Tottenham Hotspur progressed to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup at the expense of their London rivals Chelsea on Tuesday evening.
It took a Mason Mount penalty miss in the shootout for the hosts to secure their progression to the next round after Timo Werner and Erik Lamela exchanged goals in normal time.
Here are three things we learnt from the clash at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium:
Werner off the mark for the Blues
One of the most lethal forwards in the UEFA Champions League last season, Tottenham really should have been aware of Werner’s threat. After all, the German striker netted in North London in RB Leipzig’s victory against Spurs.
Following his move to Stamford Bridge in the summer, there was somewhat an air of inevitability that he would get his goal eventually. After all, he had been extremely threatening in his three prior appearances for the Blues in the Premier League having registered ten shots on goal but not yet opened his account for the club.
His 11th shot was golden though, controlling a great cross from Cesar Azpilicueta before arrowing the ball into the bottom corner of Hugo Lloris’ net with a well-placed drive. Having now got off the mark for the Blues, the goals really should now start flowing for Werner at Stamford Bridge despite Chelsea’s elimination from the Carabao Cup.
Alli out of contention?
Whilst Werner is all but guaranteed a place in the Chelsea starting 11, one man who is not sure of his position is Dele Alli. Once again, the midfielder was left out of the Tottenham side completely by boss Jose Mourinho, with his future at the club looking more in doubt as deadline day creeps ever closer.
It is the first time in Alli’s entire career at the club that he has been left out of the squad entirely for three matches in a row when not injured or suspended. For a player of his quality, it really is a bizarre circumstance. Whether that leads to a move away from North London remains to be seen but at the current time, Paris Saint Germain are the favourites to make a move for the England man.
Midfield battle in North London
Ironically, Alli would have come in very useful for Tottenham in a match were they were initially lacking some real midfield authority. The trio of Moussa Sissoko, Tanguy N’dombele and Gedson Fernandes struggled to gain the upper-hand in what was a competitive midfield battle with Chelsea duo Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho. The Croat and the Italian dovetailed very well throughout the 90 minutes, controlling the tempo well and dictating the majority of the play – surprising considering they were a man light.
The momentum only started to swing following the introduction of former Southampton man Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg with just under half an hour remaining. The Danish midfielder was able to use his physicality and passing range to seize more control and in fact netted a confident penalty in the shoot-out which was key in Spurs’ progression.
His influence within the 90 minutes was demonstrated even further with Chelsea making their own substitution in the introduction of the irrepressible N’Golo Kante but even he could not halt Spurs’ momentum, with Lamela finding a late equaliser, ultimately doing enough to see Spurs’ through to the next round.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (7); Dier (6), Alderweireld (7), Tanganga (6) (Kane (6), 70′); Reguilon (6), N’Dombele (6), Sissoko (6), Gedson (6) (Hojbjerg (7), 63′), Aurier (6); Bergwijn (5) (Moura (N/A), 76′), Lamela (7).
Chelsea: Mendy (6); Chilwell (7) (Emerson (6), 66′), Zouma (6), Tomori (6), Azpilicueta (7); Kovacic (7) (Kante (6), 70′), Jorginho (7), Mount (6); Hudson-Odoi (6), Werner (7), Giroud (5) (Abraham (N/A), 76′).
Goals: Werner (19′), Lamela (84′)
Referee: Lee Mason
Yellow Cards: Kovacic (45+2′), Aurier (59′), Tanganga (61′), Jorginho (83′)
Red Cards: N/A