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Spurs v Everton, 27.10.09


Huddlestone, 31
Keane, 57

Attendance: - 35,843

Referee: - Mr. Lee Mason

Spurs (4-4-2):- Gomes; Hutton, Dawson, Bassong, Ekotto; Bentley, Huddlestone, Palacios, Bale; Keane (Capt.), Pavlyuchenko

Subs not used: - Button; Naughton, Corluka, Dervite; Jenas, Parrett, Kane

No bookings

Everton (4-1-3-2):- Howard; Neill, Heitinga, Distin, Hibbert; Rodwell; Gosling, Fellaini, Cahill (Capt.); Saha (sub Jo, 46), Yakubu

Subs not used: - Nash; Coleman, Duffy, Wallace, Agard, Baxter

Booked: - Hibbert (foul on Hutton), Heitinga (foul on Keane), Cahill

Competent Spurs march on to quarter-finals

Spurs marched into the Carling Cup quarter-finals for the third consecutive season with a competent and confident performance, despite the absence of so many key players with Peter Crouch’s name added to the absences of Ledley King, Defoe, Modric, Lennon, Woodgate and Kranjcar. Everton fielded a pretty strong side, baring in mind their injury-hit threadbare squad, but perhaps they were match-weary after their much publicised three games in six days.

Spurs fringe players such as David Bentley and Gareth Bale took their opportunity well, and both did impress, whilst the game also suited Tom Huddlestone who partnered Wilson Palacios in the midfield, both of whom contributed fully to Spurs efficient passing game. At the back, Spurs defended well, and Gomes had several saves to make, with second half substitute Jo and midfielder Fellaini threatening at times for the visitors who were well supported, despite this being their third consecutive away game.

It was a shame that we did not see any of the Spurs substitutes which included Dean Parrett (back from his loan at Aldershot), and potential debutant Harry Kane, who captains the under-18 side. With one more goal, perhaps the almost full house could have seen them play.

Referee Lee Mason did not seem to show any sympathy for thee home side in the early stages, and Michael Dawson was harshly penalised for a foul just outside the area after an Everton throw on the left. From the free kick it was Saha who tried an overhead shot, which Gomes tipped over for another corner.

Bentley was impressive from the start against Tony Hibbert at left back, and after 6 minutes Bentley sent in a good ball, but Keane shot rather weakly towards Howard in goal. In truth, the Spurs front two did not take advantage of the many opportunities offered by some good midfield passing, with a stumble here and a mis-placed shot or pass there. Pavlyuchenko had a half-chance after 21 minutes after the ball broke for Spurs down the right side. Pav put his right footed shot wide. A good long ball by Huddlestone was probing for Keane’s run, but Howard was easily the first to the ball. Bale and Palacios demonstrated skill on the left of centre and Palacios’s ball found Bentley, who with skill passed to Hutton. Hutton crossed and Pavlyuchenko had another chance with a near post shot going wide.

A 27th minute Everton corner taken by Gosling was glanced across the goalmouth by Cahill, playing behind Saha and Yakubu. Then Spurs hit a long ball for Keane, whose shot had little strength but beat the keeper and bounced away off the post. The first Spurs goal came in the 31st minute and Huddlestone had started and finished the move. He passed forward to Keane who spread the play to Bentley, whilst Huddlestone continued his run to the far post. Bentley crossed and Huddlestone pounced with a strong left footed rising shot into the net. It was Huddlestone’s second goal in this year’s Carling Cup competition.

The referee started to show his cards as Everton got more and more desperate against the persistent forward runs of Spurs players. Bassong had a headed chance outside the target from a Bentley free kick. Bentley and Hutton worked well again before Hutton’s cross passed just over Spurs heads in the middle. Huddlestone found Pavlyuchenko with an excellent pass and then Bale controlled the ball, but the offside flag had already been waved high.

Jo replaced Saha at the interval and won the ball early, before giving Cahill a chance on goal. Gomes made a good save. Bentley’s work ethic was good all night and coupled with the sort of skill we paid all that money for He did well to control and keep the ball after 48 minutes, passing inside to Keane who could not get a full strength shot, with the ball running to the keeper. Jo got goalside of the Spurs defence down the right channel, and hit a decent shot which Gomes saved with a dive to his left.

Robbie Keane then won a penalty, being fouled by Distin. However, Keane failed with his kick, saved by Howard leading to a brief melee in which Bale had a shot blocked and it was Keane who finally hit the ball into the roof of the net at the Paxton End.

Pavlyuchenko had a battle in the area with Heitinga, but Howard was on hand to retrieve the ball. Fellaini got the better of Ekotto after 64 minutes, but his 25 yard shot was well saved again by Gomes. Huddlestone led the next Spurs attack with good play and a sharp ball to Bentley via Pavlyuchenko. Hutton had a run into the area but fired his cross/shot wide across Howard’s goal. Keane had another effort touched out of play for a corner after more Huddlestone/Bentley skill. Bale showed determination and pace against Fellaini, making it to the bye-line before cutting the ball back for Pavlyuchenko, who lost control of the ball. Similarly, Keane failed to control a good ball by Huddlestone, as the goal beckoned.

The burning question now for Harry Redknapp’s Spurs is how many of those missing players will be available on Saturday, and which of last night’s impressive fringe players will be required at the home of our greatest rivals.

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