They did it! Tottenham Hotspur hosted West Ham in the quarterfinals of the Carabao Cup, and somehow didn’t manage to give up a late lead. Spurs got a first half goal and assist from Steven Bergwijn and another goal from Lucas Moura, and Tottenham then withstood a late flurry of chances to hold off the Hammers. The final score was 2-1. Jarrod Bowen scored the only goal for West Ham.
Champagne football, it was not, but it was a win, and Spurs still have a chance to win a trophy this season! Here are some of my match notes.
- This match was kind of a mess. It’s not that Spurs played poorly — they didn’t really. But I’m not sure I’d say they played well. The whole match was kind of a slog from the very beginning, punctuated by moments of brilliance from Bergwijn.
- And oh my, was Stevie ever good! This was clearly Redemption Week™ at Tottenham Hotspur — Dele and Harry Winks had their chance against Liverpool, and this time it was Bergwijn’s time in the sunshine. His goal was a lovely one-two combination with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, and he took the chance well.
They were good players all along they just needed a coach with some tactics redemption arc— NathanAClark (@NathanAClark) December 22, 2021
- But as good as his goal was his assist to Lucas was even better. Just a lovely move to create space and good vision to guide the ball into the box. Lovely stuff.
- West Ham’s goal was garbage, and was pretty much all Eric Dier’s fault. A terrible pass out of the back straight to a West Ham player, followed by Bowen putting him on ice skates. Meanwhile, Doherty collided with Ben Davies to take him out of the play. It wasn’t pretty.
- I liked what I saw from Skippy today, though he looked like he was still trying to shake the rust off a bit. Likewise from Reguilon, who played decently well, but looked exhausted by the middle of the second half.
- Matt Doherty is still not very good (but he did have a couple of decent moments with the ball).
- Conte’s decision to swap out his fullbacks for more defensive versions of the same (Reggie, Doherty for Royal, Tanganga) made a ton of sense with Spurs trying to absorb late West Ham pressure. It did release some of the pent up pressure, at least until West Ham started turning the screw late.
- Hugo Lloris had some FANTASTIC stops in this match. Gollini would never.
- The semifinals will feature Spurs, Liverpool (after outlasting Leicester on PKs), Chelsea, and Arsenal. Gonna be fun no matter who Spurs draw.