Capital One Cup: Love-in at Lane as Spurs cruise into cup semis

Frank Dalleres
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Harry Kane scored his 12th goal of the season as Tottenham reached the semi-finals of the League Cup

TOTTENHAM manager Mauricio Pochettino believes his new-look team have finally won over a sceptical home faithful after they romped into the Capital One Cup semi-finals last night.

Nabil Bentaleb, Nacer Chadli, Harry Kane and Roberto Soldado scored on a forgettable night for Newcastle goalkeeper Jak Alnwick to set up a last-four date with Sheffield United.

White Hart Lane has been jittery and at times fraught since Pochettino’s summer arrival as the former Southampton boss struggled to conjure a winning formula.

But Spurs have looked more composed, cohesive and effective in recent weeks, culminating in a win that the Argentine believes has helped him convert a sometimes sceptical crowd.

“It was a fantastic night, a very good performance from the team and I’m very happy because tonight was the first time [there was] this atmosphere and relation between the team and supporters. I enjoyed it a lot,” he said.

“We needed this victory and performance for our supporters. Our players needed to feel this atmosphere and confidence and the supporters today were brilliant.

“I think the team is starting to show more solidity, more character and we showed we believe in our way. This result is very important for us. We can go to the semi-final of the cup; we know it is a very traditional club in cups.”

Despite making six changes, Tottenham equalled the biggest winning margin of Pochettino’s reign as they reached the last four for the first time since finishing runners-up in 2009.

Newcastle, meanwhile, shipped four goals in north London for the second time in five days and look to be in a tailspin again, with three defeats and a draw in their last five games.

Spurs came into the match in better spirits than the visitors, having pilfered a late win at Swansea on Sunday, 24 hours after the Magpies had been roundly beaten 4-1 at Arsenal.

They took a deserved lead on 18 minutes when Alnwick dropped a routine Christian Eriksen corner and midfielder Bentaleb reacted quickest to prod over the line.

Spurs’ second came just 34 seconds after the restart and via a slight deflection as winger Chadli’s daisy-cutter zipped into the bottom left corner via defender Fabricio Coloccini’s heel.

Ayoze Perez flashed a ball across the Spurs goalmouth and home skipper Jan Vertonghen had a header cleared off the line before Kane, inevitably, scored his 12th of the season. And no sooner had the England Under-21 striker slotted home from Andros Townsend’s pass than his replacement Soldado tapped in the fourth, after Alnwick had spilled Eriksen’s shot.


Capital One Cup semi-finals
Liverpool v Chelsea
Tottenham v Sheffield United
First leg ties to be played w/c 19 Jan
Second leg ties to be played w/c 26 Jan