We're on our way to Wembley! Match report and debrief
Spurs 2-0 Brentford
Tue 05 January 2021, 21:50|Tottenham Hotspur
We will compete in our ninth League Cup final later this season after goals from Moussa Sissoko and Heung-Min Son saw us negotiate our way past Brentford in the Carabao Cup semi-final at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday evening.
Sissoko produced a man of the match performance in midfield, setting us on our way with an early opener – his first goal in 36 appearances since netting against Burnley in December, 2019 – before Son wrapped the game up in the 70th minute to book our place at Wembley Stadium on 25 April.
The Bees came into the game on the back of a 16-match unbeaten run and had knocked out four Premier League teams – Southampton, Fulham, West Brom and Newcastle – but we made sure we didn’t become the fifth, taking the lead in the 12th minute. Neat build-up play from right to left saw Eric Dier knock it wide to Sergio Reguilon who delivered a superb cross which Sissoko, unmarked eight yards out, headed into the top corner.
There weren’t too many other chances in the first period, David Raya clawing out a Lucas Moura header which had deflected off the head of Bees’ striker Ivan Toney, and we led at the break but had a let-off on 63 minutes when Toney headed home from close range, only for VAR to rule it out for a marginal offside.
We took full advantage though, doubling our lead 20 minutes from time with a delightful goal from Son, as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Harry Kane and Tanguy Ndombele combined, with the latter sliding the perfect pass for Son to run onto, skipping away from Henrik Dalsgaard’s challenge and finishing clinically past Raya.
That ended any hopes of a Brentford comeback and the visitors were further hindered when Josh Dasilva was given a straight red card for a challenge on Hojbjerg with six minutes remaining after referee Mike Dean had consulted the pitchside monitor and we saw out the remaining minutes without any trouble to reach the final.
Spurs are on their way to Wembley!
Unlucky not to be a Premier League side after losing the Championship play-off final to Fulham last season, Brentford were every bit as difficult an opponent as we expected, but we produced a professional performance to get the job done and scored the goals at crucial times in the game.
Sissoko couldn’t believe his luck to find so much space in the Bees’ penalty area to convert Reguilon’s excellent cross to put us ahead and that gave us the foundation to build on. Son brought a good save out of Raya with an 18-yard drive shortly after and then showed just what an excellent team player he is at the other end of the pitch, throwing himself into the path of the ball to block Dasilva’s fierce drive. There weren’t too many chances in the first period, which ended with Raya getting a strong hand to prevent Lucas’ deflected header from looping in.
Brentford showed more attacking intent after the break and we were grateful to the alert Serge Aurier four minutes after the restart, as he spotted the danger after Bryan Mbeumo’s cut-back fell to Toney but Aurier stuck out a leg to deny the Bees’ striker from close range. Son’s side-footed volley from Sissoko’s cross on the hour mark drifted just past the post as we looked for a second goal, but thought we had been pegged back when Ethan Pinnock nodded a corner back into the six-yard box and Toney headed home. Thankfully, he was just offside.
And seven minutes later, Son showed typical composure when through on goal to make it 2-0 and that was a big moment as it took the sting out of the Bees. It was almost three shortly after, Hojbjerg’s free-kick catching the Brentford defence napping but Raya was out quickly to save from Kane, before Ndombele smacked a shot against the outside of the post from a tight angle.
At the other end we weren’t duly troubled in the closing stages, Lloris gathering an Emiliano Marcondes corner right on his goal-line the only real danger. And when the whistle blew, there was only one song to play over the PA system… ‘Spurs are on their way to Wembley!’
Tuesday represented the 16th League Cup semi-final in our history – a stage we have now progressed past in nine attempts, including on all four occasions in which we have faced lower league opposition.
We will now make a return to Wembley Stadium, where we played our home games for almost two seasons from 2017-19 while our new stadium was taking shape in N17. We play the winner of the other semi-final between Manchester City and Manchester United, who face off on Wednesday evening.
Our team news saw Jose Mourinho make five changes from the weekend's win over Leeds – Aurier, Davinson Sanchez, Reguilon, Sissoko and Lucas came in for Matt Doherty (suspended), Toby Alderweireld, Ben Davies, Harry Winks and Steven Bergwijn.
Reaction on Spurs TV
'Semi-finals are there to win'
Reflecting on how the match panned out, Jose told us: "It was not brilliant when we had the ball, we have to do better, but we were very solid, defensively we were very compact, the offside goal comes from a throw in and I always say when the ball is in the air, you cannot press, there is no pressing when the ball is in the air. Big guys, three giants, difficult second ball, we were lucky that was offside.
"Apart from that, we were in good control. They had one penetration in the box where Davinson Sanchez was very clever not to touch the opponent, and the opponent was fair, because some other guys would get that penalty. Apart from that we were always in control, didn’t play very well with the ball. We have to have more quality in the first touch, the decisions, sometimes we play backwards when we have open lines to play in front and into the pockets. We have to do better, but semi-finals are there to win, not to play beautifully."
Spurs 2-0 Brentford
Spurs (4-2-3-1): Lloris (c), Aurier, Sanchez, Dier, Reguilon (Davies 71), Hojbjerg (Tanganga 86), Sissoko, Lucas (Winks 71), Ndombele, Son (Vinicius 89), Kane. Substitutes (not used): Hart, Alderweireld, White, Dele, Bergwijn.
Brentford (4-3-3): Raya, Dalsgaard (c), Pinnock, Sorensen, Henry, Dasilva, Janelt (Emiliano 74), Jensen, Mbeumo (Forss 81), Toney, Canos (Fosu 74). Substitutes (not used): Daniels, Ghoddos, Roerslev, Stevens, Gilbert, Haygarth.
Goals: Spurs – Sissoko 12, Son 70.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Reguilon; Brentford – Canos, Janelt, Mbuemo.
Red card: Brentford - Dasilva.
Referee: Mike Dean.
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Weather: Gentle breeze, three degrees.