

It was a night where another of Conte’s selections came under the microscope as his decision to play reserve goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini instead of Hugo Lloris backfired.

The Italian was culpable for Chelsea’s winner as he came to punch Mason Mount’s corner but got nowhere near it and the ball hit Rudiger and went in.

Conte said: “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.

“Before my arrival at Tottenham, Pierluigi has always played in Carabao and the (Europa) Conference League. I think when you’re in a team like Tottenham, it’s important also to give chances to the keeper because the keeper, Pierluigi, showed to be reliable.

“Then we have to play three games in seven days against Arsenal, Leicester and Chelsea again. I think that he deserved to have this chance and to play an important game.”

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Gollini’s error left Spurs with a mountain to climb and their hopes of a comeback were hit by VAR misery as they had two penalties overturned while Harry Kane had a goal disallowed for offside.

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