Penalty shootouts don’t often go Tottenham Hotspur’s way, but when they do, it’s a special moment.
Spurs drew Chelsea 1-1 in regulation, but advanced to the quarterfinals of the Carabao Cup via a penalty shootout at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday. Erik Lamela scored a crucial equalizer before Mason Mount ultimately lost the game for the Blues with a miss during the penalties.
Frank Lampard sent close to a first-choice squad out for Chelsea, while Jose Mourinho rotated significantly with a crucial Europa League tie against Maccabi Haifa on Thursday.
Japhet Tanganga and Gedson Fernandes made their first starts of the season, and Sergio Reguilon was handed his Tottenham debut after signing from Real Madrid. It was a back five for Spurs, with Serge Aurier on the right, and Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier playing with Tanganga in central defense.
As was to be expected with so many changes, it was a slow start, especially for Spurs.
Mourinho set his side out to sit back and soak up pressure from the visitors. They were to attack when they could via counters and set pieces.
It was the Blues who opened the scoring on 19 minutes.
Reguilon lost the ball pushing forward, and then, in his determination to make up for the mistake, he slid past Cesar Azpilicueta who was pushing into the box. Azpilicueta played the ball across to Timo Werner, and the German slotted the ball into the corner of the net.
Werner crushed Spurs last season in the Champions League, and he hurt them again here for what was his first goal in Chelsea colors.
Despite the opening strike, Chelsea didn’t have a ton of chances in the half. Spurs had an opportunity to respond a few minutes later, but Gedson flubbed the chance when he was in on Edouard Mendy’s goal. A tremendous tackle by Fikayo Tomori thwarted the Portuguese midfielder when he was just about to shoot.
There was a chance for Lamela later in the half, but his right-footed effort was saved well by Mendy.
At the break, Spurs faced a one-goal deficit in the cup tie, but they came out in the second half looking much better.
Steven Bergwijn made a strong push into the box in the early moments of the half, but his shot was over the bar.
A few minutes later, Aurier made a great run forward followed by a well-picked ball across the box. Reguilon used his pace to reach the pass, but his shot was stopped by Mendy. If Kepa Arrizabalaga was in goal, it might have been a different outcome.
Then there were appeals for a penalty on a strong tackle on Bergwijn. It looked like a 50/50 call, but the referee said no, and VAR was not in operation on the evening.
Mourinho opted to bring Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Harry Kane on for Gedson and Tanganga in hopes of pushing Spurs forward to an equalizer.
Chelsea made some changes of their own, and almost extended their lead through Callum Hudson-Odoi, but he blasted his effort over the crossbar.
The first chance for Kane came on 80 minutes. He received the ball in the box and cut back onto his left, but his curler went just high.
Finally, Spurs made their breakthrough a few minutes later. Reguilon took the ball on the left, floated a ball to the back post, and Lamela collected and fired it past Mendy with his trusty left foot.
Chelsea had some worrying possession in stoppage time, but the game ultimately went to a penalty shootout, but not before a hilarious moment when Dier had to sprint off the pitch midgame to use the bathroom!
Nine out of the ten penalties taken were remarkable. Dier, Tammy Abraham, Lamela, Azpilicueta, Hojbjerg, Jorginho, Lucas, Emerson and Kane all scored. Mount had to do so, but he put his shot wide!
In a game that not many people expected them to win because of fixture congestion, Spurs advanced on penalties to the quarterfinals of the Carabao Cup.