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  • Julian Taylor at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Spurs hold off late West Ham insurgence to earn Carabao semi final spot



Tottenham Hotspur 2 West Ham United 1


Julian Taylor at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium


Tottenham withstood a late West Ham surge to claim a place in the Carabao Cup semi finals.


In what was a typically feisty London clash, a three goal salvo in the first half brought events to life – and Spurs’ clinical poise in front of goal proved to be enough to edge past David Moyes’ determined side. Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura’s interventions raised the roof of this brand new, space age arena, made for nights of this kind of drama.

Hammers' chief Moyes will justifiably feel that his men should have moved the taut tie to penalties, such was their late encampment in the Tottenham penalty area, but the home team were sufficiently stubborn when they needed to be. Now that the north Londoners are at the business end of the competition, perhaps they will start to view this as potential silverware, so soon into Antonio Conte’s reign.

Unsurprisingly a capital derby of this nature and the quarter final stage carried with it a tetchy, over-physical start, both sides clearly up for the job in hand. And with Tottenham featuring in one of the best games of the season, in the home draw with Liverpool on Sunday, for sheer entertainment and drama value, this had a lot to live up to.

Spurs, eventually, were first to scent an opportunity in 11 minutes. Harry Kane fastened on to a long pass and drove a left foot shot at a slight angle which Hammers’ keeper Alphonse Areola did well to turn away from danger. But it was a decent signal of the hosts’ intent.

This is a much talked about West Ham under Moyes this season, and despite a recent slump, with two defeats and a draw in their last three outings, they remain fifth in the Premier League. And the east Londoners reached this stage by winning at Manchester United and squeezing past Manchester City on penalties at the London Stadium. How they would respond could be key to the direction of the wider mood for the rest of the season.

Tottenham, though, stunned the visitors by breaking the deadlock in 29 minutes, the springboard to a concise period of loveable chaos at each end. Exercising patience, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg inched into the West Ham penalty area before a neat one-two found Bergwijn who touched the ball past Areola from a few yards out.


Lloris saves Spurs


Spurs had hoped to settle but, within a couple of minutes, the frustration of Tomas Soucek being denied by a couple of top class saves by Hugo Lloris culminated in an equaliser for the Hammers. It was a moment, Eric Dier would rather forget.


Firstly, the Tottenham stopper made an unfocused clearance which came straight back towards him, with Jarrod Bowen in possession. And the West Ham attacker – playing in a lone role on the night – coolly made space around him before firing low past Lloris into the corner of the net.


Six crazy minutes, then. More was to come – this time for the hosts. West Ham were allowing Spurs a bit too much room on the right, and Bergwijn manouevred admirably into a dangerous position, before knocking the ball past three defenders for Moura to flick home. While all the goals were, strictly speaking, poor to concede by each side, they certainly helped raise temperatures in north London.


The interval came at an opportune moment for both sets of fans, witnessing a breakneck derby clash.


Of course, the onus was on the Hammers to retrieve the situation – and they amplified the pressure at the start, although the hosts were very capable of stretching play when in possession.


Changes

With the situation still delicate, an agitated-looking Spurs boss Conte opted to make a double change on the hour mark, sending on Heung-Min Son and Harry Winks for Bergwijn and Moura respectively.


West Ham substitute, Said Benrahma, blazed a shot over from 12 yards out with play getting increasingly jumbled in midfield. It was a good chance wasted by the anxious Hammer.

Benrahma was giving West Ham genuine impetus – all their moves had the ex-Brentford star at its heart. And he tested Lloris again but the low slung effort was too close to the Spurs captain.


Declan Rice was pushed forward and the England man was a real threat in the Hammers’ increasingly desperate attempts to grab a late leveller. While he worked well in tandem with Benrahma, diligent Tottenham managed to hold on to book their spot in the last four – mainly with the help and safe hands of Lloris.


Spurs: Lloris, Doherty (Tanganga 83), Reguilon (Royal 82), Hojberg, Sanchez, Kane, Dier, Bergwijn (Son 60), Moura (Winks 60), Skipp (Alli 76), Davies

Hammers: Areola, Diop, Dawson, Johnson, Masuaku, Rice, Soucek, Ashby (Yarmolenko 78), Lanzini (Fornals 67), Vlasic (Benrahma 67), Bowen

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