EFL Cup - Quarter-Final
ArsenalArsenal0TottenhamTottenham Hotspur2

Arsenal 0-2 Tottenham: Spurs reach Carabao Cup semi-finals

By Emma SandersBBC Sport
Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli
Tottenham's Dele Alli has scored one and assisted two in three Carabao Cup appearances this season

Goals from Son Heung-min and Dele Alli gave Tottenham victory over bitter rivals Arsenal and secured a two-legged Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea.

Son pounced on Alli's smart ball over the top to put Spurs in front after just 20 minutes at the Emirates.

Alli then coolly chipped it over keeper Petr Cech with the outside of his boot in the second half to make it 2-0.

The England midfielder was then hit on the head by a plastic bottle thrown from the crowd shortly after that goal.

It was a heated atmosphere at what was the second north London derby in 18 days; victory ensured Spurs made the last four for the first time since 2014-15.

Back then, they went on to the final and were beaten by Chelsea - their semi-final opponents this time around.

Spurs will be at home in the first leg, scheduled for the week commencing 7 January, with the return at Stamford Bridge a fortnight later. Holders Manchester City will take on League One side Burton in the other semi-final.

Tottenham keeper Paulo Gazzaniga made two good saves in the first half of Wednesday's quarter-final - denying Henrikh Mkhitaryan from close range and later tipping Aaron Ramsey's volley on to the post.

In the second half, Alexandre Lacazette hit the post and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's cross curled onto the top of the crossbar before Christian Eriksen's fizzing shot was saved by Cech.

Arsenal had not lost back-to-back matches prior to this defeat since they were beaten by Manchester City and Chelsea in the Premier League back in August.

Spurs rotation pays off

Mauricio Pochettino's decision to make four changes and leave Harry Kane out of the starting line-up paid off.

Son, Kane's replacement, caused problems in the first half and made his mark, scoring after just 20 minutes to make Tottenham's possession count.

The South Korean striker has now scored three goals in as many appearances in the League Cup this season.

When Kane was eventually introduced after 57 minutes - for his first appearance in the competition since September 2015 - he made an instant impact, setting up Alli with a perfectly weighted ball over the top.

The ability to rest and rotate will aid Tottenham in a busy festive period, which will see them play four matches in 10 days.

Tottenham striker Son Heung-min
Tottenham striker Son Heung-min earned a penalty against Arsenal in their league defeat on 2 December

'A step backwards for Arsenal' - analysis

Former Aston Villa striker Dion Dublin on BBC Radio 5 live:

Arsenal might be taking a step backwards based on this performance. It feels like the same old Arsenal - no backbone.

I thought they'd got out of this zone they've been in for a long time where they didn't have the backbone, with the hard-working players putting their head in where it hurts. Of late, they've been outstanding. But this game tonight makes me think: 'Don't take a step backwards.'

Arsenal looked a bit tired, a bit leggy. They created decent chances but weren't clinical. Spurs were men. Big, strong men who stood up to be counted in the derby. Arsenal were slightly spineless.

Spurs deserve to be in the last four.

'A very difficult draw' - what they said

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino: "It is a very difficult draw, another London derby [in the semi-finals against Chelsea]. We have already played Watford, West Ham and Arsenal.

"We shall see. Chelsea are a great team but we are excited. To be in the semi-final is fantastic for us.

"I am very pleased. The most important thing was to play well and win the game [against Arsenal]. We deserved it. We kept a clean sheet here after a very busy period.

Tottenham's Dele Alli on being hit by a plastic bottle: "It is what it is. It made the goal even sweeter, and the win. We knew how important it was - a big test. It was a strong performance in the end."

Son making his mark - the best of the stats

  • Arsenal have been eliminated from the League Cup by Spurs for the first time since 2008, the season in which Spurs went on to win the competition (2-1 against Chelsea in the final).
  • This was just Spurs' second win against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium in all competitions (D5 L10), and their first since November 2010 (3-2 in the Premier League).
  • Arsenal have lost back-to-back games in all competitions for the first time since August, in what were Unai Emery's first two competitive games in charge.
  • This was the 14th meeting between Arsenal and Spurs in the League Cup; the joint-most played fixture in competition history (with Arsenal v Liverpool).
  • Paulo Gazzaniga is the first Spurs goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet away at Arsenal in any competition since November 1998, when Espen Baardsen did so at Highbury.
  • Alli was directly involved in both of Spurs' goals (one goal and one assist), as many as he had been in his previous seven games against Arsenal combined (two).
  • Son Heung-min has had a hand in five of Spurs' last nine goals in the League Cup (three goals and two assists).

Line-ups

Arsenal

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Cech
  • 15Maitland-Niles
  • 5Papastathopoulos
  • 34XhakaBooked at 77mins
  • 18Monreal
  • 29GuendouziBooked at 45minsSubstituted forNketiahat 65'minutes
  • 11Torreira
  • 7MkhitaryanSubstituted forKoscielnyat 45'minutes
  • 8Ramsey
  • 17IwobiSubstituted forLacazetteat 58'minutes
  • 14Aubameyang

Substitutes

  • 4Elneny
  • 6Koscielny
  • 9Lacazette
  • 12Lichtsteiner
  • 26Martínez
  • 49Nketiah
  • 59Willock

Tottenham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 22Gazzaniga
  • 2Trippier
  • 4Alderweireld
  • 33Davies
  • 3Rose
  • 17Sissoko
  • 8Winks
  • 27Lucas MouraSubstituted forKaneat 58'minutes
  • 20AlliBooked at 85mins
  • 23EriksenBooked at 90mins
  • 7Son Heung-MinSubstituted forLamelaat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Kane
  • 11Lamela
  • 13Vorm
  • 16Walker-Peters
  • 18Llorente
  • 21Foyth
  • 52Skipp
Referee:
Jonathan Moss
Attendance:
59,016

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamTottenham
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home14
Away9
Shots on Target
Home2
Away3
Corners
Home7
Away3
Fouls
Home12
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Arsenal 0, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Arsenal 0, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lucas Torreira (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Granit Xhaka following a set piece situation.

  4. Booking

    Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card.

  5. Post update

    Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham Hotspur).

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Kieran Trippier.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal).

  9. Post update

    Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Post update

    Nacho Monreal (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur).

  12. Post update

    Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur).

  14. Booking

    Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card.

  15. Post update

    Offside, Tottenham Hotspur. Erik Lamela tries a through ball, but Dele Alli is caught offside.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Petr Cech.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Harry Kane.

  18. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  19. Post update

    Delay in match Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal) because of an injury.

  20. Post update

    Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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