The incredible stat which shows Tottenham were always going to be up against it playing Chelsea

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A London derby in a semi-final of a major domestic cup competition should always be an absorbing encounter, and so it proved on Wednesday night at White Hart Lane.

Tottenham had it all to do against Chelsea after meekly surrendering in the first-leg of their Carabao Cup double-header.

Were it not for the multiple interventions by VAR on the night, the North Londoners might even have turned the two-goal deficit from the first game around.

As it was, once Antonio Rudiger put the Blues ahead on 18 minutes, it gave Antonio Conte’s side an absolute mountain to climb.

Chelsea were more compact, quicker to the loose balls, more physical in their challenges and, as was shown when Rudiger powered home, aerially more dominant than their hosts.

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Tottenham should’ve realised from the off that it was always going to be a big ask to get anything from the game, however.

Wednesday night’s encounter was the fifth time that the two teams have met at the new White Hart Lane, and on the previous four occasions the West Londoners had never lost.

With them not losing again, it now means, according to Opta, that the Blues have been responsible for inflicting almost a quarter of Tottenham’s defeats at their new home.

It’s a damning statistic and brings into sharper focus some of the extensive problems that Conte will need to unravel bit by bit.

Whether he will be able to turn things around to the extent needed, and perhaps ensure that the North Londoners employ the same type of mental fortitude as their opponents, will only be seen in time.

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