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Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Chelsea – Reaction
(Tottenham Hotspur won 5-4 on penalties)
It could be argued that this was far from vintage Tottenham. It could also be claimed that Chelsea will head back across the capital asking exactly how that one got away? But the fact is it’s Jose Mourinho’s charges who booked a place in the fifth round of the Carabao Cup after hanging in and then delivering a subtle knockout blow against their bitter rivals.
“We had a game plan and it worked,” Mourinho enthused.
“We started playing in a system that is not our system. It’s a system where we’re not at our most comfortable.
“We had a player like (Japhet) Tanganga who was playing his first minutes of the season. Not even one minute in a pre-season match. Gedson (Fernandes) the first competitive, Sergio the first competitive. The team was a difficult puzzle but we did it and the mentality of the players was amazing.”
Spurs trailed to Tino Werner’s crisp strike after 19 minutes and didn’t look like recovering the situation. However, it was a different story after the restart with Spurs delivering a sucker punch with Erik Lamela’s goal six minutes from time before advancing via the resulting penalty shootout.
“In the second half, we intensified – I don’t remember that they had a shot. We missed, of course, a presence in the box for such a performance. We had our chances. We had people arriving in very dangerous positions.
Of course, Harry (Kane) gave us more presence there. We changed the system, started having more chances – even more dangerous for them and we equalised.
“Incredible performance for us – incredible – and then the penalties. It is what it is, but the players were cool, they were confident and they deserved the victory – totally.”