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Complete turnaround!

Posted on 6 January 2009  - 12:00

An incredible second half comeback from a goal down gave us a 4-1 semi-final first leg win over Burnley at The Lane to leave us with one foot firmly in the Carling Cup Final for the second season running.

Complete turnaround!

An incredible second half comeback from a goal down gave us a 4-1 semi-final first leg win over Burnley at The Lane to leave us with one foot firmly in the Carling Cup Final for the second season running.

Martin Paterson gave the plucky visitors a half-time lead before a Jamie O'Hara-inspired turnaround put another trip to Wembley firmly in our sights.

Last season's Young Player of the Year set up our first for Michael Dawson before netting the second to put us ahead. Roman Pavlyuchenko and a Michael Duff own goal then put the tie well in our grip.

Harry Redknapp stuck with the 4-4-2 formation that defeated Wigan in the FA Cup on Friday, making two changes to the starting lineup.

Fraizer Campbell started where he finished against the Latics - up-front alongside Pavlyuchenko in place of the injured Darren Bent, while Aaron Lennon returned to the eleven at the expense of O'Hara.

But no matter what side we fielded, Burnley made it clear from the start that they were going to be extremely hard to beat.

And not solely due to the dogged determination and grit one may associate with a Championship side away at a Premier League ground on a stage like this - the men from Lancashire came to play football, and a stylish, easy-on-the-eye brand at that.

Chris Eagles, a summer signing from Manchester United, was the main orchestrator of most of their fluid first-half attacks.

The right winger sliced a couple of early shots wide, but his first major contribution was a telling one.

Eagles skipped past Gareth Bale and David Bentley with ease before picking out Paterson with a pin-point cross to the back post, leaving the striker with a tap-in.

It sent the throng of visiting fans into raptures, and it was nothing more than Owen Coyle's men deserved after a confident and positive start.

On 24 minutes, Burnley could have doubled their lead. Eagles was the provider again with another splendid cross that Robbie Blake glanced inches wide.

It sparked us into action, and a minute later came the first sign that we had woken up from what can only be described as a 25-minute slumber.

Dawson, of all players, carried the charge forward from the back, sliding Campbell through to stand up a dangerous cross from the by-line which Pavlyuchenko attacked in the air, only to be denied by some fantastic Duff defending.

Bentley's resulting corner was nodded down by Woodgate in the area for Pavlyuchenko to turn goalwards, but Burnley stopper Brian Jensen was equal to it.

In the following attack, Lennon sent in a cross from the right that Bentley should have done better with at the back post, but we ended the half the stronger side nonetheless.

That was to be Bentley's last action of the match, as after the break, O'Hara emerged in his place and did nothing less than change the game.

Our first attack of the second half resulted in a corner, which the England Under-21 international raced over to take with a look of intent.

His delivery was pinpoint to the back post as Dawson climbed to power home his first goal since November 2007.

The atmosphere around the stadium and the shape of the game was never the same from that point onwards as we completely took control.

O'Hara was playing like a man possessed and fired a warning shot just over moments before he got the goal he deserved to put us in-front against all the odds on 52 minutes.

Luka Modric found Pavlyuchenko, who cut inside a defender onto his left foot and sliced a shot up in the air towards the back post, where O'Hara waited and watched the ball all the way onto his sweet left foot which struck a volley underneath the body of Jensen.

It totally knocked the stuffing out of Burnley, perhaps a little undeservedly on the night, but neither our fans or players were about to have any sympathy.

Especially considering the visitors were far from out of the tie yet, and we went to sleep at a quickly-taken free-kick on the hour mark before Blake curled inches wide from the edge of the box.

They threatened again five minutes later, with Heurelho Gomes coming to the rescue after a goal-mouth scramble instigated by Blake and Paterson

We knew we needed more than a one goal lead to take to Turf Moor in a fortnight's time, so that's exactly what we went down the other end to secure.

Bale found Pavlyuchenko just outside the box, and in one movement the Russian glided past Clarke Carlisle and into the box before drilling firmly into the bottom corner for his third goal in two games.

To rub salt into Burnley's wounds, we added a fourth on 67 minutes to put us in a more than commanding position going into the second leg.

Pavlyuchenko won a free-kick in the bottom right-hand corner of the field, and defender Duff mis-timed his jump to glance O'Hara's resulting free-kick past his own goalkeeper.

You could say it was ‘Duff justice' on Burnley for the football they had produced in the opening period, but thankfully, it was our Premier League quality that shone through in the end.

Spurs (4-4-2): Gomes; Corluka, Dawson, Woodgate, Bale; Lennon, Zokora, Modric, Bentley (O'Hara, 46); Campbell, Pavlyuchenko
Subs not used: Alnwick, Gunter, Giovani, Taarabt, Boateng, Rocha

Burnley (4-1-4-1): Jensen; Alexander, Duff, Carlisle, Jordan; Gudjohnsen (K McDonald, 30); Eagles, Elliott, McCann, Blake (Rodriguez, 75); Paterson (Akinbiyi, 86)
Subs not used: Penny, Kalvenes, Mahon, A McDonald