Super sub Lamela inspires Spurs to victory over Brighton in last 16 of Capital One Cup
21:52 29 October 2014
Erik Lamela came off the bench at half-time and got the crucial breakthrough nine minutes later as Tottenham earned a 2-0 home win over Brighton and advanced to the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup.
Spurs dominated the first half against their out-of-form Championship visitors, but they were frustrated in their attempt to get the all-important first goal until the second period.
Lamela replaced captain Aaron Lennon at the break and it was he who put Spurs ahead in the 54th minute after a neat move involving Roberto Soldado.
The pair were then influential again when the Lilywhites doubled their lead, with Harry Kane scoring his eighth goal in 11 games for the hosts.
With Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton already out, Manchester City also exited the tournament tonight, leaving Spurs as a genuine contender in the last eight as they eye the chance of a run to Wembley and a shot at lifting the trophy.
Mauricio Pochettino made 10 changes to the side that had been defeated by Newcastle in the Premier League on Sunday, with Jan Vertonghen the only player to start both games while Kyle Naughton returned from an ankle injury.
Brighton, who went into the game in miserable form after failing to win any of their last 10 Championship fixtures, fielded a weakened team with Sami Hyypia making six of his own changes.
Tottenham were quickly out of the blocks with Kane, Mousa Dembele and Naughton seeing long-range shots blocked, while the lively Andros Townsend played a one-two from a short corner and chipped to the back post for Federico Fazio, who headed wide.
Vertonghen was next to try his luck, stepping forward out of the centre circle and unleashing a low, fizzing effort, with Albion keeper Christian Walton getting down to save.
Brighton fired a warning shot of their own as Kazenga LuaLua got in behind Fazio to latch onto a chipped ball over the top, but his first touch gave him a difficult angle and he volleyed well wide of the near post.
Ben Davies nearly caught Walton out at his near post with a mis-hit cross, forcing the visiting keeper to dive back into his goal and palm the ball behind, and Soldado then leapt to head at goal from Lennon’s chipped cross but could not get any power on his effort.
Brighton began to get the measure of their hosts and their defending became less frantic. But, just before the half-hour mark, Soldado delivered a bouncing cross from the right touchline and Lennon got ahead of his marker in the the box but stabbed his effort over the angle.
That sparked a better period for Spurs, with Kane spinning in the box and seeing his effort blocked while Soldado’s powerful follow-up was well saved by Walton at his near post.
A cross from the right reached the unmarked Lennon, whose side-footed volley went woefully wide, and Soldado then attempted an audacious scissor kick from Townsend’s corner at the back post but it flew high and wide.
Soldado chipped the ball over the last defender to Kane, but he was unable to control the ball as it dropped on the corner of the six-yard box – and Kane’s long-range free-kick was straight at Walton seconds before the half-time whistle went.
Lamela replaced the injured Lennon at the interval and Spurs went close as Naughton delivered a dangerous cross from the right, but Kane’s diving flicked header took the ball away from the sliding Soldado in the middle.
The breakthrough soon followed though, and in some style. Soldado flicked the ball to Lamela and the pair then played a quick one-touch one-two to free the Argentine, who slotted past Walton.
Spurs had the wind in their sails and the White Hart Lane crowd roared them on. Kane turned on the edge of the box but dragged his shot wide, and Lewis Dunk then slid in to take Naughton’s low cross away from Soldado at the back post.
Vertonghen broke out of defence to launch a break, finding Townsend, who drove on before freeing Soldado on the right side of the box – and the Spaniard was hugely unlucky to see his rasping rising drive strike the crossbar and fly over.
Spurs survived a scare as LuaLua went down in the box under a challenge from Fazio, appealing for a penalty, but referee Mark Clattenburg waved the shout away.
Soldado was denied by Walton again at the other end and then screamed for a penalty of his own as he went down in the box trying to reach Benjamin Stambouli’s through ball – but Tottenham put the game out of Brighton’s reach in the 74th minute.
Michel Vorm threw the ball out to Lamela, who broke down the left, cut inside and found Kane. The England Under-21 international held the ball up in the corner and then played a neat reverse pass to the onrushing Townsend, who rode a challenge and crossed low for Soldado.
The Spaniard’s near-post shot was saved by Walton but the ball fell into space at the back post, and Kane had made up the ground to get back involved, being rewarded as he pounced at close range.
Brighton’s Perez Adrian Colunga got a shot on target and Tottenham had to do some defending in the closing stages, but their progress never looked in doubt.
Tottenham: Vorm, Naughton, Fazio, Vertonghen, Davies, Stambouli, Dembele, Townsend (Chadli 81), Kane (Paulinho 84), Lennon (Lamela 45), Soldado
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