EFL CARABAO CUP
WEDNESDAY 25th OCTOBER, 2017
(8pm - at Wembley)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2(2) WEST HAM UNITED 3(0)
West Ham scorers:-
Referee:- Mike Dean
Assistants:- Simon Long & Ian Hussin
Fourth official:- Lee Mason
Spurs (3-4-2-1):- Vorm (Capt.); Foyth, Alderweireld, Davies; Trippier, Dier, Dele, Rose (sub Eriksen, 81); Sissoko, Son (sub Nkoudou, 83); Llorente (sub Dembele, 72)
Subs not used:- Gazzaniga; Sanchez, Walker-Peters; Winks
West Ham (3-4-3-1):- Adrian; Kouyate, Rice, Ogbonna; Byram, Noble (Capt.), Fernandes (sub Obiang, 78), Lanzini (sub Arnautovic, 88), Cresswell; Ayew, Carroll
Subs not used:- Hart; Fonte, Hernandez, Haksabanovic, Masuaku
Spurs might have other fish to fry, but I wish they had battered The Hammers
We’ve been here before, of course. Winning a game comfortably at half-time, only to suffer a dramatic and from a Spurs point of view disgraceful turnaround. To be kicked out of the Carabao Cup by West Ham again (they beat us in the League Cup four years ago) is an event hard to witness and to bear. Mauricio Pochettino might not be bothered about this competition, and by all accounts not even the FA Cup, but his team really needs to cement their status with a trophy this season, and thus was one such opportunity surrendered.
To be honest, it looked a decent “gash” side. Juan Foyth had impressed in the last round against Barnsley, and had the experience of Alderweireld and Ben Davies beside him. Danny Rose returned for his first start since January to play on his left flank. Most of the rest of the team had impressed against the best team in Europe last Wednesday. Perhaps the ambivalence of the manager ultimately channelled down to his players as they succumbed to three second half goals by Slaven Bilic’s side. That ambivalence is reflected in the attendance too with a recorded crowd of 36,168, which included 4,800 jubilant West Ham fans.
It had all started so well when Son raced away down the left flank, passing inside to Sissoko who scored his second (and best) Spurs goal with a right foot shot inside Adrian’s right post. After 17 minutes, Spurs had a corner on the left (won by Son), following which Trippier crossed and Dele Alli headed to the right of Adrian, but the goalkeeper stretched to push the ball away allowing his team to clear.
Fernandes tried a shot from distance after 26 minutes, but it was no threat, and then two minutes later, Son’s shot was deflected for a corner, after he had received a pass from Sissoko. It all looked so easy in the 37th minute when Dele Alli exchanged passes with Son on the edge of the box before nonchalantly placing a shot which beat Adrian to his left. It was 2-0 and all seemed to be well. Michel Vorm (who captained the Spurs side) held a shot by Mark Noble, who had worked room for a right foot effort, but we never expected the events to come.
Firstly after a corner on the left Fernandes drove a low powerful shot from just outside the area which passed through the sea of legs and could not be held by Vorm. The goalkeeper parried the ball to the feet of the lurking Andre Ayew, who was happy to whack it in to the delight of his fans, sniffing the chance of a come-back. Ayew put his side level five minutes later when Lanzini crossed, Carroll headed down and Ayew finished off Lanzini’s final short pass.
Now we had a game to win again and Dele Alli might have restored the lead three minutes later when he latched onto Sissoko’s cross, hitting a firm low shot which Adrian saved. West Ham completed their come-back in the 70th minute. Lanzini took a corner on the left and this time Ogbonna rose to head home across goal. It had been all too easy for “The Hammers” to score three goals.
Sissoko hit a shot which Adrian saved high to his left after a one two with Son, but then Mauricio Pochettino took off Fernando Llorente for Dembele. Sissoko had another shot three minutes later following Rose’s cross, but this one was too high. Dele Alli had shown some of his exuberant skill in the build-up. Dele himself had a shot soon after following Dembele’s pass, but this was well off target. Dembele fed Davies, who won a free kick just outside the box. This was taken by Trippier, but also well off target. Toby Alderweireld had a late flicked header from a corner go wide, but many Spurs fans had already left by this time, perhaps not believing extra time was a possibility. They were right.
As regular readers know, I hate it when we go out of any cup competition. Of course, I also hate it when West Ham beat us, which has been all too often in recent years. The win is a lifeline for Slaven Bilic, but now they need points off Crystal Palace on Saturday. Hopefully Harry Kane will be leading his men to their top four clash with Manchester United in a game which carries more meaning to the manager.
The next round of the Carabao Cup is due to be played in the run-up to Christmas, so all Spurs fans can free up their diaries, and focus on their shopping.
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