Report: Spurs 5-1 Chelsea
English League Cup
It was billed as the chance to end 12 years of hurt and it was grasped emphatically in one of the most electric nights seen at the Lane in years.
Trailing 2-1 from the first leg, we grasped the Blues by the horns and on a wave of euphoria, swept them away to book a place in the Worthington Cup Final against Blackburn Rovers on February 24.
Goals from Tim Sherwood, Teddy Sheringham, Simon Davies and Sergei Rebrov after Steffen Iversen handed us the perfect start inside two minutes ensured the blue and white army can start plotting their way to Cardiff.
Throw in Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's sending off, more than a few meaty challenges and some sublime football and it was just about the perfect night.
All that after we had to reshuffle plans with Les Ferdinand failing to recover from his head injury against Everton. Steffen Iversen, his replacement at half-time on Saturday, started alongside Teddy Sheringham.
Ledley King and Gus Poyet, both rested at the weekend, came back in for cup-tied Dean Richards and Oyvind Leonhardsen respectively. Gavin Kelly remained on the bench for absent Kasey Keller.
A good start was vital but it was even better than we dared dream.
With just two minutes on the clock, King punched a pass towards Sheringham who dummied, looking for Iversen. The ball ran behind Iversen but fell at the onrushing Taricco's feet. His low shot from eights yards was saved superbly by Cudicini but as his defence dallied, Iversen nipped into poke the ball home from six yards.
Chelsea were forced into a change with only 11 minutes on the clock when Zenden was stretchered off after a 50-50 challenge with Sheringham. Dalla Bona replaced the Dutch winger.
Dalla Bona almost diverted the ball into his net from Anderton's wicked inswinging corner after 13 minutes and the same source saw Iversen and Poyet narrowly fail to make contact seven minutes later.
Hasselbaink began to see more of the ball but there was always a white shirt there to block, be it Taricco from his stinging free-kick, Sullivan's fist from a dangerous corner or King as Gudjohnsen broke into the box.
Poyet then forced Cudicini to tip his instinctive half-volley over and the second goal followed directly from the corner. Anderton aimed his kick low towards the penalty spot and Sherwood flashed in an unstoppable shot from 12 yards.
If the first half started like a dream, the second was beyond our wildest dreams.
Only four minutes had passed when Sheringham fired home the goal of the season.
Anderton crossed from the left, Poyet chested down into the skipper's path and Sheringham unleashed a ferocious volley into the top corner from 20 yards. It had echoes of his FA Cup goal at Anfield back in 1995 and was just as significant.
Even more significant, in terms of the match, was the incident that followed five minutes later. Sullivan claimed a high ball under intense pressure from Hasselbaink, push and shove followed in the area and the striker, so often the thorn in our side, was sent off by Mark Halsey.
It took a while for the teams to come to terms with the red card but as far as chances were concerned, it was one-way traffic. Poyet volleyed over from 12 yards after 66 minutes, Davies forced a low save from Cudicini and Iversen headed over when well placed.
A couple of potential breakaways didn't happen but you sensed a fourth goal was coming and it arrived after 75 minutes. Anderton spread the ball wide to Davies who drove into the box and drilled the ball in off the foot of the post. The fans were delirious.
Rebrov and Leonhardsen replaced Iversen and Poyet and soon combined for the fifth goal. Sheringham threaded a pass through to Leonharden who crossed instantly for Rebrov's to clip home from six yards.
Forsell restored some pride for Chelsea with a reply in the 90th minute but this was all about Spurs.