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Harry's prayer answered

Posted on 22 January 2009  - 12:00

Harry Redknapp admitted he was praying that we'd find the goal to take us to Wembley as time ran out in the Carling Cup semi-final, second leg at Burnley.

Harry's prayer answered

Harry Redknapp admitted he was praying that we'd find the goal to take us to Wembley as the seconds ticked away in our Carling Cup semi-final, second leg at Burnley.

Our 4-1 lead from the first leg had been wiped out by Jay Rodriguez's 88th-minute goal which handed Burnley a 3-0 lead on the night and at 4-4 overall, Martin Paterson's goal from the first leg at the Lane would be enough to take the Clarets through if the scoreline stayed the same at the end of extra time.

With three minutes left, Turf Moor was at fever pitch with the home fans ready to celebrate one of the great cup comebacks.

Then, Gareth Bale found Benoit Assou-Ekotto on the left side of the box and the French full-back's cross was swept home in fine style by Roman Pavyluchenko to edge us ahead once more.

It meant the home side had to find another goal to take the tie to penalties but it was Jermain Defoe who found the net again with seconds remaining to complete an aggregate scoreline of 6-4 in our favour.

We will now take on Manchester United and continue the defence of the trophy in the final at Wembley on Sunday, March 1.

"There is a big sense of relief because it looked game over with a few minutes to go," said Harry at Turf Moor.

"I was just praying that we might nick a goal but I can't stand here and said I saw it coming, because I didn't.

"They played ever so well, Burnley. They played with great enthusiasm, passed the ball great, they were better than us but they didn't have that many chances, let's be truthful.

"Our keeper didn't have to make many saves but everything that came in on goal seemed to end up in the back of the net.

"I was sitting at 0-0 after about half-an-hour feeling quite comfortable. We hadn't created a lot and hadn't played very well but then again, Burnley had hardly had a shot worth talking about.

"Then suddenly they hit a free-kick into the near post, a poor goal to concede and it was difficult for us from there.

"I thought we were dead and buried but to be fair, we showed character, kept going and ended up coming back and getting two late goals.

"We can look forward to the final now. We've had some great performances, beat Liverpool, got a great result at Watford and overall I think we deserve to be there."