Christian ready to deliver
Wed 23 January 2019, 10:33|Tottenham Hotspur
Christian Eriksen can see the similarities between this week's Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at Chelsea and the last time we stepped out at this stage of the competition four years ago - when he delivered in style to take us to the final.
Indeed, the similarities are uncanny between 2015 and 2019.
Facing Sheffield United - then in League One - we won the first leg at the Lane thanks to a penalty, slotted home by Andros Townsend, and took that 1-0 lead to Bramall Lane on 28 January, 2015.
Christian produced one of his best free-kicks - curling right to left, top corner - to double our lead but the Blades tore back into us in the second half and levelled the tie at 2-2 after a quickfire double from Che Adams on 77 and 79 minutes.
The tie looked to have turned but as the snow fell, Christian scored again, this time a clinical one-on-one finish with only two minutes remaining to send us to Wembley in Mauricio Pochettino's first season in charge.
Now, as we head to Stamford Bridge on Thursday (7.45pm) the playmaker is hoping he can produce a bit of magic again.
“It’s a similar situation on Thursday but it’s a different opponent this time, with respect to Sheffield United,” our number 23 told us at Hotspur Way.
“In any game against a top team like Chelsea, you need some quality. You also need a bit of luck or a good decision at the right time that can take the game and the free-kick against Sheffield was exactly that.
“I mean, (that goal) was a bit out of nowhere and it took the pressure off but then again, we put the pressure back on ourselves afterwards (in conceding the two late goals)!
“It was a good start to the tie though and hopefully, at Chelsea, it can be the same. It could be a free-kick, it could be a lucky goal, it could be anything... it’s just better, of course, to go in front than to go behind.”
It has been a mixed bag for Chelsea since the first leg on 8 January. The Blues secured victory over Newcastle United but were beaten 2-0 by Arsenal on Saturday.
Christian is well aware, however, that form goes out the window in games with such high stakes - not least a London derby - and so he is expecting both sides to be going all out to make sure they are in next month's final.
“We know they’ve had a bit of a tough time in the league, but everyone does,” he added. “Everyone goes through tough periods in the league and we've had a few blows with injuries, but everyone in the squad is trying to do their job.
“Both teams want to go to the final. This is the second game and the decisive game of getting to that final to win a trophy, so why wouldn’t you go all in and try to compete as best you can? Then in the final you never know, but first, you have to get through the semis.”