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League Cup Semi-final Second leg

Tuesday 22nd January 2008

Once more, the first leg of this competition's semi-final stage saw Spurs have their best chance to progress to the final.  Arsenal played poorly and got out of jail with a fortunate goal to earn a draw, but Spurs should have had the game wrapped up by then.

And that will be Tottenham's problem once more.  It is not an issue creating the opportunities, but taking them and they may be at a premium this time, as Wenger will have his side organised to let little get through to Fabianski and will have some more experienced players on the bench, in case he needs to bring them on to get the result he wants.

With players away on African Nations Cup duty and with injuries hitting his second string side that he likes to field, it gives him the ideal excuse to add some first teamers to their 16 and thus use them to get what is needed to get through to the final like he did last season.

For Tottenham, there will be a need to put in a extra effort, but I think that the number of games we have had lately will have taken their toll and while a 0-0 will do Spurs, I cannot see Arsenal not scoring, as they will get it over the line somehow ... they always do.  That will mean we will need to score twice and that will mean a good scoring ratio compared to shots on goal.  We got two last season at home, but then let it slip, so maybe going a goal behind might be the way to do it and come back for an equaliser, but then anything could happen in extra time.

It could be a long night, but I feel that having had the best of the game at Highbury, our chance was there for the taking.

PREDICTION : -  Tottenham Hotspur  1    Arsenal  1

For more information on the opponents and their history, including full result history of matches between the two teams, click here.


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : -  Anthony Gardner (ankle); Gareth Bale (foot); Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee); Darren Bent (knee);  Didier Zokora (international duty); Chris Gunter (cup-tied)

ARSENAL :  -  Kolo Toure, Alexandre Song and Emmanuel Eboue (international duty); Robin van Persie (thigh); Johan Djourou (groin); Phillipe Senderos (nose)


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 (live coverage)
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Internet :   Live webcast  - subscribers only
BBC London -
click on link to "Listen to Tottenham Hotspur live commentary" on top right hand menu.




Tottenham Hotspur   5    Arsenal   1      (Half-time score : 2-0)

League Cup Semi-final second leg
Venue : White Hart Lane  
Tuesday 22nd January 2008
Kick Off :  8.00 p.m.
Crowd :   35,979
Referee :  Howard Webb (Yorkshire)
Tottenham kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.
Weather :  -  Mild, wet towards the end
Teams : - 
Tottenham Hotspur :

12 Cerny

  2 Chimbonda
20 Dawson
26 King (c)
  3 Lee

25 Lennon (22 Huddlestone 74)
  8 Jenas      
  6 Tainio
15 Malbranque      

10 Keane (17 Boateng 64)
  9 Berbatov (
18 Defoe 64)

Unused subs: 
  1 Robinson
24 O'Hara

Arsenal :

21 Fabianski

  3 Sagna
31 Justin Hoyte     
10 Gallas (c)
30 Traore (  9 Eduardo 65)

13 Hleb
15 Denilson (  4 Fabregas 18)
19 Gilberto
  2 Diaby

32 Walcott (25 Adebayor 65      )
26 Bendtner  OWN GOAL

Unused subs: 
40 Mannone
16 Flamini

Colours : -  (kits courtesy of
Tottenham Hotspur

Scorers : -  
Tottenham Hotspur

Jenas 3
Bendtner og 27
Keane 48
Lennon 60
Malbranque 90


Adebayor 70

Cards : -  
Tottenham Hotspur  

Malbranque (foul) 20
Jenas (foul) 71  



Hoyte (foul) 63
Adebayour (foul) 74   


Match Report : -  
Eight years of hurt was relieved with this resounding victory over Arsenal, which left the visitors flat out and in tears, but still could not prise any words of praise from the lips of Monsieur Myopia.  The 5-1 score-line failed to reflect the dominance Spurs had of the game, despite only having a third of the possession and Wenger was loathe to acknowledge that his choice of players was disrespectful to Tottenham, who on the night pricked the notion that the young Gooners were some sort of paragon of virtue.

Fine performances by almost every Spur on the pitch left the red shirts chasing shadows and the clinical finishing left the South London Wanderers devastated and outplayed to the extent that Radek Cerny only had one difficult save to make all night, while Fabianski let in five and it could have been eight.

Ironically, Arsenal knocked the ball about in the first couple of minutes and Gilberto tried a long range effort that flew well over the top.  Then a move was broken up, the ball was worked to Berbatov, who passed to Jenas some 25 yards from goal.  Running at the right side of the Arsenal defence, as the midfielder reached the edge of the penalty box, he let go a right foot shot across the keeper.  It was not the fiercest effort he has struck, but it was enough to go past the out-stretched hand of the goalie and hit his right hand post.  With our luck against the Gooners, it looked like the ball was bouncing out, but it went across goal and ruffled the inside of the side netting to give Tottenham the lead after just 168 seconds.

The atmosphere, which had been building before the game, reached what was to be the first crescendo of a long evening.  Coming so early, it might have been too soon for Spurs, but the way they played tonight, it ensured that Arsenal did not have many opportunities to get back into the match, with an energetic closing down of anyone on the ball and an organised defensive structure that shut them out for most of the game.

When Spurs scored Denilson went down injured and carried on clutching his hamstring until he was eventually subbed, with Wenger bringing on Fabregas to bring some creativity to the midfield, who were getting hustled out of it.  Not that it mattered, as Spurs were using the trickery of Robbie Keane to tantalise the Arsenal defenders and he was going around Hoyte and Gallas with great ease.  It was ten minutes before Arsenal got a sniff of the goal and that was when a run by Hleb saw Spurs give too much space to Bendtner, who took the cut back first time and smashed the effort over the bar.  Walcott's first run was tracked by Dawson and Cerny made a belated move out of goal to smother his effort and divert it for a corner.

With Fabregas coming on, Spurs made sure they had men to close him down when he had the ball and their tackling was tigerish; a little too much so in Malbranque's case, for which he got a yellow card.  Arsenal's tackling was ragged and when Gallas pulled Keane down from behind, about 40 yards out, Jenas played the ball into the centre of the box.  The pace on the ball was designed to have a Spurs head flick it goal wards and the pace on the ball give it the speed to beat the keeper.  Jermaine's aim was not on target, but Nicolas Bendtner rose highest to get there ahead of Dawson to put a firm header beyond Fabianski and the crowd roared as the ball hit the net to make it 2-0 in the 27th minute.

It was almost deja vu of last year's semi-final home leg, with a 2-0 lead and the second an own goal too.  All we could hope for is a different outcome.

With half an hour gone, Berbatov should have ensured the passage to Wembley, as he was put clear by Jenas and his shot beat the goalie, but hit the post and bounced out.  The gasp of disappointment was audible from the Spurs fans, who wanted to put this game out of Arsenal's reach as soon as possible.  Almost immediately at the other end, a free kick out on Arsenal's left wing was whipped into the near post by Fabregas and Sagna got there first, but his header was palmed over the top from under Cerny's crossbar.  As the game went from end to end, Keane would have been in on goal had Berbatov's pass not been hit too far in front of him and another chance went begging. 

Spurs stood off Diaby twice ina  few minutes and he hit a shot wide and another straight at the Spurs keeper, then, as injury time was being played, Jenas took the ball off Hoyte and burst into the area, but his touch was a little too heavy, leaving him the only option of shooting as Fabianski came out and he prodded the ball into the side netting, with no angle to cut the ball back for the wainting Keane.

The half-time interval saw the Spurs crowd buzzing, while the Arsenal fans were still convinced they would be booking their trip to Wembley.  With experience on the bench, it was thought that Wenger might bring on Adebayour to upset the Spurs defence, but the two teams restarted as they finished the half and Arsenal once more made a positive start.  Fabregas was crowded out for a shot and then King robbed him of a ball on the edge of the area.  The ball went forward, Berbatov flicked inside for Aaron Lennon to lift the ball over two Arsenal defenders, with Robbie Keane sandwiched between them.  Just as he did on Saturday, he let the ball bounce as he ran onto it and as it dropped nicely for him, he hit the ball across the Polish goalie and it bounced away from him and inside the post to give Tottenham a 3-0 lead two minutes into the half.

It was just the start to the half that Spurs needed to settle them and to offset any Arsenal charge that might have been forthcoming.  They avoided conceding a goal when in the attack from the kick off saw the disappointing Walcott cross and Bendtner's scissor kick hit the bar and bounced out, where Tottenham cleared with difficulty.  But as soon as it was got away, Malbranque suddenly broke through after playing a one-two with Keane and his shot, under pressure, was pushed aside by Fabianski.  The goalie got up just in time to grab the rebound before Dimitar Berbatov could get to it.

At the Spurs end, Dawson blocked a Diaby shot and from a corner shortly after, Aaron Lennon brought the ball out, passed right to Chimbonda, who fed it on to Robbie Keane.  The Irishman passed through to the on-running Lennon and as Fabianski came out, in the fashion of continental keepers, off the floor, the little winger clipped the ball under him to make it 4-0 with an hour on the clock.

Cue the exit of a large contingent of the red and white scarved fans in a show of poor support for their team.  It was reflected by the behaviour on the pitch, as Keane held up the ball and Hoyte scythed him down from behind and perhaps was lucky to only see yellow from referee Webb.  He nearly rued giving away the free-kick even more as Jenas whipped it in and Berbatov got there first and his header flashed a foot wide of the far post.  It was at this point Ramos made two changes with Berbatov and Keane being replaced by Defoe and Boateng.  It gave Arsenal an opportunity to take the initiative for a spell, with Adebayour and Eduardo coming on for the highly ineffective Walcott and Traore, who was equally as anonymous.

Set up with Defoe up front on his own and Lennon playing behind him, Spurs looked to hit on the break and Steed almost broke through, but hit his effort right into Fabianski's middle.  Diaby had another shot blocked and when the ball was worked across the face of the Tottenham area, Adebayour worked a yard of space and hit an unstoppable shot to bring it back to 1-4.  Shame so many Gooners weren't there to see it.

With twenty minutes to go, the nerves were still there and although it would have been a big ask, it would not be beyond the realms of possibility of Spurs to throw it away.  The team were still working hard, but Jenas got a booking for bringing down Eduardo as he ran away from him into the Spurs half and shortly afterwards, an equally cynical trip by Adebayour brought another caution.  Tom Huddlestone came on for Lennon to beef up the midfield, as Arsenal tried to push on through that area of the side.

With about eight minutes left, the ref was required to come between Adebayour and Bendtner who were having a furious row in the middle of the Spurs area.  Gallas was also involved in calming things down, but it continued and Adebayour's frustration obviously spilled over when he threw an arm into Lee's face as the left back ran away from him and he was lucky to stay on the pitch having already been booked.

Eduardo had a weak header and Hoyte tried a shot that was well blocked by Chimbonda.  At the other end, Huddlestone fed Defoe, who stood right in the middle of the goal missed the goal by a distance when he only had the keeper to beat.  At the other end, Cerny didn't do a Robinson and took Fabregas'  shot in front of him, even though he needed tow goes to grab it and then Eduardo blazed over the bar in injury time.

When Jenas and Chimbonda worked a good move down the right, the midfielder raced past Gilberto and pulled the ball across the face of goal to give Steed Malbranque the opportunity to tap in from a yard out to have a well-deserved goal for an energetic performance that kept the Arsenal midfield in check.

While the fans had been celebrating for a little while, it was time to turn the volume up a couple more notches and it was a celebration until the final whistle and beyond, when the players circled the pitch then dived in front of the East Stand to show their joy at getting to Wembley.

Phase one achieved.  Now we have to go on and win it !!



Reaction : -



Click here for Wyart Lane's view on the Arsenal League Cup semi final second leg on the Times Fanzine Fanzone.
Match ticket £45
Petrol to white hart lane £30,
Programme £3,
Dirty greasy burger outside the ground £4.50,
10 pints in the pub £18
Seeing the yids destroy the scum for the first time in nine years in what can only be described as a humiliation, singing for 90 minutes solid thus having no voice for work today, and listening to Wenger whine and make excuses for the hammering to end all hammerings ... PRICELESS!!!!!!



It wasn't just the fact that we won 5-1.  

It wasn't just the fact that Adebayour and Bendtner has a ruck on the pitch. 

It wasn't the fact that we got revenge for last season's semi-final defeat.

It was the fact that the Gooners only got about £34 worth of their ticket price as they all left on 60 minutes !!



It’s been nine long years of pain down the Lane

When would be beat our arch rivals again

A Carling Cup semi saw the jinx come to pass

The night that the Spurs beat the pants of the Arse.


We’ve come pretty close once or twice oe’r the years

But every attempt saw us go home in tears

Now we can hold our heads up at last

After the Spurs beat the pants of the Arse.


We started so brightly, the lads ran them ragged

We tore them apart and the goals they were bagg’ed

Adebayor and Bendtner resorted to farce

The night that the Spurs beat the pants of the Arse.


The post match opinions of Wenger were great

Couldn’t admit that his team’s second rate

But the match stats he quoted still could not mask

The fact that the Spurs beat the pants of the Arse.





Other semi-final second leg score :
Everton 0 Chelsea (win 3-1 on agg.) 1 Wednesday


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