Wednesday 23rd January 2002, 8.05pm

League Cup Semi Final, 2nd Leg, White Hart Lane

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 5

 (Iversen 2, Sherwood 33, Sheringham 50, Davies 76, Rebrov 87)

Sullivan

King
Perry
Gardner
Davies
Sherwood
Poyet
 (Leonhardsen 83)
Anderton
Taricco
Sheringham
Iversen  (Rebrov 83)

Subs not used: Kelly, Thelwell, Etherington

CHELSEA 1  (Forsell 90)

Carlo Cudicini, Marcel Desailly, William Gallas, John Terry, Mario Melchiot (Gianfranco Zola, 70), Emmanuel Petit (Mikael Forssell, 66), Mario Stanic, Boudewijn Zenden (Sam Dalla Bona, 11), Frank Lampard, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Eidur Gudjohnsen

Subs: Ed de Goey, Albert Ferrer, Sam Dalla Bona, Gianfranco Zola, Mikael Forssell

Referee: - M Halsey

Attendance: - 36,100

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR win 6-3 on aggregate

How do you begin to describe an occasion as wonderful as this? Absolutely fantastic – burning with a mixture of pride and delight. It was like all the dreams we had dreamed over the last 14 days had suddenly become a reality. A great feeling & while it was nice to finally dump the hoodoo, the most important thing is that it’s Tottenham Hotspur in the final in a style befitting of the Tottenham way, glorious football and a few goals.

After the first leg I felt confident we had a decent chance, but over the days in between – Chelsea finishing the match strongly and going on to good wins while we continued our modest form in the league – my confidence became tempered with a dose of the enormity of the task ahead based upon our recent record against them.

The Chelsea fans were their usual cocky selves at work & I straight batted all their taunts with a silent dignity sustained by thoughts of Sheringham celebrating the winner against them. All through the day on the message board & arriving at the Lane tonight, you could feel that everyone was up for it – spurred on by Hoddle’s request for a famous night of noise from the fans. Coming out from behind the Shelf, the ground was buzzing with that special “evening cup tie” feel Hoddle wanted and that has made for some great nights at the Lane, especially in Europe.

Our chances were not helped by the absence of Sir Les who adorned the cover of the programme, but with Iversen as cover we still had a decent line up and when I saw the Chelsea line up of clapped out oldies and ponces, a team long on reputation and short on desire, my confidence started to grow.

I also noted that two of the father’s of the Chelsea players had played and lost important cup games at the Lane. Cudicini’s old man, also a keeper, could do nothing with a couple of great Perryman strikes in the 1972 UEFA cup Semi Final against AC Milan which Spurs won 2-1 at the Lane (3-2 on agg) while Gudjohnson’s old man obligingly missed a penalty in the shoot out during the 1984 UEFA cup final against Anderlecht, and again walked away from the Lane beaten.

The crowd started to get in full swing as the captains went to the middle, urged on Shelfside by the born again Sherwood running along waving his arms getting everyone going. Sheringham chose to attack the Park Lane in the first half and on a cold and rainy evening in N17 the scene was set for one of the greatest matches in the ground’s 102 year history. The crowd had not settled into the game when a diagonal ball from Ledley King into Sheringham in the middle was dummied by the great man, which also by passed Iversen, and the ball ran out to Treacle who’d bombed up the left hand side. Treacle, goalless in 80 odd matches for Spurs took the ball on before hitting a good low shot that Cudicini did well to get a hand to low down to his left. The ball broke to Terry, but rather than clearing, the “future England Captain for the next ten years” Bates– ha ha stood Vega-esque as Iversen nipped in and poked the ball home to send the Spurs crowd wild. A great start and it was going to get better and better.

Spurs dominated the opening exchanges – buoyed by the goal, which levelled the tie on aggregate and a fantastic level of support from the home crowd. Sheringham was a Spurs fan as a kid, and the challenge he put in on Zenden was 100% Graham Roberts, who must surely have been one of his early heroes. Sheringham chased a cleared ball from a corner and went in full throttle winning the ball and clattering Zenden and leaving him in such a mess that he had to be carted off and replaced by Dalla Bona. This challenge along with one Treacle did on Stanic and a couple of Sherwood specials set the tone for the match. We had a team hungry for success, whereas they had a load of old over paid ponces, who did n’t seem to fancy the scrap.

At this stage Spurs were all over them – and from an Anderton corner from the left, Ledley nearly repeated the goal Dean Richards scored against Blackburn when a near post flick went very close to either a Spurs or Chelsea player nudging it home.

Chelsea’s first chance was from a 30-yard free kick. Thoughts turned to the first leg as Hasawank stood over the ball, but Treacle who was having an inspired match got a good block in and Spurs came away with the ball – much to the frustration of the cheatin Cloggie hitman.

As the game approached the half hour mark – the initial dominance of Spurs had begun to wane a little with Chelsea winning more of the ball in midfield and gradually getting back into it without ever really threatening Sully. With Spurs pressed back for a bit it was a relief to see Spurs get up the other end, and Poyet forced Cudicini into a fine tip over save from a stretching 20-yard half volley.

From the corner – Spurs tried a “Sheringham corner”, but with all Chelsea eyes on Teddy, Sherwood stole in behind him to hit a fantastic shot right into the top corner. A well worked manoeuvre that they gave a test run to at Coventry. Easily his best goal for Spurs and one of the goals of the season which capped a fine display by Timmah & I can only offer a humble and grovelling apology for the disrespectful things I called Sherwood in the past when he seemed less than committed or able. As well as Freund was playing; his injury has allowed the Sherwood/Anderton partnership to flourish in midfield and this was one of the decisive features of tonight’s win. Without the injury, Timmah could be playing his football for Rangers but now has a chance to get that League Cup winners medal he missed out on in 1999, this time against the Club that cup tied him that year.

2-0 up, Tottenham playing brilliantly & the crowd going mad - the game began to take on a dream like quality.

Chelsea had one or two moments as the half drew to a close but nothing Sully or the back three superbly marshalled by Mr Ed, who dropped a little deeper than the others and used his experience well to deal with the increasingly frustrated Hasawank and Gudjohnson.

2-0 at half time – I’m sure every Spurs supporter would have settled for that & while no one was getting carried away – with a few moments of contemplation Cardiff seemed almost within touching distance & I commented we needed to get the next goal as they kicked off, and fortunately I was not to be disappointed.

Shaggy, who along with Sherwood covered every blade of grass on the pitch, was again involved. This time popping up on the left and sending over a fine cross which Poyet with his back to goal, chested back to Sheringham on the edge of the D. Our Captain did not let us down, smashing a brilliant shot beyond Cudicini sending us further into dreamland: 3-0 on the night, 4-2 on aggregate. Fantastic scenes of joy all around.

Chelsea looked fucked at this stage and there did not seem anyway they could get back into it, but with such dangerous strikers and with the Man U collapse fresh in our minds, we needed to be vigilant but on 55 minutes we got the break which finally killed off Chelsea.

A melee after a corner involved Sully, who minutes before had managed a sly kick at Hasawank when collecting a routine ball. Hasawank gave Sully loads a verbal after and Sully took no notice, but with this incident fresh in his mind, Hasawank started a confrontation with Sully and Sheringham and it seemed a punch was thrown at Ted. The referee stepped in very quickly and issued a red card to Hasawank who was livid as it was old skinny legs Melchiot who threw the punch. Hasawank protested for ages but eventually fucked off and Sheringham got booked trying to point out to the ref he sent the wrong man off.

This is justice for Hasawank who apart from being a fine goalscorer is a nasty, dirty cheat & if there was ever payback time for that dive that won him a penalty in the League game in September, this was it & the good lord finally looking down favourably on us. This one is also for the piece of shit who put a picture of Hasawank scoring that disputed penalty on the front of the programme for the first leg and for those snide comments about all of our players in the review (not to mention the Spurs team that were cheated by the goal from an indirect free kick in the 72 Semi Final). This one’s for Terry Naylor et al - Up yours!

With Hasawank gone, 3-0 up with half an hour to play – it seemed like we were almost home and dry. Spurs used the extra man very well and more often than not, Davies was left in acres of space on the right. He managed to fashion a chance for Poyet and had his own 20 yarder scrambled away by Cudicini, before setting up Iversen for a straightforward header, which he really should have scored from – and the enigma of Iversen remains.

With 15 minutes to go, a Spurs move down the left was moved infield. Down the right Davies was flying into acres of space and as the crowd screamed for Anderton to get the ball to him, not only did he do that he played a perfect pass which had Davies in on goal. Davies showed a good first touch and chose to hit the ball to the near post, low to Cudicini’s left. The ball hit the post before going over the line & this really was dream time and when Davies has a chance like that more often than not we are celebrating a goal – a great player already and a fine prospect for the decade to come.

Rebrov replaced Iversen and Leo came on for Poyet, who gave a leap and a punch of the air as he left the field – much to the delight of the Spurs fans, and the disgust of the 20 or so Chelsea fans that had remained.

A Sheringham pass allowed the subs to combine for our fifth goal, with Leo going to the lefthandside by-line before hitting over a good cross which Rebrov tucked away for a simple goal – who could have predicted 5 Spurs goals.

Most of the Chelsea “fans” had left with about 20 minutes to go, with the fourth and fifth goals removing even more, but they would have missed a fine run and shot from 25 yards from Forsell which curled into the corner giving Sully no chance. Who cares – we were on our way to Cardiff, and Spurs fans mockingly applauded the goal, as there were so few Chelsea left to do it.

Near the end there was a classic moment from Anderton. Spurs had a throw down below me Shelfside and Anderton laughing and joking with the crowd, told the spurs supporter with the ball to throw it away to waste some time. The obliging fan did what he was told and got a thumbs up and a big grin from Anderton who was obviously loving every minute of it.

Leo could and probably should have made it six when put through one on one with the keeper, but despite beating him a couple of times he could not get a good look at goal and eventually they managed to clear. Six would have been nice, but 5-1 has a special ring to it already!

There was a great cheer at the final whistle, Treacle sank to his knees as he did for all the goals and Poyet came out with Sheringham to lead the celebrations. Sherwood threw his shirt into the lower shelf and the realisation that something special had happened was already evident. To cap a great night, as I came out of the shelf, I was a couple of yards behind the Drummer who was walking up Worcester Ave/Paxton Road and we sang along as he beat his drum in what was a great atmosphere.

So Spurs are on their way to Cardiff – Tottenham’s going to do it again. Not since the Jinking Jimmy Dimmock Final of 1921 have Spurs played a major domestic final away from Wembley (funnily enough we won that at Stamford Bridge). The cup run from Tranmere onwards has been about revenge. – Hoddle and Gorman going back up to Tranmere and winning 4-0 only months after that pile of shite he used to manage gave away a 3-0 lead to lose 4-3 to Tranmere in last years FA Cup. Next up it was Fulham, who got their arse kicked 2-1 on their own patch in revenge for the Goonersaurus 3-1 defeat back in 1999. This was soon followed by Bolton, who were sent back up the motorway with a 6-0 hiding that was at least some consolation for when the players gave up at Burnden Park for Mullethead back in 1996………and then there was the hiding of Chelsea. Now it will be getting one over on Spurs reject Sourness – in what will be a close match in the final.

But the final is for another day – tonight is all about rejoicing in our Tottenham – this is why we fought to remove the Goonersaurus & Sugarlump & we are revelling in having our Tottenham back and doing it the Tottenham way – COME ON YOU SPURS

The Word of Hod

"You can't ask for any more than that. We were magnificent and our finishing was clinical. Five different goalscorers says it all and that was after we lost our leading goalscorer, Les Ferdinand, before kick-off. I'm very proud of the performance and delighted for the supporters after 12 years of hardship against Chelsea.

"That was the way to nail the record to the mast. It's a great achievement tonight because of Chelsea and the record, but it's no good getting to the final unless we go on and win it."

Teddy Sheringham: "It was brilliant, very enjoyable. We set out in the right manner from the first minute, got at them, made it very difficult for them and very clinical with the chances as well."

Gus Poyet: "If you ask all the supporters everyone was looking for a win but even the most fanatical would have found it difficult to predict a 5-1 result. We all talked before the game and said this was the night to turn the history. I think we did magnificently. It's my first year here and a chance to win a final and get into Europe - it will be a very difficult final but we are there. It is the best result. If you ask people now, they will not forget this night. I said at the draw we now had four chances to beat Chelsea and we had to beat them. It's done now, it's history. We were 2-0 up at half-time and I said I wanted the second half to go in a flash! We played for each other, worked for each other and that was great. It is special for every Spurs supporter, every Spurs player. The crowd were magnificent, we needed that."

Ledley King: "I think that's the best team performance I've been involved in and it's a great achievement for us. We thought we played quite well away from home as well so we were always confident bringing them back here for the second leg. We were determined not to let the strikers turn because once they start running at you they cause all sorts of problems."

Mauricio Taricco: "We were confident. It was disappointing to lose to Chelsea already twice this season because we haven't played badly against them. We felt we had a good chance and we were going to give everything. The way I looked at it was we would go out there and give it all and put to rest the 12 years we haven't beaten them. And we did it in style. We wanted to beat Chelsea more than any other team in the Premiership and we did it."

Steffen Iversen: "It was brilliant, especially to beat Chelsea the way we did. Everyone was fighting for each other and it was unbelievable just to be out there. For myself, to get that goal was great and I felt great out there. The crowd was unbelievable, to score five goals was perfect and to beat Chelsea that way was fantastic."


Sullivan (8/10) – Did not have too much to do considering it was a semi, but did what he had to do well Gave Hasawank a sly kick for good measure & responded with a score line request from the Park Lane while Chelsea were attacking  - top bloke

Gardner (8/10) – Did not put a foot wrong and gave nothing away as well as using the ball well when coming forward. The bigger the game the better he plays & remains an outstanding talent

Perry (8/10) – Had a very solid match at the back and gave Chelsea nothing. Was a rock for his two young defenders either side and deserves his trip to the final

King (8/10) – A fine display – strong in defence and a threat going forward – what we expect from a Ledley King performance & he will surely be capped before the final.

Taricco (8/10) – A great match for the little bloke. Set the tone of the match by making the chance that gave us the first goal & gave Stanic a good going over in an early moments for good measure and played like a lion.

Davies (8/10) – Did his defensive stuff well, but was our major out ball in the second half finding plenty of space and scored the goal which ended all possible doubt about who was going to the final.

Anderton (9/10) – A tremendous performance from Shaggy who was everywhere, got involved and used the ball really well. Playing like this he is the man, and I feel especially happy for him tonight after all his previous semi final disappointment.

Sherwood (9/10) – It is hard to believe how much I loathed this bloke two weeks ago – crap performances, injuring Freund in training, leaking bad stuff to the press and the Gooner tattoos – but over the last 14 days has been absolutely brilliant – like having a new signing. He mixed it up in the middle, got his tackles and interceptions in, used the ball well and scored one of the best shots seen at the Lane for years from a “Sheringham corner routine” to set us on our way. On a night of heroes, he shaded the topspurs man of the match.

Poyet (8/10) – Against his old club, Poyet had one of his best games for us, and set up Sheringham for the crucial third with a lovely chest trap. Everyone will remember his jump for joy as he was going off the pitch to massive applause when he was subbed at 4-0.

Sheringham (9/10) – An outstanding display – accomplished football and a great motivational leadership, capped by a fine goal which put the seal on our victory.

Iversen (8/10) – Set us on our way with a fine piece of individualism in the first minute to get us level and had a good match in place of the injured Les

Subs:

Rebrov (8/10) – Doubled his usual 4 minutes, and used the time well to set the seal on the win with the final goal and did his bit at the end

Leonhardsen (8/10) – A fresh set of legs at the end and did well to set up Rebrov for the final goal and was unlucky not to score himself near the end.


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