Bergwijn and Lucas fire us into Carabao Cup semi-finals - report and reaction
Spurs 2-1 West Ham United
Wed 22 December 2021, 21:45|Tottenham Hotspur
We marched on into the Carabao Cup semi-finals for the second successive year as goals from Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura fired us to victory over West Ham United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Wednesday evening.
After a relatively quiet contest in terms of chances, the game exploded into life just before the half-hour mark with all three goals coming in a five-minute spell. We struck first on 29 minutes when Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Bergwijn combined superbly for the Dutch international forward to open the scoring, but the Hammers hit back three minutes later, Jarrod Bowen turning in the box and converting past Hugo Lloris.
Just two minutes further on, we regained the lead when Bergwijn broke into the area and crossed for Lucas to tuck home past Alphonse Areola.
The second half was a much more tactical affair with very few chances, the Hammers enjoying plenty of possession but mostly in front of us as we kept things tight, the biggest scare coming deep into stoppage time when Andriy Yarmolenko’s deflected shot hit the crossbar.
First-half flurry settles the issue
This was the 11th League Cup meeting between the two sides and it was all square at four wins apiece before kick-off, but we edged ahead after this narrow victory which was earned following the first-half goals.
Not a lot had happened in the game bar a Harry Kane drive after Lucas curled a superb ball behind the Hammers defence which the England striker hit first-time left-footed, Areola diving to his left to push clear. That was on 12 minutes and apart from a typical London derby battle, there wasn’t much else to shout about until the 29th minute when the goals suddenly flowed. It was a lovely move to open the scoring, Hojbjerg clipping a ball in to Bergwijn who held it up, laid into the path of the Dane who followed his pass into the box and then squared for Bergwijn to prod into the far corner.
The response from the Hammers was impressive though as they created three chances in succession even before equalising on 32 minutes. Lloris twice tipped over Tomas Soucek headers before Craig Dawson headed a corner just over the bar and then they levelled. Eric Dier’s pass out went straight to Declan Rice who swiftly found Manuel Lanzini, his shot was going well wide of goal but landed at the feet of Bowen who turned Dier and fired past Lloris.
Back we came, scoring what would prove to be the winner just two minutes later. Bergwijn was the architect, taking possession on the right corner of the box before skipping past two defenders and rolling the ball across the six-yard box for Lucas to prod home.
It was all happening and the visitors almost drew level again on 36 minutes when Lanzini’s cross to the back post looked like it was going to find Soucek but Skipp did superbly well to slide in and put the ball behind for a corner.
Having got the lead in the first half, the second period ended up being about holding on to it and we did so with an element of comfort despite the visitors dominating possession. They had a chance on 58 minutes when Nikola Vlasic played a ball over the top which Bowen got to first and advanced into the box, went past Ben Davies but Lloris was well off his line and dived in to pinch the ball as the forward went to shoot.
At the other end, Oliver Skipp played in substitute Heung-Min Son in the 74th minute but he mis-controlled and Issa Diop was able to close down the chance, before Said Benrahma had a couple of shots, the first straight at Lloris and the second bouncing just past the far post. The remainder of the game saw us stay focussed defensively and we saw it out with the minimum of fuss even if the tension was palpable inside the stadium!
As for the team news, Antonio Conte made six changes from the weekend's draw with Liverpool as Matt Doherty, Sergio Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Skipp, Lucas and Bergwijn came in for Emerson Royal, Ryan Sessegnon, Harry Winks, Tanguy Ndombele, Dele and Son.
Reaction on Spurs TV
'You have to be prepared to suffer'
Antonio told Spurs TV after the final whistle: "It was a tough game, but we know this very well. West Ham are a really good team, a strong team physically. We had chances to score and go 3-1 up, but when you keep the result at 2-1 until the end, you have to be prepared to suffer. We know if we want something, we will have to work together and sometimes to suffer."
On Bergwijn's goal and assist on his return to the starting line-up, Antonio added: "He deserved this chance to play, he played a good game, scored and made an assist. He was good but I think he has the potential to improve and to be better."
Highlights on Spurs TV
Spurs 2-1 West Ham United
Spurs (3-4-3): Lloris (c), Sanchez, Dier, Davies, Doherty (Tanganga 83), Skipp (Dele 77), Hojbjerg, Reguilon (Royal 83), Lucas (Winks 61), Kane, Bergwijn (Son 61). Substitutes (not used): Gollini, Rodon, Lo Celso, Ndombele.
West Ham (3-4-3): Areola, Johnson, Dawson, Diop, Ashby (Yarmolenko 80), Rice (c), Soucek, Masuaku, Vlasic (Benrahma 68), Bowen, Lanzini (Fornals 68). Substitutes (not used): Randolph, Baptiste, Alese, Fredericks, Kral, Noble.
Goals: Spurs – Bergwijn 29, Lucas 34; West Ham – Bowen 32.
Yellow card: West Ham - Bowen.
Referee: Chris Kavanagh.
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Weather: Partly cloudy, light winds, four degrees.