Tottenham Hotspur had to resist plenty of pressure to see off West Ham and earn a 2-1 win to book their place in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup.
West Ham had more possession and shots, but the statistic that really mattered went in Tottenham’s favour. Goals from Steven Bergwijn – making his first start under Antonio Conte – and Lucas Moura, either side of a Jarrod Bowen effort, sealed the victory for last season’s beaten finalists.
Tottenham had a lot of the early possession and the first chance when Bergwijn’s shot deflected off Craig Dawson and behind for a corner. Nothing of note resulted from the set piece.
A clearer sight of goal came when Moura played an incredible through ball for Harry Kane. The striker shot from a wide angle, forcing a save from Alphonse Areola.
As the half-hour mark approached, Tottenham took the lead. Cleverly working a set piece to Bergwijn with his back to goal, the Dutchman played a one-two in the box with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg before a comfortable finish from close range.
West Ham nearly hit back almost instantly. Nikola Vlasic floated a cross in for Tomas Soucek, whose header was impressively clawed away by Hugo Lloris.
After a development from the resulting corner, the Spurs goalkeeper denied the Czech star once again with another tip over the bar.
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Pressure was building and West Ham equalised in the 32nd minute. Spurs were caught playing out from the back and were duly punished when Vlasic picked out Bowen. The attacker swivelled to beat Eric Dier before firing home.
Tottenham quickly regain lead with eventual winner
Yet Tottenham hit back just as quickly as West Ham had to them. They regained their lead when Bergwijn skilfully drove into the box before squaring for Moura, who provided the finish.
At the other end, West Ham went close again when Soucek arrived at the far post, only for Oliver Skipp to put in a crucial challenge to deny him a tap-in.
The last chance of the half was Tottenham’s, when Kane tried again from a tight angle. Areola pushed his deceptive effort away.
West Ham had more possession in the first exchanges after the restart. An Arthur Masuaku cross almost caused danger, but Tottenham managed to thwart the lurking Bowen in the box.
Lloris then came to Spurs’ rescue again when he reached out his hand to intervene when Bowen was trying to find room for a shot.
Conte took off both his goalscorers just after the hour mark. Son Heung-min and Harry Winks came on to replace Bergwijn and Moura.
West Ham responded with a double change of their own as they kept pushing for a second equaliser. Said Benrahma and Pablo Fornals were introduced in place of Vlasic and Manuel Lanzini.
Benrahma tried to influence things immediately with a swivel and shot. However, his ambitious effort flew over the bar.
The Algerian tried his luck again as the game entered its final 10 minutes. A powerful effort had Lloris worried, but went wide in the end.
The away team were upping the pressure as they sought the goal that would take them to a penalty shootout. However, it never came.
Their wait for a trophy will go on, while Tottenham will be hoping to go one better than they did last year, even if some hurdles still remain.