In an end-to-end League Cup quarter-final, Tottenham Hotspur got the better of their bitter rivals West Ham United 2-1 to reach the semi-final of the competition for the second consecutive year.
After a lively opening, which saw a lot of strong challenges going in, Antonio Conte’s side struck first in the 28th minute.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg cut the ball back for Steven Bergwijn in the box, and the Dutchman slotted the ball past Alphonse Areola from a few yards out.
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West Ham hit back almost instantly, with Jarrod Bowen finishing well past Hugo Lloris from inside the box.
Celebrations on their bench were short-lived however, as Spurs regained their one-goal advantage three minutes later.
Bergwijn drove with the ball inside the box, putting it on a plate for Lucas Moura, who tapped home from a few yards out.
Despite West Ham looking dangerous late on, Tottenham held on to book their place in the last four of the tournament.
TALKING POINT - West Ham unlucky but Spurs' game management does the trick
The intensity of the first half of tonight's game was end-to-end, and the tie certainly lived up to the derby atmosphere inside the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
All three goals were scored within the space of five minutes, and the action was certainly hard to keep up with at times. West Ham reacted very well to going behind initially, with Nikola Vlasic and Jarrod Bowen combining well for the equalising goal. Just before that, Tomas Soucek also could've got on the scoresheet, but his header was expertly saved by Hugo Lloris. However, Tottenham silenced the Hammers shortly afterwards through Lucas Moura.
If we look at the stats, West Ham had more shots on target than Tottenham Hotspur, and had a higher expected goals output, so therefore, they will feel that they deserved more from the game.
However, Antonio Conte's shift in game plan in the second half did the trick, as Tottenham allowed West Ham to dominate the ball more, whilst trying to hit them on the break. That was alongside some clever ploys such as wasting time at any opportunity. And it worked. Worryingly, sitting back eventually did invite some West Ham pressure in the dying moments, but Conte's side held on to keep hopes of a trophy this season alive for Tottenham.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH - Lucas Moura
It was a close call, as West Ham also had a few candidates that were worthy of the accolade, but Lucas Moura just edges it.
The Tottenham attacker put in a brilliant display this evening for his side, eventually netting the winning goal by tapping the ball past Alphonse Areola in the 35th minute after brilliant work from Steven Bergwijn.
The Brazilian could’ve also had another assist in the first half, as he provided a fantastic through ball to Harry Kane from central midfield, but the England striker’s effort was saved. Over the course of the game, Moura registered two key passes, and made some good driving runs from deep to instigate goal-scoring opportunities.
Tottenham: Lloris 7, Doherty 6, Sanchez 6, Dier 5, Davies 7, Reguilon 6, Skipp 6, Hojbjerg 7, Lucas 8, Bergwijn 8, Kane 7. Subs: Emerson 6, Tanganga 6, Winks 6, Alli 6, Son 6.
West Ham: Areola 6 , Ashby 5, Johnson 6, Dawson 6, Diop 6, Masuaku 6, Rice 8, Soucek 7, Lanzini 6, Vlasic 7, Bowen 8. Subs: Fornals 6, Benrahma 7, Yarmolenko 6..
28’ - GOAL! - Spurs win the ball high up the pitch, and after a minute or two of sustained pressure around West Ham's box.Hojbjerg does really well to cut the ball back for Bergwijn, and the Dutchman taps home from a few yards out!
32’ - GOAL! - The Hammers make the pressure count and are back on terms 190 seconds after conceding! West Ham win the ball back high after a shocking pass from Eric Dier, with Vlasic teeing up Jarrod Bowen rather fortunately with a heavy pass, but Bowen does well to control it and finishes past Lloris!
35’ GOAL! - Would you believe it! West Ham are pegged back instantly! Bergwijn once again the architect - this time breezing past Lanzini, before driving with the ball inside the box. He puts it on a plate for Moura, who taps home from a few yards out! Manic last ten minutes here in North London! What a game!
- West Ham’s three-game unbeaten run against Tottenham is now at an end.
- Steven Bergwijn netted a goal on his first start under Antonio Conte.
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