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Colchester United 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur
(Colchester United won 4-3 on penalties)
COLCHESTER UNITED provided a huge Carabao Cup shock, knocking Premier League Tottenham Hotspur out of the competition via a penalty shootout after their tense tie at the JobServe Community Stadium had finished goalless.
The U’s had already dispatched top-flight opposition, seeing off Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in an identical manner in the previous round. However, Spurs offered a new challenge – as it turned out, one Colchester was more than ready for.
As was largely expected, Mauricio Pochettino rang the changes – ten in all from the side surprisingly beaten at Leicester City at the weekend. However, the Argentine wasn’t leaving anything to chance, naming a bench which included Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen, Heung-Min Son and Christian Eriksen – an estimated value of some £300 million.
Nevertheless, Colchester – roared on by their biggest crowd of the season – completed well during the opening period, keeping the North Londoners at bay reasonably comfortably.
Dele Alli dragging a right-footed strike the wrong side of an upright, while Ben Davies found the roof of the rigging with an ambitious angle dead-ball attempt.
Spurs continued to ask almost all the questions. Brandon Comley was clumsy on Oliver Skipp. However, U’s stopper, Dean Gerken, expertly dealt with the resulting free-kick, fizzled in by Lucas Moura.
Courtney Senior provided Colchester’s most effective outlet. His pace and trickery offering Spurs a conundrum although an end product was notably lacking, despite his endeavours.
Alli’s route to goal hit heavy traffic, while Kyle Walker-Peters could only look on in anguish as his cross-shot came back off the post.
Pochettino was clearly concerned by his side’s lack of bite – throwing on Son and Eriksen shortly after the hour mark in place of the ineffective Japhet Tanganga and Troy Parrott.
Son was too high, while Gerken comfortably fielded Erik Lamela’s speculative attempt as Tottenham’s frustrations continued to mount. Cowan-Hall drove wide as Colchester, sensing an opportunity, looked to profit.
Alli’s centre eluded a clutch of potential takers as a penalty shootout loomed. In the meantime, the lively Senior surged forward and fired wide as the hosts looked to snatch it at the death.
But for the second successive round, Colchester’s cup destiny would be decided from the spot. Gerken turned aside Eriksen’s opening kick, sparking wild scenes amongst the U’s followers behind his goal. And despite Paulo Gazzaniga saving Jevani Brown’s poor attempt – Lucas Moura smashed against the bar, leaving Tom Lapslie with the honour of slotting home the decisive penalty, bringing further joy to those of a U’s persuasion.
As Colchester rejoiced, Tottenham trudged off to a chorus of booing from their fans. Once again, questions will be asked about the lacklustre display as well as further speculation about the managers future.
Colchester United return to Sky Bet League Two action, facing Macclesfield Town at Moss Rose on Saturday, September 28 (3pm). Meanwhile, at the same time, Spurs take on Southampton in the Premier League at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Colchester United: Dean Gerken, Ryan Jackson (Paris Cowan-Hall 51′), Cohen Bramall, Tom Lapslie, Luke Prosser, Courtney Senior, Tom Eastman, Ben Stevenson (Luke Norris 77’), Luke Gambin (Jevani Brown 68’), Frank Nouble Subs not used: Ethan Ross, Omar Sowunmi, Ryan Clampin, Noah Chilvers
Booked: Paris Cowan-Hall (foul)
Tottenham Hotspur: Paulo Gazzaniga, Davinson Sanchez, Victor Wanyama, Eric Dier, Kyle Walker-Peters, Dele Alli, Lucas Moura, Oliver Skipp (Erik Lamela 78’), Ben Davies, Japhet Tanganga (Heung-Min Son 66’), Troy Parrott (Christian Eriksen 66’) Subs not used: Hugo Lloris (GK), Jan Vertonghen, Moussa Sissoko, Juan Foyth
Referee: Jarred Gillett
Assistants: Darren Blundell and Geoffrey Russell
Fourth Official: Darren Drysdale
Attendance: 9,481 (1,664 from Tottenham)
Reaction to follow…