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Spurs v Chelsea (Carabao Cup Rd 4), 29.09.20

(Spurs won 5-4 on penalties)

Spurs scorer:-
Lamela, 83

Chelsea scorer:-
Werner, 19

Attendance:- 0

Referee:- Lee Mason
Assistants:- Mark Scholes and Timothy Wood
Fourth Official:- Andre Marriner

Spurs (5-3-2):- Lloris (Capt.); Aurier, Tanganga (sub Kane, 70), Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon; Gedson (sub Hojbjerg, 63), Sissoko, Ndombele; Lamela, Bergwijn (sub Lucas Moura, 76)

Subs not used:- Hart; Doherty, Sanchez, Davies

Booked:- Aurier (foul on Jorginho), Tanganga (foul on Mount)

Chelsea (4-2-3-1):- Mendy; Azpilicueta (Capt.), Zouma, Tomori, Chilwell (sub Emerson, 66); Jorginho, Kovacic (sub Kante, 70); Hudson-Odoi, Mount, Werner; Giroud (sub Abraham, 76)

Subs not used:- Arrizabalaga; James; Barkley, Havertz

Booked:- Kovacic (foul on Lamela), Jorginho (foul on Ndombele)

What a bonus result!

As those who read my preview will know, I honestly did not fancy our chances of beating Chelsea tonight. Having played on Sunday and with a crucial Europa League play-off game to play on Thursday it was inevitable that Jose Mourinho would have to field a weakened team. That was the case, but I have to say the team was stronger than I anticipated with Lloris and Dier starting again. The bench was strong too, including Harry Kane and Lucas Moura. Not only did we win, but it was after a penalty shoot-out too! That was a real bonus!

THFC would not allow me the fly the Spurs Odyssey flag in the stadium for these behind closed doors games but it will feature in my match report!

THFC would not allow me the fly the Spurs Odyssey flag in the stadium for these behind closed doors games but it will feature in my match report!

My reading of the line-up was that Jose played a 5-3-2 which included debutant Sergio Reguilon at left back. Japhet Tanganga made his first appearance of the season (even including friendlies) and Gedson Fernandes was drafted into midfield. Frank Lampard fielded a strong side with Werner included. The Chelsea side had two debutants – goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and former Leicester left back Ben Chilwell.

Headline writers were drawn to the fact that Spurs did not include Dele Alli in their squad. There was no sign of Rose or Sessegnon either, but I believe that Paulo Gazzaniga was in the squad of 20. One or more of these players are likely to be on the move before next Monday’s transfer deadline.

I think that Jose’s deliberate strategy was to sit back in the early stages with Aurier, Tanganga and Gedson deployed on our right to combat the pace of Werner. The wing-backs could be utilised further forward when the time was right. Spurs kicked off and played towards the North Stand, but were happy to sit back.

Werner hit a powerful cross which passed across goal and wide of the far post. Erik Lamela was busy hustling opponents and referee Lee Mason had “words” early on. A shot by Werner passed wide of Lloris’s right post. This followed a poor attempted headed clearance by Tanganga. Another poor attempted clearance by Tanganga led to a shot by Hudson-Odoi which was held by Lloris.

Chelsea took the lead after 19 minutes and this followed two rash moves by Reguilon, no doubt feeling nervous on his first day. He gave the ball away 5 yards inside the halfway line then raced back and over-committed himself when trying to slide in on Azpilicueta. The Chelsea captain had time to pick his cross, which reached Werner who scored inside Hugo’s left post with a well-placed low shot. It was Werner’s first goal for his new club, although he knows the feeling of scoring at The Lane having done it for Leipzig in February.

Now Spurs did need to get forward and it was Gedson who had their first half chance, getting into the box but being prevented from taking a shot by two challenges from Zouma. Spurs had a corner, taken by Lamela, but nothing came of that. Eric Dier had treatment and Davinson Sanchez was getting ready to come on but Eric was able to carry on.

After 34 minutes Aurier got forward and passed inside to Lamela, who hit a right footed shot which was saved by Mendy. Kovacic was booked for his cynical foul on Lamela as he broke into the Chelsea half in added time. Nothing came of the free kick.

Spurs did look adventurous from the outset of the second half, and after a throw-in on the right Steven Bergwijn came inside from that side but hit his right footed shot over the target. Both wing-backs were advancing and Aurier hit a deep cross to the left-hand side of the area where Sergio Reguilon latched onto the ball hitting a shot which Mendy saved at the expense of a corner.

Apart from his good work at the back, Eric Dier started to venture forward. He passed to Reguilon ahead to his left, who crossed giving Bergwijn a half-chance which resulted in a corner. Both Aurier and Tanganga went into Mr. Mason’s book for challenges on Jorginho and Mount respectively. Gedson was replaced by Hojbjerg after 66 minutes. Chilwell was replaced by Emerson. Again eric Dier advanced and when he fed the ball to Bergwijn, Zouma cleared.

Tanganga was replaced by Harry Kane and Spurs reverted to a back four. Another deep cross by Aurier found Reguilon advancing on the other side and this time he dived and tried a header, but this was wide of Mendy’s right post. Mr. Mason seemed to let a few challenges go, and it looked as if Bergwijn had been shoved in the back with no punishment, leading to a Chelsea attack and a ball for Werner whose shot was saved by Hugo comfortably in the middle of his goal. Bergwijn was replaced by Lucas Moura, but I can’t remember Lucas getting a touch. He took an excellent penalty though!

Hudson-Odoi had a shot held by Lloris before Dier disappeared down the Spurs tunnel chased by a somewhat angry and concerned manager. All was well as Eric re-appeared and had clearly been “caught short”.

Lamela fed a ball to Kane from the right flank and Harry cut further inside before hitting a right footed shot which passed over the left of the goal. Sergio Reguilon had already redeemed his first half error with his attempts on the Chelsea goal, but now he became a great provider with a cross lifted over the Chelsea defence to Lamela on the right-hand side of the 6-yard box. Eric swiftly turned and finished with his left foot.

When we reached the three minutes of added time, Chelsea had most of the possession but spurs were comfortably keeping them at bay. In fact we had a free kick in our favour when Mr. Mason blew the full time whistle.

There is no extra time in this year’s Carabao Cup with the early rounds played in successive weeks. The penalties were taken in front of the South Stand, and Spurs kicked first. I should mention that the Spurs “virtual crowd” had been in good voice throughout the game. A crowd would have been sucking in all of the Spurs kicks, although there was no need as we scored all five.

The first five kicks by both sides were truck low inside the keeper’s right post with the guardian going the wrong way each time. Dier, Lamela and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg took our three kicks – all very competently. Abraham and Azpilicueta were similarly efficient. Jorginho took Chelsea’s third kick; took his traditional “skip” and hit the ball inside Lloris’s left post. Hugo had started to go right but then went in the correct direction to try and reach the ball.

Lucas Moura banged his kick confidently inside Mendy’s right post, and Emerson scored with his left foot with Lloris going to his left. Up stepped Harry Kane who took his time before slamming the ball left of the goalkeeper who this time had gone to his right. It was down to Mason Mount who was the only player to hit his shot at a saveable height. Hugo had dived the right way and it looked as if he might have saved the shot, but Mount had missed with the ball hitting the wrong side of the keeper’s right post.

Spurs could celebrate but there was plenty of compassion shown to their opponents. The last time we won a shoot-out in a competitive game was two years ago in this competition in a home game against Watford (played at Milton Keynes)when Dele Alli was captain for the night and our hero. There’s a story there.

Now we can relax until the week before Christmas regarding this competition, but next up are Maccabi Haifa in less than 48 hours!

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