Jonathan Woodgate has admitted that he was left confused by Antonio Conte’s decision to start Pierluigi Gollini in goal against Chelsea on Wednesday over Hugo Lloris.

Tottenham came into the second leg with a two-goal deficit and Chelsea essentially put the tie beyond the home side when they took the lead in the 18th minute through Antonio Rudiger. 

Gollini was at fault for the goal as the Italian came off his line but failed to get a connection on the ball, stranded in no man’s land as the ball hit Rudiger’s back and went into the back of Tottenham’s net.

Speaking after the game Conte defended his decision to start Gollini, insisting that he felt it was important to give the former Atalanta man a chance. 

However, Woodgate admitted that he found the decision to be strange, questioning why the Tottenham head coach left out Lloris in such an important game.

The former Spurs defender told talkSPORT’s The Sports Bar (12/01/22 from 22:00 onwards): “I found it strange how he wasn’t playing. Your best goalkeeper, captain, I didn’t understand that decision – it’s one decision that I didn’t understand. 

“It’s a semi-final, you’re trying to get to a final, play your best team.”

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Conte’s explanation as to why he started Gollini was quite bewildering. While I understand that the 26-year-old needs to be handed opportunities to be made to feel part of the squad, to start him in such a big match made no sense whatsoever, particularly given that Gollini had played against Morecambe just a few days ago.

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