Maurizio Sarri says the memories of losing to Tottenham in November will spur his side on when Chelsea return to Wembley tonight. Chelsea conceded twice in the opening 16 minutes as Spurs inflicted Sarri’s first competitive defeat, ending an 18-match unbeaten run, when the two sides clashed in the Premier League.
Sarri afterwards bemoaned his side’s attitude during the 3-1 defeat, but he could see the disappointment in the Wembley changing room, which may drive his players in tonight’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg. “I saw my players in the dressing room after the match. They were destroyed,” Sarri said. “I realised the real situation. I realised that the match against Tottenham is a very important match for the club, the fans and the players. “So, of course, now, for me, this match is more important. Now I think I know everything, so I think I will be ready and I hope the same for my players.”
Meanwhile, Sarri even compared the much-derided League Cup with the Champions League, given the calibre of opposition in Chelsea’s way.
The Blues beat Liverpool in the third round and could play Manchester City in the final, if they beat Spurs. City play Burton in the second semi-final.
Sarri, whose side also beat Derby and Bournemouth to reach the last four, added: “It is like to play in the Champions League, I think, for the League Cup. “Here (in England) everything is really, really very difficult. The level of opponent is a really high level.”