Tottenham played today. It wasn’t televised anywhere, and that might’ve been for the better.
Spurs defeated Barnsley 1-0 at Wembley in a tedious and frustrating affair. But a win is a win, and this win sees them advance to the fourth-round of the Carabao Cup (League Cup).
Mauricio Pochettino handed full debuts to new signings Fernando Llorente and Juan Foyth, in what turned out to be a surprisingly strong lineup. Kieran Trippier started on his birthday, Vorm was the man in goal, and Jan Vertonghen captained the side. Dele Alli and Son Heung-Min provided the firepower up front.
Spurs’ talented attackers didn’t initially prove to be too much for Barnsley. The first half was an ugly affair from Tottenham’s point of view.
Most of the home side’s chances seemed to come from headers. Early on there was one for Juan Foyth, but he was put off by Barnsley defenders just enough to force the header wide.
The best opportunity of the half fell to Llorente. He found space on a corner kick and had a free header about seven yards away from goal, but his effort surprised the Wembley crowd by going over the net. It was one of those chances that may have been harder to miss than to score.
Paul Heckingbottom’s team also had their chances in the first half. They attacked mostly on the counter-attack, and one particular drive forward required Vertonghen to slide in with a crucial last-ditch tackle.
The half ended with Moussa Sissoko blasting a shot well over the goal and into the stand at Wembley.
All things considered, it wasn’t the worst half of football to not be able to watch. Spurs had 9 shots, but none were on target.
Barnsley almost immediately opened up the second half with a goal. They played a long ball to Ike Ugbo, and he forced Vorm to make a tremendous save.
Eventually, Spurs found their breakthrough via Dele. Trippier moved forward and played a bouncing ball across the box. Barnsley’s defenders failed to react quickly, and Alli pounced to make it 1-0.
The rest of the game was basically just Spurs easing to the finish-line. They dominated possession and successfully saw-off their opponents.
Son came close to adding a second goal, but his shot was saved well by the fingertips of Adam Davies.
Highly-touted prospect Tashan Oakley-Boothe came into the game in stoppage time to make his debut for Spurs’ senior team. The 17-year-old didn’t have enough time to impact the game, but it was definitely still a very special moment for him.
Other than that, there wasn’t much else special about the evening. But Spurs won, and that’s all that matters.
On to the fourth round!