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Carabao Cup Final 2021 - How they got there

Carabao Cup Final 2021 - How they got there

Wembley Stadium

Manchester City

Round 3 - beat Bournemouth 2-1 at home

17-year-old Liam Delap (son of Rory) scored City's first goal on his senior club debut. Phil Foden claimed the assist for that goal and scored a 75th minute winner after Sam Surridge had equalised for "The Cherries". City also included youngsters Taylor Harwood-Ellis and Adrian Bernabe in their back line. Tommy Doyle, whose paternal grandfather Mike Doyle and maternal grandfather Glyn Pardoe played for City, was in the midfield. Both Mike Doyle and Glyn Pardoe played in the 1969 FA Cup Final which I happened to attend.

Round 4 - beat Burnley 3-0 away

Raheem Sterling (2) and Ferran Torres scored the goals and City had a stronger line-up against Sean Dyche's side. City did feature 18-year-old Cole Palmer in their midfield. Palmer's only other seniuor appearance has been as a late substitute in a Champions League game against Marseille.

Round 5 (Quarter-Final) - beat Arsenal 4-1 away

This was a powerful performance against a side which had beaten City 2-0 in last summer's FA Cup semi-final. Pep played a strong side too with the only concession being to play Steffen in goal for Ederson. Gabriel Jesus, Mahrez, Foden and Laporte cast Arsenal aside after Lacazette had equalised Gabriel Jesus's third minute opener.

Semi-Final - beat Manchester United 2-0 away

City were only five games into what turned into a 21-game winning run in all competitions. It was their local rivals who ended that sequence in the Premier League at the end of February when they should have been playing this Carabao Cup Final.

Steffen was again between the sticks behind another strong line-up. John Stones and Fernandinho scored the goals.

This game was played the day after the death of City legend Colin Bell, who also played that 1969 FA Cup Final I mentioned.

Tottenham Hotspur

Round 3 - Bye against Leyton Orient

The EFL issued the following statement: (11am 25/09/20)

"In accordance with Carabao Cup Rules, Tottenham Hotspur have been awarded with a bye to progress to Round Four of the Carabao Cup and will now play Chelsea on Tuesday 29 September (kick off 7.45pm).

"The Round Three tie scheduled for Tuesday 22 September between Leyton Orient and Tottenham Hotspur could not take place following the issue by Waltham Forest Borough Council of an order preventing the match being played as planned. This followed a number of Leyton Orient players testing positive for COVID-19.

"The EFL Board has determined that in line with Carabao Cup Rule 5.1, the Club was unable to fulfil its obligations to complete the fixture by virtue of the Councilís order and shall therefore forfeit the tie."

THFC added:- "Everyone at Tottenham Hotspur sends their best wishes to Leyton Orient for the health and wellbeing of their players and staff, their families and all those affected at this time.

"We remain committed to helping to raise funds in aid of the JE3 Foundation, set up in the memory of Justin Edinburgh, and shall update in due course on auctioning match-worn shirts from a different fixture."

It was very sad that we did not play this game which meant so much, bearing in mind Justin Edinburgh's history with the two clubs.

Round 4 - Beat Chelsea 5-4 at home in penalty shoot-out (Full time score 1-1)

Erik Lamela, who scored our 83rd minute equaliser, and also put his spot-kick away competently, was voted our man of the match with an all-round lively performance. This game was the second of four games we had play within 8 days, due to our involvement in Europa League qualifiers.

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!

Round 5 - Beat Stoke 3-1 away

I wrote these lines at the start of my report:-

The Welsh connection and lethal Kane put Spurs into Semi-Final!

13 years ago I travelled home from The Etihad Stadium where Spurs had beaten Manchester City 2-0 to progress to the semi-final of the League Cup. We went on to win the trophy in 2008. Could we do it again? I am writing this report before knowing the draw for the semi-final which will be played over one match only in the first week of January. This win was achieved on a cold, wet and windy night at Stoke (nothing changes!) against a team which had kept clean sheets in six of their previous seven games, thanks to goals from two of our Welsh brigade (Bale and Davies) and a lethal third to seal the win by Harry Kane.

Semi-Final - Beat Brentford 2-0 at home

Great goals by Moussa Sissoko (no, that is not a typo) and Heung-min Son enabled us to put paid to valiant Championship challengers Brentford. Until Sonny scored the second goal with 20 minutes to play, the game was certainly not settled and I'd been looking for that two-goal margin for a long time.

This was our 16th League Cup semi-final. The last semi-final was against Chelsea two years ago, and now we are through to a ninth final. Our last Final was in 2015 against a Jose Mourinho Chelsea side. We will be going back to Wembley for the first time since we played Arsenal in a Premier League game on 2nd March 2019. This time we will be there for Cup glory!

Spurs Odyssey's Carabao Cup Final Preview

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