Eriksen is difference again as Spurs reach League Cup final
Spurs are indebted to Danish sensation Christian Eriksen once again for dragging them through a keenly fought Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at a blizzard-laden Bramall Lane. Coral now make Tottenham 12/5 to lift the trophy at Wembley, where they will face London rivals Chelsea on March 1st.
A sublime first-half free-kick followed by the customary late strike from ex-Ajax midfielder Eriksen earned Mauricio Pochettino’s team a 2-2 draw at Sheffield United, edging them past the Blades 3-2 on aggregate.
Eriksen was not the only attraction on show in the Steel City, however, as Nigel Clough’s teenage capture Che Adams, from non-league Ilkeston Town, scored his first goals for Sheffield United thus making an immediate impact off the bench.
The Blades, who have taken cup scalps like Aston Villa, Southampton and West Ham United since Clough took charge in October 2013, once again gave a great account of themselves, buoyed by the Bramall Lane Kop despite sleet and snow.
Wales left back Ben Davies was given a torrid time throughout, and both of United’s goals came from crosses down his flank. Ryan Flynn, operating in defence, got all the way up the wing before finding super-sub Adams.
Moments later, Jamie Murphy swapped sides and delivered from the right to once again find the Blades’ latest have-a-go hero. What’s encouraging for Clough is there could be yet another contest with Premier League elite for his side. Manchester United should await in the FA Cup fifth round, if both the Red Devils and Bramall Lane boys can negotiate replays.
Eriksen’s aggregate winner in the 88th minute showed the level of confidence he is operating at. A superbly timed run split Sheffield United’s centre backs Chris Basham and Jay McEveley as he latched onto a Harry Kane through-ball, and applied a consummate finish.
The prospect of playing the Premier League leaders doesn’t scare Eriksen either. “We are not afraid,” he said. “We will go there with no fear and it will be a good show. It means a lot to get to Wembley, we are all really excited.”
Tottenham have every reason to be confident too. Chelsea may be odds-on 1/3 favourites to lift the League Cup, but the last time these two met at Wembley it was Spurs who shocked the Blues with a 2-1 extra-time win.