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Spurs v Newcastle, Capital One Cup Rd 5, 17.12.14


Spurs scorers:-
Bentaleb, 18
Chadli, 46
Kane, 65
Soldado, 70

Attendance:- 34,677

Referee:- Andre Marriner
Assistants:- Scott Ledger & Gary Beswick
Fourth official:- Stuart Atwell

Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Vorm; Chiriches, Fazio, Vertonghen (Capt.), Rose; Stambouli, Bentaleb (sub Capoue, 80); Townsend, Eriksen, Chadli (sub Dembele, 61); Kane (sub Soldado, 69)

Subs not used:- Lloris; Kaboul, Naughton; Lamela

No bookings

Newcastle (4-4-2):- Alnwick; Dummett, Williamson, Coloccini (Capt.), Haidara; Cabella (sub Vuckic, 80), Colback, Sissoko (sub Anita, 73), Gouffran; Perez, Riviere (sub Armstrong, 60)

Subs not used:- Woodman; Streete, Satka; Roberts

Booked:- Haidara (foul on Townsend)

Spurs win at speed, or was that on speed?

It's been a great night for Spurs and their fans. Not only did they beat Newcastle 4-0, with four different goalscorers, but they then got the plum draw for the Capital One Cup semi-final, where they will play League One side Sheffield United. Liverpool were the other victors tonight, but face arch-rivals Chelsea, against whom they have fought plenty of Cup and European ties in recent years.

It was refreshing to see Spurs playing the game at speed, and like a team who actually knew each other, anticipating movement, which was there to be witnessed, and often making progress with short accurate passing.

It wasn't all one-way traffic though, and Michel Vorm had several real tests, particularly in the first half, when Moussa Sissoko was a real and constant danger.

This was arguably Spurs' best domestic win of the season (they beat QPR 4-0 in August), and the second time this year they have beaten Newcastle 4-0, with the other win coming last season at St. James' Park. Alan Pardew's side have conceded four goals in each of their two games this week against Arsenal and Spurs.

Tonight, of course, "The Toon" had nothing to lose and everything to gain, and they tried to play attacking football, which is another reason Spurs were able to express themselves freely.

Spurs made changes, but still had the stronger side, with Pardew resting the likes of Steven Taylor, and Papiss Cisse, with the forthcoming Derby match against Sunderland in mind.

There was a strong contingent of travelling fans, who out-sung the home fans, until they felt they could crow about the score, and being "on their way to Wembley" once domination was assured in the second half.

Sissoko got the better of Bentaleb after just two minutes, and sent the ball to Riviere on the right. Danny Rose took a knock to the head as Vorm punched the ball clear. Rose was soon taking stick again, but got the ball to Bentaleb on the attack this time. Bentaleb spread the ball to Chadli on the left. The Belgian got towards the bye-line and sent in a low and dangerous cross, but the Spurs forwards couldn't reach it.

A shot from the right channel by Stambouli took a heavy deflection to carry the ball over the bar for a corner. Stambouli, and Townsend were then involved in a move down the inside right channel, with Townsend feeding Chadli, now on this side. His cross/shot was held by third choice keeper Jak Alnwick.

A Danny Rose cross just eluded Harry Kane, before Townsend hit a right footed shot over the target.

Sissoko threatened again after 15 minutes, running across the field from left to right, before hitting a powerful drive, well saved by Vorm, but parried, before the defence were able to clear.

The Newcastle fans were applauding their two lost comrades on Flight MH17 last summer, as Spurs won a corner, taken from the right by Eriksen. Alnwick leapt, but failed to hold the ball. Nabil Bentaleb managed to stretch out his right leg, and hooked the ball back across the keeper into the net. This was Bentaleb's first senior goal for the club, and he has rightly won the acclaim of Spurs fans, especially with accomplished performances after his return from injury sustained on International duty in October.

Newcastle had another opportunity, and this one came from a poor attempt to clear by Jan Vertonghen, near the half-way line. Cabella seized upon the ball making a run down the right, before passing inside to Sissoko, who again tested Vorm,who made a good save.

Harry Kane had a good chance gifted to him by a poor ball from Newcastle's right flank. Harry made an angled run towards the right, before hitting a powerful shot just wide of Alnwick's right post. Kane soon had another run, this time into the box, after good work by Townsend and Vlad Chiriches. Harry went down, but referee Andre Marriner was not interested in a potential penalty.

Because of the flow of the game, and the spirit in which it was played, Mr. Marriner was not sorely tested, showing just one yellow card.

Christian Eriksen was always involved, and enjoying the playmaker role in the middle, where he belongs. He threaded a great ball into the box for Chadli, but Newcastle managed to clear. Newcastle had one more chance before the break, with Gouffran firing over.

Spurs started the second half at a higher tempo, and increased their lead within 36 seconds. Eriksen had found Chadli on the left side with a great ball, but Chadli was just about prevented from getting in a shot. Almost immediately though, Chadli had the ball again, on the left, and ran to the right, making room for a right footed shot, which beat Alnwick inside his right post. The young goalkeeper has been called into action due to injuries to both Tim Krul, and Rob Eliot. He won't be too happy about Spurs' first two goals.

Vorm then had to make a save from a shot by Cabella, as the away team tried to get back into the game.

After 56 minutes, Chadli picked up a loose ball in midfield, sending it to Eriksen, who teed up Chiriches who was making a strong overlapping run. Vlad hit a powerful right footer, saved well this time by Alnwick.

Townsend hit a right footed cross from the right side, which was deflected strongly by a defender for a Spurs corner. From the corner, Vertonghen hit a header just inside the post, but Haidara headed clear off the line? It was Haidara who took the only booking of the night for stopping Townsend in his tracks, as he looked likely to break away.

Chadli was replaced quite early, which tends to suggest he will be involved on Saturday, when Burnley come to The Lane. Dembele, who tonight did manage to pass the ball quickly, was involved in Spurs's third goal, with a short pass to Townsend, who was just outside the edge of the area. Townsend threaded a quick, short ball to Harry Kane, who got behind the defence, and fired home across the keeper's left hand.

Kane was replaced by Soldado, and was warmly applauded, as had been Chadli. Soldado managed to add his name to the scoresheet, but only at the second attempt, after Eriksen had been the supplier.

Michel Vorm's night's work wasn't over, as he had to save from Newcastle substitute Armstrong's effort, before Alnwick held a Townsend effort. Townsend and Eriksen combined on the right, before Eriksen spread the play to Danny Rose on the left. Rose tried to tee up Soldado, but the defence managed to clear.

Another solo effort by Armstrong passed outside Vorm's right post, before the Spurs keeper had to make a good save from the same player, diving to his right. Perez was the next to try his luck, but Michel was equal to the threat, and had his best game for Spurs, with plenty of activity and some good saves.

There are plenty of good things to say about the team and individual performances. Long may the refreshing change continue!

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