Goals from Son and Alli win League Cup derby for Spurs
Mauricio Pochettino - rumoured to be a managerial target for Manchester United - celebrates with away fans after victory at the Emirates Stadium that sets up a Carabao Cup semi-final clash against Chelsea
19 December, 2018 — By Dan Carrier
Carabao Cup Quarter-Final
SPURS 2 (Son 20, Alli 59)
SPURS booked a two-legged Carabao Cup semi-final showdown against Chelsea with a well deserved 2-0 win against rivals Arsenal tonight (Wednesday).
A goal in each half, coming from Heung-Min Son and Dele Alli, sealed the win – and left manager Mauricio Pochettino praising his team’s spirit and determination.
With rumours persisting over Pochettino’s future, and Manchester United apparently eyeing up the Spurs boss, there was the small matter of a League Cup quarter-final derby to play at the Emirates Stadium – and his players pulled off the perfect smash-and-grab raid on their rivals.
With supporters singing his name, Pochettino joined the away end at the end of the match as they celebrated the victory. He would not be distracted by the media storm brewing after Jose Mourinho’s sacking.
“I think the performance was so solid. We had to show real quality,” he said.
“It was special for us,” he added. “It was a cup game, there were 4,000 to 5,000 fans and I wanted to watch how they received the players who made a massive effort.
“Our connection with the fans when we win, they are so happy.”
Tottenham have had to see off West Ham and Arsenal to book their semi-final against Chelsea, and Pochettino spoke of how tough the English game can be.
“It was a very competitive game,” he said. “It was more like a final. To win trophies in England isn’t easy, it’s such a competitive country. We have the Champions League, we want to finish in the top four, and we have the FA Cup, and also this competition. You have to use all your players.”
Spurs were steamrollered at the Emirates Stadium two weeks ago in a feisty Premier League encounter, and came looking for revenge.
As with the league game, this clash occasionally lapsed into a bad-tempered affair, with police studying CCTV footage after Alli was struck by a plastic bottle thrown at him by a supporter soon after he had doubled Tottenham’s lead.
Arsenal started well, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan squandering the first real chance of the game when one on one with Spurs goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga, who raced off his line well to make the block.
Spurs then started to gain an upper hand. On 20 minutes Alli met a quick clearance from Gazzaniga, looked up and placed the ball into space for Son to run on to. The forward took his time and steered the ball home.
Harry Kane started on the bench, but within seconds of coming on in the second half he turned provider, chesting the ball down in space and lifting a delightful through-ball into the path of Alli, who took it in his stride and as Petr Cech came out he calmly chipped it home.
Arsenal desperately tried to find a way back into it, with Alexandre Lacazette hitting the post minutes after coming on off the bench, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cross curled onto the top of the crossbar.
But Spurs were defending resolutely and looking dangerous when they went forward. They saw out the game without too much difficulty – and head into Christmas still in all four competitions.
ARSENAL: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Xhaka, Monreal, Torreira, Mikhitaryan (Koscielny, 45), Ramsey, Iwobi (Lacazette, 60), Aubameyang, Guendozi (Nketiah, 65).
Substitutes not used: Elneny, Lichtsteiner, Martinez, Willock.
SPURS: Gazzaniga, Trippier, Alderweireld, Davies, Rose, Winks, Sissoko, Eriksen, Alli, Lucas (Kane, 60), Son (Lamela, 76).
Substitutes not used: Vorm, Walker-Peters, Foyth, Skipp, Llorente.