CARABAO CUP SEMI-FINAL
TUESDAY 5TH JANUARY, 2021
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2(1) BRENTFORD 0(0)
Referee:- Mike Dean
Assistants:- Ian Hussin and Daniel Robathan
Fourth Official:- Lee Mason
VAR:- Peter Bankes
AVAR:- Neil Davies
Spurs (4-2-1-3):- Lloris (Capt.); Aurier, Sanchez, Dier, Reguilon (sub Davies, 71); Sissoko, Hojbjerg (sub Tanganga, 86); Ndombele; Lucas Moura (sub Winks, 71), Kane, Son (sub Vinicius, 89)
Subs not used:- Hart; Alderweireld; White, Dele, Bergwijn
Booked:- Reguilon (foul on Toney)
Brentford (4-3-3):- Raya Martin; Dalsgaard (Capt.), Pinnock, Bech Sorensen, Henry; Dasilva, Janelt (sub Marcondes, 74), Jensen; Mbeumo (sub Forss, 81), Toney, Canos (sub Fosu-Henry, 74)
Subs not used:- Daniels; Stevens, Roerslev Rasmussen; Ghoddos; Gilbert, Haygarth
Booked:- Canos (foul on Reguilon), Janelt (foul on Ndom,bele), Mbeumo (foul on Reguilon)
Sent off:- Dasilva, 84 (Dangerous play – foul on Hojbjerg)
Spurs go back to Wembley, and it’s for a Cup Final!
THFC would not allow me the fly the Spurs Odyssey flag in the stadium for these behind closed doors games but it will feature in my match report!
Spurs are on their way to Wembley! Great goals by Moussa Sissoko (no, that is not a typo) and Heung-min Son enabled us to put paid to valiant Championship challengers Brentford. Until Sonny scored the second goal with 20 minutes to play the game was certainly not settled and I'd been looking for that two-goal margin for a long time. Tomorrow night's Manchester derby will decide our opponents in the final to be played on April 25th. (Delayed in the hope that a crowd can attend).
This was our 16th League Cup semi-final. The last was against Chelsea two years ago, and now we are through to a ninth final. The last Final was in 2015 against a Jose Mourinho Chelsea side. We will be going back to Wembley for the first time since we played Arsenal in a Premier League game on 2nd March 2019. This time we will be there for Cup glory!
Both teams were able to field virtually full strength sides. With eighth tier Marine next up on Sunday in the FA Cup, Jose could afford to put his best resources into this match. He was forced to leave Matt Doherty out after his red card against Leeds, but Serge Aurier was surely due a game anyway, and played well. Jose’s other changes were options with Sanchez, Reguilon, Sissoko and Lucas Moura starting. Thomas Frank was forced to leave out club captain Pontus Jansson with an injury, but those who played served him well.
This was the first stage of the competition that VAR was deployed, and Spurs would be grateful for that. The rules were also changed to allow the naming of up to 9 substitutes and 5 of those being allowed to play. Brentford came into this game unbeaten in 16 games and having beaten four Premier league teams on their way. Top scorer Ivan Toney played, as did highly rated midfielder Josh Dasilva – once on Arsenal’s books.
Brentford kicked off, playing towards the South Stand. Spurs started the game passing confidently and after a minute won the first corner when Reguilon passed forward to Son, who won the kick, which je took, but which was easily cleared. The “Bees” soon worked their way forward and Dasilva cut out Reguilon with a pass enabling Mbeumo to cross from the right. The Spurs defence was on top of that situation, but the visitors could be seen gaining in confidence.
That bubble was well and truly burst from an unlikely source when Reguilon delivered a beautiful cross and of all people, Sissoko moved forward and scored with a delightful header inside the goalkeeper’s left post. It was Moussa’s first goal since against Burnley in December 2019, and I personally can’t remember him scoring a header for Spurs.
Canos took an early booking from referee Mike Dean for a foul on Reguilon. After 14 minutes, the industrious Lucas Moura passed a short ball across the edge of the area to Son, whose right footed shot was saved well by keeper Raya Martin, diving to his left. Mbeumo had a shot/cross held by Lloris at the other end soon after.
Janelt was booked for a foul on the impressive Ndombele who has truly settled into this Spurs side. Spurs were comfortable and in control, but did not penetrate enough, often choosing to take the safe option by passing in the wrong direction. Toney had a looping header held by Lloris just under is bar after another cross by Mbeumo. “Sonny” blocked a shot by Dasilva inside his own area.
After 39 minutes, Son took a corner from the left which was met and headed on by Lucas Moura, with Toney perhaps getting a touch on the ball. Raya Martin saved well with an acrobatic left-hand save also under his bar. Lucas had a shot blocked in added time.
Spurs kicked off the second half, but it wasn’t long before a Canos shot was well blocked. Canos was on dangerous ground after he fouled Lucas Moira and referee Mike Dean took a lenient view by giving the player a “final warning” in the presence of his captain. Mbeumo got past Davinson Sanchez just inside the Spurs area and cross from the bye-line. Aurier made an excellent block of Toney’s attempt on goal.
Aurier offered a threat at the other end after a one-two with Sissoko before the right back took the all into the Brentford area. He had passing options, such as Kane, but chose to shot and hit a rising effort well over the far post.
Mbeumo fouled Reguilon just outside the Brentford area and was booked for his trouble. Harry Kane stepped up to take the kick, but it was blocked by the wall. Reguilon got Spurs’ only booking of the night for holding back Tony outside the Brentford area after a failed Spurs attack.
Aurier and Sissoko advanced again in tandem. This time Aurier passed inside to Sissoko who hit the ball across the area to Son, whose right-footed shot passed two feet the wrong side of the post.
Brentford had a long throw taken from the left and when Sanchez could only head the ball further into the 6-yard area, the slightly confused Reguilon could only boot the ball over his own bar. Brentford thought they had equalised from the corner, taken on the right, when Pinnock headed back into the 6-yard zone. Lloris saved but the ball fell to Toney who hit the ball into the net. Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for Spurs, VAR was in operation and after a lengthy review, ruled the “goal” out for offside.
For good measure, and to be sure of the result, Spurs did get a second goal in the 70th minute. It came through the middle too. Kane fed the ball forward to Ndombele, who picked out Sonny’s run with another neat pass. Son was goalside of the defence and made no mistake with his right-foot shot.
Jose immediately put Davies on for the booked Reguilon and Harry Winks for Lucas Moura. I fancy Lucas is getting a game on Sunday. Brentford made a double change too, and with nothing to lose tried hard to get back in the game. The Brentford goalie made a good save from harry Kane who had latched onto a long free kick into the area. Shortly after that Kane fed the ball to his left to Son, who in turn passed to Ndombele. Tanguy’s shot hit the side netting.
Hojbjerg went down under DaSilva’s challenge inside the Brentford half and was clearly in some pain. Play continued though as Mr. Dean had not spotted any offence. When the ball did go out of play, he was called to the monitor by VAR Peter Bankes, and we all saw the close-up replay which showed DaSilva’s raised foot raking Hojbjerg’s calf. He had to go. Hojbjerg was livid and had to be calmed down, but when he was replaced by Tanganga you could see the scraping wound and blood on his leg.
Vinicius got a few minutes as added time approached and during that five minutes Henry fired over after Sanchez had made a forced clearance to his feet. Substitute Marcondes had a free kick from a narrow angle on the ,eft of the area and chose a cheeky shot on goal which Lloris saved. At the other end Harry Kane ran forward and tried a shot from a good 25 yards but this passed well over the target.
There is plenty of time for us to contemplate the final at the end of April. A lot can happen regarding form in that time. We are scheduled to play both the Manchester teams before that Final appointment and we have beaten them both already. Why shouldn’t we win. After all, Jose is a serial winner, isn’t he?
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