West Ham United are through to a historic League Cup semi final after beating London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, just days after Tottenham sacked manager Andre Villas Boas after a run of poor results, which ultimtely saw the end of the Villas Boas era at the Lane.
The Hammers, backed by over 1,000 supporters, who had travelled the short distance across London took the game to Spurs, and duley oblidged, taking adavantage of a lacklustre Spurs side in a rain effected game.
Spurs, who are currently under the stewardship of former stalwart’s Tim Sherwood, and Les Ferdinand was clearly still licking their wounds after Sundays hammering against Liverpool.
West Ham, who beat Tottenham 3-0 at White Hart Lane in October came from behind to score two in the last ten minutes of the game, to send Sam Allardyce’s side to a League Cup semi final.
Tottenham took the lead in the tie through Emmanuel Adebayor, who was frozen out of the side under the Villas Boas regiem, smashed a superb volley past West Ham Cup keeper Adrian into the far corner to give Spurs the lead.
The Hammers levelled when Matthew Taylor found Matt Jarvis with a superb drilled ball on the left side of the area who then composed himself under a challenge, and smashed in past a beaten Lloris.
Five minutes from time substitute Maiga grabbed the winner when he headed in from Mohamed Diame’s teasing right-wing cross, to give the Hammers an historic victory in the League Cup.
Manager Sam Allardyce was estatic at the result and stated in his post match interview…..
As the game wore on both teams had to go for it. Neither of us wanted it to go into extra-time. “It is what you can do when the spaces get bigger and bigger. We improved after Emmanuel Adebayor’s goal. “We saw the shaken nerve ends of Tottenham when we scored. We then went for the jugular. Our substitutes, who came on with fresh legs, exploited the spaces.”
Allardyce will be looking to get to a League Cup Final, 10 years after he reached the Carling Cup Final with Bolton Wanderers, as Allardyce’s Bolton side lost to Middlesbrough on that day.
Tottenham caretaker manager Tim Sherwood stated…..
“We started the game really well. We created chances in the first 20 minutes, but couldn’t make the breakthrough. Later we gave it away and encouraged West Ham – they got the breaks in the end. “Give them credit – they bombarded us and stuck to their task. It’s a shame Adebayor had to come off the field but you cant slog the boys. They were enforced changes, but hopefully they’ll be fine for the weekend.”
Defeat for Spurs underlines the current turmoil at the Lane, made worse with a suspected hamstring injury sustained to Andros Townsend.
Manchester United also advanced after a straightforward victory away at Stoke City in another rain effected tie at the Britannia Stadium, which United controlled from the off, in a very confident performance from David Moyes’ side.
In a tight first half United took the lead after a superb individual solo strike from winger Ashley Young, who picked up the ball from Javier Hernandez and crashed home from long range.
For the majority of the match, there was a lack of poise and composure in the final third, and even after an hour the weather continued to overshadow the football as a talking point.
With United dominating, Hernandez saw his shot saved by Thomas Sorensen, before Hernandez curled just wide of the post.
Stoke had their chances to score, as Jon Walters wasted to golden chances for the Potters.
United tied up the game, as full back Patrice Evra jinked his man, and curled past Sorensen to see United safely through.
Manchester United boss David Moyes stated…..
“I’m glad we’re through. It will be a tough semi-final against Sunderland. Sunderland played well to beat Chelsea so anything can happen but we are really pleased to be in the last four. “The conditions were a leveller and it was really difficult to play in tonight. It’s some of the worst conditions I’ve played or managed in. But once we got the first goal we felt confident. “This club is used to winning trophies, it is business as usual.”
Stoke boss Mark Hughes added…..
“I thought we made a fair fist of it in the first half against all the elements and thought we were in decent shape. Our organisation was good, United weren’t creating too many chances. “But United, on the night, deserved to win, they just had a little bit more power and pace. We weren’t able to ask enough questions of them in the second half.”
Capital One Cup Semi Final draw
Sunderland v Manchester United.
Manchester City v West Ham United.
By Ben Reardon.