EFL CUP ROUND THREE
WEDNSDAY 21st SEPTEMBER, 2016
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 5(1) GILLINGHAM 0(0)
Eriksen, 31, 48
Referee:- David Coote
Assistants:- Nigel Lugg & Michael George
Fourth official:- Trevor Kettle
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Vorm; Trippier, Carter-Vickers, Wimmer, Davies (sub Walkes, 80); Winks, Carroll; Lamela, Eriksen (Capt.)(sub Nkoudou, 60), Onomah; Janssen (sub Edwards, 75)
(Armband to Carroll)
Subs not used:- Whiteman; Vertonghen; Wanyama; Son
Booked:- Onomah (foul on Wright)
Gillingham (4-2-3-1):- Bond (sub Nelson, 16); Jackson, Ehmer, Oshilaja, Konchesky; Byrne, Wright (Capt.); Emmanuel-Thomas (sub Wagstaff, 60), Dack (sub Knott, 81), Osadebe; McDonald
Subs not used:- Pask, Oldaker, List, Donnelly
Lilywhite Future shines brightly for Pochettino's Spurs
It was a case of all boxes ticked emphatically tonight for Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs team in a comfortable 5-0 win over Justin Edinburgh's League One visitors Gillingham. Firstly, the Spurs manager was able to change all eleven starting positions after Sunday's match against Sunderland. Cameron Carter-Vickers and Harry Winks made their full debuts. In the case of centre-back Carter-Vickers it was his first senior appearance, after a successful pre-season and several non-appearances on the bench in early Premier League games.
Josh Onomah scored his first senior goal, and yet another youngster - 17 year old Marcus Edwards - also got a 10 minute cameo during which he also nearly scored.
Pochettino was able to include a decent blend of experienced players in the shape of captain on the night Christian Eriksen, and Erik Lamela, who had not started on Sunday. Kevin Wimmer, who is after all, a full International for Austria, made his first start of the season, and there was experience in both full back positions provide by Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier, also appearing for the first time this season.
The two midfielders in front of the back four were not particularly defensive, but in truth that was not a trait they needed tonight against a team that so rarely threatened Spurs. Both Winks and Carroll played with bags of confidence, coupled with good sharp passing skills. There was plenty to admire in this team and their performance.
There was a full contingent of Gillingham fans, who were in full voice for most of the night. They didn't have much to cheer though, The game was said to be a sell-out, but I can only assume that many season ticket holders had not taken up their option of a "free" ticket tonight. They missed some good football.
Spurs dominated from the start, with Janssen glancing a header wide from Trippier's cross. Janssen was offside anyway. Janssen then became provider for Eriksen, whose right footed curler was pushed over the bar by goalkeeper Jonathan Bond for a corner. Lamela took the kick and Carter-Vickers headed powerfully, but just wide of Bond's right post.
Ben Davies passed inside to Eriksen, who pushed his shot wide of the keeper's left post. Ex-Spur Paul Konchesky, playing at left back, won a corner, but this was no problem for Spurs.
Eriksen tried to thread a ball for Janssen, but the pass was inaccurate. Janssen was playing well, with his back to goal, ready to field plenty of passes, and tee up his colleagues.
Spurs soon discovered that one of Gillingham's main attacking ploys was a long throw merchant in the shape of right back Ryan Jackson, but he got rare opportunities, and Spurs dealt with any threat comfortably.
Spurs gathered the ball in the middle, and moved it forward to Eriksen, who hit a diagonal ball to Lamela, who tried a right footed shot, which was saved. Lamela himself then chipped a good pass to Onomah, who headed back to Eriksen whose shot was easy for Bond. Trippier received a good pass, and fed the ball inside for Lamela, whose shot was just outside the post. 12 minutes had gone, and Spurs really should have had a good lead by now.
Goalkeeper Bond had to go down for treatment, and was replaced by Stuart Nelson. Janssen had another header go wide, and again he was offside after Eriksen and Trippier had been providers. After a diligent Spurs build-up, Lamela clipped a ball to Carroll, who had got behind the defence, but the goalkeeper was first to the ball.
Onomah fielded a ball sent from the left, offering it to Janssen, who fed Eriksen, only to see the Spurs captain fire wide. Good football by Spurs was followed by Janssen battling for the ball and winning a corner. The ball was worked via Carroll and Winks to Lamela, who hit his shot wide. Carroll hit a good pass to the feet of Janssen, who passed to Onomah, whose shot was saved by Nelson.
Finally, Spurs went into a clearly deserved lead following Lamela's pass to Eriksen who was a full 22 yards out. Eriksen hit a classic right foot shot past the keeper's right hand.
Janssen had a shot on the turn saved, after another Lamela assist. Soon after that Janssen went down in the Gillingham box when challenged by Oshilaja, but referee David Coote was not interested. Janssen then won a corner after another Carroll pass, and soon after that had a shot just outside the keeper's off post after more build-up play by Eriksen and Lamela. Carroll gave Janssen another chance, but again he was off target. That first goal had to come soon, didn't it?
In added time Josh Onomah got the only yellow card of the game for a foul on "Gills"' captain Josh Wright.
Gillingham kicked off the second half, towards The Park Lane stand, and kept possession for a little while, but it wasn't long before Spurs took the firmest of grips on the game. Lamela had already had one shot blocked, before he went on a lovely diagonal run from right to centre, feeding the ball to Eriksen, who more or less placed his shot beneath the keeper.
In no time it was 3-0 to Spurs as Kieran Trippier forced his way into the box, and drew a foul by Oshilaja. The penalty was given, and this was Janssen's chance to score his first Spurs goal, which he did most emphatically.
Lamela and Eriksen exchanged passes before Erik hit a shot just outside the left post. Around this time, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas was struggling, and it wasn't long before the former Arsenal player was replaced. Eriksen hit a free kick from 25 yards just outside Nelson's right post, before he was replaced by Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, making his first appearance. Nkoudou looked fairly bright, without really excelling tonight.
Tom Carroll took the captain's armband, and before long was providing a chance for Lamela, which passed wide. This chance had followed a Gillingham free kick and good play by Josh Onomah, carrying the ball into opposition territory from his own half.
Onomah had his magical first goal for Spurs, and at home, in the 65th minute. Lamela had found Onomah towards the right of the Gillingham area. Josh had time and space to place his shot inside Nelson's left post, racing off to the north-west corner to celebrate.
Three minutes later, it was 5-0, and Lamela got on the sheet with a shot across the keeper, following Janssen's pass.
Now Marcus Edwards made a telegraphed debut off the bench, with Janssen being rested in advance of Saturday's game, when his services will be required. Lamela took up the central striker role, and I was a little surprised that he played 90 minutes. Edwards played on the right, and excited the crowd with one good run soon after he came on.
Gillingham's Mark Byrne actually had a shot in the closing stages, but Vorm was not required to make a save. Edwards nearly had a dream debut goal after exchanging with Lamela, only to see his left footed shot tipped over for a corner.
The fourth round draw took place immediately after the game, and some big guns have been drawn together. Spurs will have to travel to Anfield, whilst there will be a Manchester Derby, and West Ham will host Chelsea. Of course, our near neighbours have an easy home draw against lesser opposition.
The match does not fall too badly for Spurs, following a trip to Bournemouth and preceding a home game against Leicester. Those who represented Tottenham tonight (and did that well) will be keen to play in the next round. Liverpool, despite their good early season form, can expect a tough game!
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