Tottenham have moved on to two wins since their first big trophy since 2008 after seeing off Championship Stoke City in the Carabao Cup.
Gareth Bale’s third goal since returning on loan from Real Madrid saw Jose Mourinho take the lead, the Wales striker beating Andy Lonergan with a header from Harry Winks ’beautiful delivery.
The Spurs were dominant and should have scored more before halftime, but Lonergan, part of Liverpool’s title-winning title last season, saved well twice by denying Dele Alli as well as Harry Kane.
Stoke were much better after the interval and equalized with the first shot on target when Jacob Brown picked up Jordan Thompson to finish Hugo Lloris in a controlled manner.
But 25-yard Ben Davies threw out of action and secured the Spurs a return to the lead before Kane hit his team’s third goal.
Tottenham have joined Manchester City and Championship Brentford in the semi-final draw after the fourth and final quarter-final draw between Everton and Manchester United (starting at 20:00 GMT) on Wednesday.
The Spurs get the job done
Thirteen months after Mourinho’s appointment, the Spurs are at a touching distance from a long-late trophy after doing their job on a wet and windy night in the Pottery.
They were scared when Thompson equalized, but their quality saw them across the line as they returned to winning after losing first place in the Premier League.
Mourinho, who wanted to win the cup for the fifth time with a third different club after three triumphs at Chelsea and one with Manchester United, made seven changes, but showed how seriously he evaluates the competition by launching like Kane and Lloris.
Bale put them on the road as he scored in consecutive appearances in the competition eight years and 53 days apart, and his previous goal came against Norwich in October 2012.
The equalizer would be over before halftime, but for Lonergan.
But the Spurs accelerated their pace after receiving thanks to Davies ’first goal since September 2017, finishing a series of 111 goalless games in all competitions, before Kane’s 16th goal of the season following the addition of Mousse Sissok.
After three games without a win, this was a welcome return to winning ways, but Mourinho will not be pleased until both hands win the trophy.
Lonergan shines, but without reward
This was one of Stoke’s biggest games since losing a place in the Premier League in 2018, but they failed to deliver a single shot in the first 45 minutes.
Michael O’Neill’s team was much better after the half and scored a fine equalizer before being annulled by the quality of the guests.
O’Neill, who was without three guards due to injury and another who was tied to the cup, provided Lonergan with his first competitive game since March 2019.
Lonergan impressed while the Spurs in the first half threatened to take away the equalizer from the hosts.
O’Neill made it clear before the kick-off that a winning promotion to the top of the club is the top priority.
After finishing 15th in the championship last season, Stoke seems to be moving in the right direction and is currently sitting seventh in the table.
They will be hoping for more nights like this in the near future as they push for a return to the Premier League.
Another semifinal for Mourinho – statistics
- Jose Mourinho reached the semifinals of this competition for the fifth time, winning it on each of the previous four occasions in which his sides reached this stage (2004-05, 2006-07, 2014-15 and 2016-17).
- The Spurs reached the semifinals for the second time in the last three seasons, only to eventually be knocked out by Chelsea in the 2018-19 season.
- Stoke have lost each of the last six matches against the Spurs in all competitions, which is their worst ongoing defeat in a fight against either side.
- Jordan Thompson scored his first goal in 42 appearances in all competitions.
- Ben Davies has scored his first goal for Tottenham since September 2017 against Huddersfield, finishing a series of 111 goalless games in all competitions.
- Spurs striker Harry Kane has scored 10 goals in 11 games against Stoke in all competitions, making the Potters the 5th team against which he has scored a double-digit score in his club career.
Stoke returns to the championship on Saturday when they travel against Coventry City (15:00 GMT), while the Spurs have an extra day to prepare for Sunday’s Premier League game at Wolverhampton Wanderers (19:15).
Detachment number28Player nameLonergan
Detachment number21Player nameFletcher
Detachment number34Player nameThompson
Detachment number9Player nameVokes
Detachment number25Player namePowell
Detachment number18Player nameBrown
Detachment number6Player nameBatth
Detachment number24Player nameRelatives
Detachment number14Player nameSmith
Detachment number3Player nameFox
Detachment number20Player nameOakley-Boothe
Detachment number36Player nameSouttar
Detachment number37Player nameCollins
Detachment number11Player nameMcClean
Even more to follow
- 37CollinsBooked in 30 minutes
- 3FoxReplaced byFletcheru 34 ‘minutes
- 20Oakley-BootheReplaced byVokesu 79 ‘minutes
- 18BrownReplaced byPowellu 71 ‘minutes
- 40Nna Noukeu
- 6D Sánchez
- 8He winks
- 9BaleReplaced bySon Heung-Minu 45 ‘minutes
- 20AlliReplaced byLamelau 66 ‘minutes
- 27Lucas MouraReplaced bySissokou 66 ‘minutes
- 7Son Heung-Min
- 45Alves Morais
The match ends, Stoke City 1, Tottenham Hotspur 3.
End of second half, Stoke City 1, Tottenham Hotspur 3.
Try saved. Sam Vokes (Stoke City) shot with his right foot from a heavy angle, and the distance on the left was preserved in the lower left corner. Assisted by Nick Powell.
Attempted miss Tommy Smith (Stoke City) shoots from the right side outside the penalty area, misses from the right. Steven Fletcher assisted with a header.
Attempt blocked. Steven Fletcher (Stoke City) is blocked by a header. Assisted by Tommy Smith Cross.
Harry Kane offense (Tottenham Hotspur).
Jordan Cousins (Stoke City) takes the free-kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) gets in a shot on the left of the goal. Assisted by Son Heung-Min.
Foul by Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur).
Nick Powell (Stoke City) takes the free-kick in the defensive half.
Try saved. Danny Batth (Stoke City) head to the left of the box is preserved in the upper left corner. Assisted by Harry Souttar.
Steven Fletcher (Stoke City) misses with his head from the middle of the penalty area. He was assisted by Tommy Smith, a cross after a set-set situation.
Foul by Erika Lamele (Tottenham Hotspur).
Jordan Cousins (Stoke City) takes the free-kick.
Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur) takes the free-kick on the right wing.
Offense by Nick Powell (Stoke City).
Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur) takes the free-kick.
Danny Batth (Stoke City) offense.
Goal! Stoke City 1, Tottenham Hotspur 3. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) kicked his right foot from the right side of the penalty area into the high center of the goal. Assisted by Moussa Sissoko.
Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Courtesy of Harry Souttar.