Carling Cup glory day at Wembley: SPURS 2 CHELSEA 1
Tottenham have done it! A deserved 2-1 victory over Chelsea at Wembley gave them the Carling Cup today (Sunday) and talk is already underway of a victory parade around the streets of north London. It was a victory that looked on the cards from the first m
Tottenham have done it! A deserved 2-1 victory over Chelsea at Wembley gave them the Carling Cup today (Sunday) and talk is already underway of a victory parade around the streets of north London.
Dimitar Berbatov's equalising penalty and Jonathan woodgate's headed winner early in extra time put Spurs fans into raptures.
''Scoring the winner was the best feeling I've ever had,'' said Woodgate afetrwards and he heaped praise on Juande Ramos, the manager who signed him. ''He's a brilliant manager - he has won trophies in Spain and now he has won a trophy for Tottenham.
"It's a great feeling to win our first trophy as a team - we've got a great team spirit and work ethic."
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It was a victory that looked on the cards from the first minutes, when Tottenham carved several openings before Chelsea had settled. In the first half Keane, Berbatov and Woodgate all had chances to put them in front and Chimbonda headed on to the top of the bar. In the second half Didier Zakora had a golden chance to seal the match but in a one-on-one situation he was foiled by Chelsea keeper Cech to take the match into extra time.
In fact, the only real surprise was that Tottenham's 40,000 fans had to wait until extra time to see their team take the lead. From the first whistle they looked superior in every department.
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Yet it was Didier Drogba's deflected free kick from 22 yards after a rare sustained period of Chelsea pressure that separated the sides at half time.
Tottenham, though, never looked out of it, with Aaron Lennon having the freedom of Wembley in the second half after a quiet first 45 minutes, and Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov pulling Chelsea's defence around at will.
Good fortune played its part when a questionable 70th minute penalty decision was awarded by the referee's assistant after the referee had failed to spot an apparent handball by Chelsea's Wayne Bridge, and the spot kick was tucked away with ice-cool aplomb by Dimitar Berbatov.
Then the outstanding Jonathan Woodgate's extra time winner had a fortunate look as the defender's initial header was punched by an uncertain-looking Peter Cech, only for the ball to cannon off Woodgate's head again and into the empty net.
Chelsea for their part looked lack-lustre throughout. Avram Grant's gamble to play Anelka and Drogba together up front - they had never started a game together before - seemed to play into Tottenham's hands and they rarely troubled King and Woodgate, while Alan Hutton had a fine game.
It was only in extra time, when Joe Cole was belatedly introduced, that Chelsea showed what they are capable off and though they really turned the screw as full time approached, the Spurs defence stood firm. For all the pressure Robinson was rarely trouble but did pull off off one fine instinctive save from Kalou as the seconds ticked away and the tension levels soared.
There was drama right to the end, with Chelsea hitting a post just as the final whistle sounded.
The result echoed that of the last time the two teams met in a Wembley final, in 1967 when a Spurs team including legends like Dave McKay and Jimmy Greaves won the FA Cup by the same scoreline.
Under new boss Ramos, a cup specialist, Spurs fans are now looking forward to many more Wembley days - but this victory over Chelsea following the destruction of Arsenal in the semi-final will take some beating!