WORTHINGTON CUP SEMI-FINAL 2ND LEG
WEDNESDAY 23RD JANUARY, 2002
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 5 (2) CHELSEA 1 (0)
Aggregate score:- Spurs 6 Chelsea 3
Referee:- Mark Halsey
Spurs (3-5-2):- Sullivan; King, Perry, Gardner; Davies, Poyet (sub Leonhardsen, 82), Sherwood, Anderton, Taricco; Sheringham (Capt), Iversen (sub Rebrov, 82)
Subs not used:- Kelly; Thelwell; Etherington
Booked:- Poyet (foul), Sheringham
Chelsea (4-4-2):- Cudicini; Melchiot (sub Zola, 69), Terry, Desailly (Capt), Gallas; Stanic, Lampard, Petit (sub Forsell, 65), Zenden (sub Dalla Bona, 10); Gudjohnsen, Hasselbaink
Subs not used:- De Goey; Ferrer
Sent off:- Hasselbaink
It was beyond our wildest dreams! We got to sing "We want six"! Spurs ARE on their way to Cardiff for their second Worthington Cup Final in three years, and it is at the expense of the team we had not beaten at home for fifteen years, and not at all for 12, and by five goals to one! It was so sweet!
There were 12 men playing for Tottenham tonight, as the crowd played a blinder as well as every man jack in the team. Chelsea could not be heard for most of the night, and most of them left with ten minutes to go anyway. Spurs were already 3-0 up, and two goals to the good on aggregate when Mark Halsey mistook Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink for the taller and plaited Mario Melchiot, when Hasselbaink got sent off for putting a hand up to Sheringham in a post corner melee. I believe that Teddy got booked for protesting that the offence was not worth such punishment, in the aftermath.
The absence of Les Ferdinand, did not hearten us at the start of the game. On a wet and blustery night, one felt that his power and strength were going to be very much required. Mysteriously, Mr Ranieri chose to mix his selection up, giving Zenden and Petit a start at the expense of Dalla Bona and Zola. Spurs went at the blues like tigers from the start, and within 2 minutes, Ferdinand's replacement, Steffen Iversen had got on the scoresheet and levelled the aggregate scores. Sheringham dummied beautifully as a long ball from the right was allowed to reach Taricco, who shot at Cudicini, who could only parry. Terry hesitated, Iversen stuck a foot round him, and poked the ball in the net for a glorious start for Spurs.
Zenden was carried off after succumbing in a 50-50 challenge with Sheringham, and Dalla Bona took his place. Stanic was switched to the left flank, and Dalla Bona played on the right whilst Petit and Lampard took some advantage of space left in the middle for them by Spurs. For the home side, Poyet was popping up in all the right places, and Anderton could be seen left and right supporting the wing-backs admirably. Perry took the central role at the back, with King and Gardner competent on either side of him. No effort was spared by any player tonight.
Iversen did well to control the ball and win a corner from a long Ledley King ball. Anderton's corner just eluded the heads in the middle, and was the second such kick to scare the defending side. After 32 minutes, Teddy headed down a Sullivan long clearance into the path of Gus Poyet, whose drive was tipped over by Cudicini. From the ensuing corner, Anderton seemed to miscue, but it turned into a classic Anderton-Sheringham move, except that Tim Sherwood was the man who fired the ball into the roof of the net, then raced back to the halfway line in celebration.
There was quick danger from Chelsea though, as Petit fed the ball to Gudjohnsen, whose shot just curled away from Sullivan's left post. Soon after the break, Anderton found Simon Davies in space on the right. Simon tried a shot across goal, but it lacked strength and was collected easily by the keeper.The signs were good though, and Spurs increased their lead after 49 minutes. Anderton gave Taricco good support down the left, and Darren's cross was chested back by Poyet into Teddy's path. Our Captain Fantastic cooly hit a sweet right foot shot that Cudicini could only get a slight touch to, and the ball hit the back of the net for 3-0!
Minutes later came the confusion, when Sullivan had been impeded collecting a corner, and Hasselbaink was the man who eventually had to troop off. Petit made way for Forsell, and Chelsea did keep trying to find a path through the middle, but Sullivan was comfortable, when his defence was occasionally breached. After 68 minutes, the oles were ringing out for Spurs as they had a lovely build up from the back ending with Davies cutting in, trying a left foot shot, which the keeper parried and the defence cleared with no Spurs player following up.
Zola replaced Melchiot, but Spurs were still determined to attack. Iversen won a free kick out on the flank, and was then in the middle to head over Anderton's kick. Spurs took the score to 4-0, when Darren Anderton fed Davies in plenty of space. Simon got a well-deserved goal, when he hit a right foot shot just inside Cudicini's near post. Now we could relax, couldn't we? Or could Chelsea score three goals in the last thirteen minutes to take the game into extra time?
Iversen and Poyet were replaced to great ovations (especially Gus - who leapt to acknowledge the crowd). There was more action to come, as the Chelsea defence looked stretched. Cudicini parried a Davies cross, and in the follow up, Teddy fed Leo on the right, whose cross left Rebrov with an easy finish. Forsell got a consolation goal before injury time, but whilst the Chelsea fans had already disappeared, most of the Spurs fans stayed to join in the celebration party. Gus and Teddy displayed the Worthington "On the way to Cardiff" banner, and Glenn, his staff, and the team acknowledged the part that the crowd had played in this mighty win in our most important match at the lane for some years.
Many will scoff at Spurs need for what is perceived as a second-rate trophy, but any stepping stone to Europe has to be accepted, and whilst Blackburn will not be push-overs by any means, we must fancy our chances, especially with a display like this. Oh what a night!
· Brian Judson's Preview for this game can still be read here
· Check the current team appearances, cards and scorers in all competitions
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