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    Spurs reach League Cup final

    cupTottenham survived a strong fightback from League One side Sheffield United to set up a League Cup final with Chelsea after another late goal from Christian Eriksen.

    Eriksen’s magnificent first-half free-kick put Spurs 2-0 up on aggregate.

    United’s 18-year-old substitute Che Adams then struck twice from close range in three minutes, bringing the prospect of extra time into focus.

    But Eriksen secured a 3-2 aggregate win with a composed low finish.

    Spurs beat Chelsea in the League Cup final in 2008 for their last piece of silverware, and the two London sides will now meet again at Wembley on Sunday 1 March, just three days after Tottenham’s Europa League trip away to Fiorentina.

    Jose Mourinho’s Blues will start as favourites but Spurs will take confidence from both their superb 5-3 win over Chelsea on New Year’s Day and the canny knack of Eriksen to score important late goals.

    Four times this season, the Dane has scored decisive goals in the 87th minute or later.

    The late, late show

    Christian Eriksen earned Spurs all three points in November with a 90th-minute winner at Hull. He then did it again in the 88th minute at home to Sunderland on 17 January in a 2-1 win.
    He scored another winner at Swansea in the 89th-minute in December. The Dane has now scored 20 goals in 65 appearances for Spurs.

    Spurs held a 1-0 lead after last week’s first leg at White Hart Lane, but Blades boss Nigel Clough had lost only three out of 21 cup games in charge and had already knocked out Premier League sides West Ham and Southampton in this season’s League Cup, and seen his team win 3-0 at top-flight Queens Park Rangers in the FA Cup third round.

    The hosts needed to score the first goal and had the game’s earliest chance when Spurs goalkeeper Michel Vorm – retained despite a shocking mistake in their weekend FA Cup loss to Leicester – spilled a cross, but Jamie Murphy’s shot was blocked on the line by former Blades defender Kyle Walker.

    With heavy snow falling and backed by a full house at Bramall Lane, the hosts may have sensed a chance to build pressure, but Vorm was not tested again as Spurs took charge.

    Harry Kane was a constant menace up front but passed up at least four good chances before Eriksen bent in a wonderful 25-yard free-kick off the inside of the post.

    Who is Che Adams?

    Born Che Zach Everton Fred Adams, Sheffield United’s main man was watched by just the 45 scouts at one match when he turned out for non-League Ilkeston.

    The 18-year-old interested the likes of Huddersfield Town, Peterborough United and Crewe Alexandra, but became a Blade in November of last year.

    “Che is one of those players that comes along every so often and makes you think, ‘wow’,” said Kevin Wilson, who gave the forward his debut in non-league.

    “His biggest asset is that knack of changing games in the blink of an eye.”

    That left United needing to score twice to send the game to extra time, but despite an improved display they created little until a manic last 15 minutes.

    Adams, a recent signing from non-league side Ilkeston Town, had only played 136 minutes of professional football and scored his first senior goal with a composed finish at the back post from Ryan Flynn’s excellent cross.

    And when Adams controlled a Murphy cross to fire in with the help of an Eric Dier deflection two minutes later, Bramall Lane sensed another cup upset after the weekend’s FA Cup heroics from Bradford and Middlesbrough.

    Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen clashed with Chris Basham as the Blades looked for a third, but Eriksen steered Spurs into the final with two minutes remaining, running on to Kane’s pass to calmly slot home left-footed from the edge of the penalty area.

    Sheffield United manager Nigel Clough: “I’m incredibly proud of the players, to run a team like Spurs so close, that bit of quality made the difference.

    “We knew one goal would change the complexion. We got the second and then had a chance for a third and just missed it.

    “We were disappointed when we came away from White Hart Lane with a 1-0 defeat and we’re even more so tonight, as we came so close.”

    Christian Eriksen

    Christian Eriksen’s free-kick was curled in off the inside of the post

    Che Adams

    Che Adams was playing in the Premier Division of the Northern Premier League before Christmas

    Christian Eriksen

    Tottenham last played at Wembley in a 5-1 FA Cup semi-final defeat in 2012.

    Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (6)

    Sheffield United

    • 01 Howard
    • 07 Flynn Booked
    • 06 Basham Booked
    • 19 McEveley
    • 03 Harris
    • 08 Doyle Booked (Reed – 65′ )
    • 20 Campbell-Ryce (Adams – 74′ )
    • 10 Scougall
    • 11 Baxter
    • 09 Murphy
    • 12 McNulty (Higdon – 74′ )

    Substitutes

    • 02 Alcock
    • 21 Higdon
    • 22 Reed
    • 24 Turner
    • 27 Kennedy
    • 29 Adams
    • 33 Wallace

    Tottenham Hotspur

    • 13 Vorm
    • 02 Walker Booked
    • 15 Dier
    • 05 Vertonghen
    • 33 Davies
    • 25 Stambouli
    • 38 Mason Booked (Rose – 91′ )
    • 11 Lamela (Townsend – 74′ )
    • 19 Dembélé Booked (Paulinho – 66′ )
    • 23 Eriksen
    • 18 Kane

    Substitutes

    • 03 Rose
    • 08 Paulinho
    • 09 Soldado
    • 10 Adebayor
    • 17 Townsend
    • 21 Fazio
    • 24 Friedel
    Ref: Mike Dean
    Att: 30,236

    Match Stats

    Possession54%46%90minsSheffield UnitedTottenham Hotspur

    Shots

    11 19

    On target

    4 7

    Corners

    1 1

    Fouls

    11 10

    Live Text Commentary

    Full time

    Full Time Match ends, Sheffield United 2, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

    90:00 +6:21 Full time

    Full Time Second Half ends, Sheffield United 2, Tottenham Hotspur 2.

    90:00 +4:05 Delay over. They are ready to continue.

    90:00 +3:08 Booking

    Booking Chris Basham (Sheffield United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

    90:00 +3:06 Delay in match Michel Vorm (Tottenham Hotspur) because of an injury.

    90:00 +2:31 Michel Vorm (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

    90:00 +2:31 Foul by Chris Basham (Sheffield United).

    90:00 +0:10 Substitution

    Substitution Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Danny Rose replaces Ryan Mason.

    87:14 Goal scored

    Goal! Goal! Sheffield United 2, Tottenham Hotspur 2. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Harry Kane.

    83:59Attempt missed. Louis Reed (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Ryan Flynn with a through ball.

    81:27Attempt saved. Stefan Scougall (Sheffield United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ryan Flynn.

    80:17Attempt blocked. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

    78:49 Goal scored

    Goal! Goal! Sheffield United 2, Tottenham Hotspur 1. Che Adams (Sheffield United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jamie Murphy with a cross.

    76:29 Goal scored

    Goal! Goal! Sheffield United 1, Tottenham Hotspur 1. Che Adams (Sheffield United) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ryan Flynn with a cross.

    73:38 Substitution

    Substitution Substitution, Sheffield United. Che Adams replaces Jamal Campbell-Ryce.

    73:28 Substitution

    Substitution Substitution, Sheffield United. Michael Higdon replaces Marc McNulty.

    73:16 Substitution

    Substitution Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Andros Townsend replaces Erik Lamela.

    71:10Hand ball by Marc McNulty (Sheffield United).

    68:39Foul by Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur).

    68:39Marc McNulty (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

    (Courtesy – BBC)

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