EFL Cup - Semi-final
TottenhamTottenham Hotspur2BrentfordBrentford0

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Brentford: Jose Mourinho reaches Carabao Cup final

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Son Heung-min
Only team-mate Harry Kane (17) has scored more goals among Premier League players in all competitions this season than Son Heung-min (16 - level with Mohamed Salah)

Jose Mourinho said Tottenham Hotspur had been rewarded for taking the Carabao Cup seriously as they moved to within one game of a first trophy in 13 years with a semi-final win over Brentford.

Spurs have not claimed silverware since they beat Chelsea in the 2008 League Cup final and they were made to work hard before seeing off the Championship promotion chasers in this one-leg semi-final at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Mourinho has won the cup on four occasions and goals from Moussa Sissoko and Son Heung-min ensured he now has the chance to make that five, having become the third manager to reach the final with three different teams.

"I came to England in 2004 and I remember that in that period I had to learn the meaning of the cups here and I always took it seriously," he said.

"If there is any secret it's to take it seriously. To respect what English football is, what English clubs are, what English lower divisions are.

"That's what I hope to do on Sunday in Crosby against Marine [in the FA Cup]."

Brentford had beaten four Premier League sides in a run to their first major semi-final but they were behind after only 12 minutes when Sissoko headed Sergio Reguilon's cross beyond keeper David Raya.

Thomas Frank's side thought they had equalised after the hour when top scorer Ivan Toney headed in but the goal was ruled out for the most marginal of offsides when the striker was actually down on his haunches earlier in the move.

Spurs increased Brentford's sense of injustice when Son raced clear to add a second after 70 minutes before the visitors were reduced to 10 men following Josh Dasilva's foul on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

Mourinho's side will now meet either Manchester United or Manchester City the final at Wembley in April.

"If you see the winners you realise the big clubs want to win it," Mourinho said.

"Who was the last winner apart from the normal top six? Swansea? I remember Manchester City winning a lot of times, Chelsea winning a lot of times, I remember United winning a few times.

"I remember Liverpool in finals, Arsenal. The big clubs care about it."

Mourinho's familiar strategy for success

Mourinho makes it his business to win trophies - and this competition has always been a building block in his strategy for success.

He regards the EFL Cup as vital in not just making his mark at a new club but also in giving his players the confidence that comes with securing silverware.

Mourinho's first trophy, in his first season at Chelsea, was the 2005 League Cup. It was the first trophy of his second spell there too, as he won it in 2015. He then marked his first season at Manchester United by winning it again in 2017.

He believes that if this competition can end Spurs' long trophy drought, it can be the platform for bigger things. He wants to rid the club of their "nearly" tag, of a reputation for falling just short of success, as they did most recently in the 2019 Champions League final against Liverpool in Madrid.

Mourinho always takes the competition very seriously and rarely fields anything other than full-strength sides. If Spurs beat either Manchester United or Manchester City in the final on 25 April, that policy will be fully justified.

"What I sense in the team is that desire," he said. "I'm not saying a winning mentality, I'm not saying we are this or that.

"I just say we are honest people. Try to be serious, respect the opponents, and try to progress."

Mourinho 'not happy' despite semi-final win

Brentford play their part

This was ultimately a disappointment for Brentford in their first major semi-final but there is no doubt bigger things await this talented side assembled by manager Frank.

They were never outplayed at any stage of this semi-final and will certainly argue the merits or otherwise of the decision that saw Toney's goal ruled out, a VAR verdict that brought a rueful smile from their manager.

He has a positive, confident team and it is easy to see why Brentford lie fourth in the Championship and will be promotion contenders once more.

They look good to challenge again after missing out to Fulham in last season's Championship play-offs, and then selling striker Ollie Watkins to Aston Villa and winger Said Benrahma to West Ham.

Brentford have proved their pedigree by seeing off a top-flight quartet of Southampton, West Bromwich Albion, Fulham and Newcastle United in this competition - and while there is disappointment in defeat it will not dent their belief they can make a real tilt at reaching the Premier League.

'The game was under control'

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho, speaking to Sky Sports: "It's a game that takes us to a final at - probably, but I hope not - an empty Wembley but of course I'm very happy. We've had London derbies and other games but this is the match that took us to a final.

"The final is now in our pocket for three months. We have to wait for the final so we have to focus on what we have coming up. We have the FA Cup, the Premier League, the Europa League, so let's forget the final for now. But when April arrives, we have to be ready and to fight for the trophy.

"The game was always under control. They had the offside goal, when the ball goes in the air you cannot press the ball, you just have to try to get to the first and second ball."

Brentford boss Thomas Frank, speaking to Sky Sports: "First and foremost, I must say I'm very proud of my team.

"The first VAR decision, we were inches from equalising. It was an open game, we had a top attitude, we were brave and an equaliser wouldn't have been a totally unfair result against a world-class team.

"If you want to go to a final against a top team, you need the margins with you but then they show class to get a second and after that it was game over. We need to remember Tottenham are a good team."

Jose's record run - the stats

  • Tottenham have reached their ninth League/EFL Cup final (winning four) with only Liverpool appearing in more (12).
  • In all competitions, Brentford have never won an away match against Spurs in eight attempts (D2 L6), with their last win against them coming in March 1948 in a league match at Griffin Park.
  • Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho is just the third manager to reach the League/EFL Cup final with three different clubs (Chelsea, Manchester United, Spurs), after Ron Atkinson (Manchester United, Sheffield Wednesday, Aston Villa) and Ron Saunders (Norwich, Manchester City, Aston Villa).
  • Brentford lost for the first time in 17 games in all competitions (W9 D7), since a 2-3 league defeat by Stoke in October.
  • Moussa Sissoko netted his first goal in 37 appearances for Tottenham in all competitions, since scoring against Burnley in the Premier League in December 2019.
  • Sergio Reguilon registered his fourth assist for Tottenham this season in all competitions, a total only Harry Kane (14) and Son Heung-min (8) can better for the club.
  • Josh Dasilva's red card was Brentford's second in their past three away games in all competitions, as many as they picked up in their previous 35 on the road.

Player of the match

Son Heung-MinSon Heung-Min

with an average of 7.27

Tottenham Hotspur

  1. Squad number7Player nameSon Heung-Min
    Average rating

    7.27

  2. Squad number17Player nameSissoko
    Average rating

    7.01

  3. Squad number28Player nameNdombele
    Average rating

    6.73

  4. Squad number5Player nameHøjbjerg
    Average rating

    6.63

  5. Squad number10Player nameKane
    Average rating

    6.46

  6. Squad number3Player nameReguilón
    Average rating

    6.41

  7. Squad number1Player nameLloris
    Average rating

    6.24

  8. Squad number8Player nameWinks
    Average rating

    6.18

  9. Squad number15Player nameDier
    Average rating

    6.14

  10. Squad number33Player nameDavies
    Average rating

    6.13

  11. Squad number24Player nameAurier
    Average rating

    6.12

  12. Squad number45Player nameCarlos Vinicius
    Average rating

    6.02

  13. Squad number25Player nameTanganga
    Average rating

    6.02

  14. Squad number27Player nameLucas Moura
    Average rating

    5.92

  15. Squad number6Player nameD Sánchez
    Average rating

    5.80

Brentford

  1. Squad number17Player nameToney
    Average rating

    6.84

  2. Squad number1Player nameRaya
    Average rating

    6.67

  3. Squad number3Player nameHenry
    Average rating

    6.67

  4. Squad number19Player nameMbeumo
    Average rating

    6.45

  5. Squad number22Player nameDalsgaard
    Average rating

    6.33

  6. Squad number8Player nameJensen
    Average rating

    6.32

  7. Squad number29Player nameBech Sørensen
    Average rating

    6.30

  8. Squad number14Player nameJosh Dasilva
    Average rating

    6.29

  9. Squad number5Player namePinnock
    Average rating

    6.23

  10. Squad number7Player nameCanós
    Average rating

    6.23

  11. Squad number27Player nameJanelt
    Average rating

    6.22

  12. Squad number24Player nameFosu-Henry
    Average rating

    5.73

  13. Squad number9Player nameEmiliano Marcondes
    Average rating

    5.61

  14. Squad number15Player nameForss
    Average rating

    5.59

Line-ups

Tottenham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Lloris
  • 24Aurier
  • 6D Sánchez
  • 15Dier
  • 3ReguilónBooked at 52minsSubstituted forDaviesat 71'minutes
  • 17Sissoko
  • 5HøjbjergSubstituted forTangangaat 86'minutes
  • 27Lucas MouraSubstituted forWinksat 71'minutes
  • 28Ndombele
  • 7Son Heung-MinSubstituted forAlves Moraisat 89'minutes
  • 10Kane

Substitutes

  • 4Alderweireld
  • 8Winks
  • 12Hart
  • 20Alli
  • 23Bergwijn
  • 25Tanganga
  • 33Davies
  • 45Alves Morais
  • 48White

Brentford

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Raya
  • 22Dalsgaard
  • 5Pinnock
  • 29Bech Sørensen
  • 3Henry
  • 14DasilvaBooked at 84mins
  • 27JaneltBooked at 18minsSubstituted forMarcondesat 74'minutes
  • 8Jensen
  • 19MbeumoBooked at 51minsSubstituted forForssat 81'minutes
  • 17Toney
  • 7CanósBooked at 14minsSubstituted forFosu-Henryat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Marcondes
  • 15Forss
  • 20Ghoddos
  • 24Fosu-Henry
  • 28Daniels
  • 30Rasmussen
  • 36Stevens
  • 37Gilbert
  • 38Haygarth
Referee:
Mike Dean

Match Stats

Home TeamTottenhamAway TeamBrentford
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home12
Away11
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home3
Away2
Fouls
Home14
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 2, Brentford 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 2, Brentford 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Harry Winks.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Emiliano Marcondes (Brentford) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Serge Aurier (Tottenham Hotspur).

  6. Post update

    Rico Henry (Brentford) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham Hotspur).

  8. Post update

    Emiliano Marcondes (Brentford) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Rico Henry (Brentford) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Carlos Vinicius replaces Son Heung-Min.

  11. Post update

    Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Henrik Dalsgaard (Brentford).

  13. Post update

    Tanguy Ndombele (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Mathias Jensen (Brentford).

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Japhet Tanganga replaces Pierre-Emile Højbjerg because of an injury.

  16. Dismissal

    Josh Dasilva (Brentford) is shown the red card.

  17. Post update

    VAR Checking: Possible Red Card.

  18. Post update

    Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Josh Dasilva (Brentford).

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Brentford. Marcus Forss replaces Bryan Mbeumo.

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