Capital One Cup

January 9, 2008



1 - 1

Tottenham Hotspur

Capital One Cup

19:45 +00:00, January 9, 2008

Emirates Stadium, England

Referee: M Dean

  • 94'

    Full time. What a great game of football - an excellent advert for the English game. It also leaves the tie very well poised for the return leg. Thanks for your company, until next time....

  • 93'

    Ooh, great chance for Eduardo! A lovely ball from Sagna and the Brazilian couldn't get his head on it or else he would surely have scored.

  • 92'

    Arsenal force a late corner as Diaby tried to dribble through Spurs' banked defence.

  • 91'

    Mark Randall has replaced Walcott.

  • 90'

    Great tackle by Ledley King as Eduardo charged down the right.

  • 90'

    Walcott is down with an injury as we near the 90-minute mark.

  • 89'

    That was a touch better from Defoe, forcing Senderos to bring him down. Nothing comes of the free-kick though.

  • 88'

    An ambitious effort from Denilson there, hitting a ball from Bendtner first time.

  • 87'

    That would have been just reward for Spurs' play this evening but Jermain Defoe, who has reportedly been told by his manager he can leave, made a right mess of it.

  • 86'

    Oh no! Jermain Defoe has blazed over the bar from six yards over! Lennon went through squared for Defoe who has missed a sitter. Unbelievable.

  • 85'

    Ledley King just got caught for the goal, Walcott slipped in behind him and the quality of Eduardo's ball meant King's error was exposed.

  • 84'

    Jermain Defoe has replaced Robbie Keane for Spurs.

  • 83'

    Suddenly Arsenal look the more likely and Eduardo is getting on the ball a bit. He can't quite find Bendtner there though.

  • 82'

    What a last ten minutes in prospect here. Can we find a winner?

  • 81'

    Spurs will be sick at that. Arsenal have created nothing in this half and when they do, they get a massive slice of luck as Lee's tackle bounces up off Walcott's boot, onto his hand and into the net.

  • 81'

    Goal! Against the run of play Arsenal are level. Great ball from Eduardo, Theo races clear and as Lee slides in to tackle him the ball ricochets up to hit Walcott on the hand and dribble over the line. Arsenal 1-1 Spurs.

  • 80'

    Another half-chance for Spurs as Chimbonda wins a header from an O'Hara free-kick and a great last ditch tackle by Gilberto prevents Ledley King from scoring.

  • 79'

    Steed Malbranque is coming off to be replaced by Kevin-Prince Boateng

  • 78'

    Then at last a decent break from Arsenal as Sagna squares for Diaby but his shot is blocked - then Lennon gallops clear but fails to square when Robbie Keane was screaming for it, in that high-pitched squeak of his we've come to know and hate.

  • 77'

    Calamity at the other end as Robbie Keane makes a right mess of controlling a ball over the top which put him clean thorugh.

  • 76'

    My word! That is possibly the worst free-kick in living memory! Traore has smashed in 20 yards over the bar from an impossible acute angle. Terrible.

  • 75'

    King has been immense this eveing but the referee has given Arsenal a free-kick for that challenge, right on the edge of the box out to the left.

  • 74'

    Sagna has gone down here after coming off worse in a 50-50 with Ledley King.

  • 73'

    Less than 20 minutes for Arsenal to grab something from this game. It's not looking likely at present....

  • 72'

    Spurs are carving Arsenal apart here and should be two up by now. Berbatov lifts a sublime ball over the top for Lennon and his pull back finds the Bulgarian but for once his touch deserts him and Arsenal clear.

  • 71'

    Berbatov is being a little sloppy now, Lennon was looking for a sharp one-two but the striker's ball was lazy, and poor.

  • 70'

    Poor ball from Hoyte there and if Berbatov was a little quicker he'd have been clear. As it is, Hoyte gets back before Berbatov can shoot or release Robbie Keane.

  • 69'

    Arsenal need to find something from somewhere, but looking at what is left on the bench it won't come from there.

  • 68'

    Again Berbatov is offside. Arsenal are playing a risky game in pushing up looking for it mind.

  • 67'

    Nice possession football from Spurs at present. Now it is Arsenal who can't string three passes together.

  • 66'

    The only criticism I can aim at Spurs this evening is the state of their hair - Aaron Lennon and Jenas especially. Other than that, they have been excellent, albeit against Arsenal's reserves.

  • 65'

    Capello will have been impressed with what he has seen of English football so far, what with the FA Cup, last night's game between Chelsea and Everton now this.

  • 64'

    Traore fires in a cross from the left but Cerny claims well at thr angle of post and bar. Arsenal are desperately lacking invention in the final third at present - how often do you hear that?!

  • 63'

    Spurs are in total control of this game at present. Can they finally break their hoodoo and beat Arsenal for the first time in eight years?!

  • 62'

    Malbranque sweeps in a lovely ball towards Berbatov and the Bulgarian just can't get enough purchase on it to direct it goalwards.

  • 61'

    There's a resaon why Van Persie is queit - he went off at half time! My mistake! Eduardo is on for him, and Sagna is on for Djourou.

  • 60'

    Ooh, Berbatov just couldn't collect a nice Robbie Keane flick to get a shot in there otherwise it could have got even worse for the Gunners.

  • 59'

    Spurs are playing very high up the pitch, meaning Arsenal have little time to stroke it around like they do. Decent tactical nouse from Ramos.

  • 58'

    Arsenal need a spark to get them going here. Van Persie could do with rediscovering his early impetus.

  • 57'

    The only noise at the Emirates at present is emanating from the away end.

  • 56'

    STOP PRESS, BREAKING NEWS! BERBATOV IN MISPLACED PASS SHOCK! Chimbonda would have been clear if the striker could have slipped him through - it's the first mistake he's made all evening.

  • 55'

    Walcott has faded after a bright start, Lee getting very tight on him with Malbranque doubling up as well.

  • 54'

    Jenas feeds Keane after Senderos was caught out of position but the striker's shot ran tamely wide.

  • 53'

    Berbatov just strays offside again, this time when Malbranque looked for him.

  • 52'

    In truth, a quiet start to this half but I'm sure it won't be long before the game bursts into life again.

  • 51'

    Walcott is crowded out by Chimbonda and then O'Hara's ball finds Berbatov in an offside position.

  • 50'

    Traore finally manages to creep into Spurs' half but Dawson breaks up the home side's first attack of the second period.

  • 49'

    Arsenal can't get out of their half at the minute!

  • 48'

    Good early pressure from Spurs who have another corner. Fabianski was under no pressure from the last one and he completely fluffed it. Not encouraging if you are an Arsenal defender.

  • 47'

    Spurs pick up where they left off and have a corner....which Fabianski drops!! Luckily, Gilberto is on hand to clear.

  • 46'

    We're off again....

  • 45'

    And that is that. An excellent half of football that could have ended 4-4. We do have a goal though and it should make for a belter of a second half. Arsenal 0-1 Spurs.

  • 45'

    More good work from Spurs, Keane again breaks the offside trap and gives it to Berbatov. The Bulgarian couldn't quite get it out of his feet so tried to improvise with a chip but Fabianksi clutches it gratefully.

  • 45'

    Spurs are looking for a second! Berbatov again shows his class, dribbling through two tackles and feeding Keane. When the Irishman's ball was blocked it fell to Jenas who let rip from 20 yards. Fabianski saves well though.

  • 44'

    O'Hara redeems himself with some wonderful control when Senderos' clearance fell to him, he wrongfooted Traore and then showed he has a right foot as well with a decent cross that Fabianski had to climb well to claim.

  • 43'

    O'Hara's corner is poor and cleared well by Senderos.

  • 42'

    Free-kick for Spurs, whipped in by O'Hara but Gilberto wins the header. Corner.

  • 41'

    The Spurs fans are in full voice now, as you'd expect, and Arsenal look shell shocked.

  • 40'

    I tell a lie, there was a surprise attached to that Spurs goal - the fact that Jermaine Jenas actually managed to convert a simple chance! He usually screws them well wide.

  • 39'

    The only surprise about that goal was that it took nearly 40 minutes to arrive. It could have been 3-3 already! What a cracking first half.

  • 38'

    Goal! Spurs have the goal their play in the last five minutes deserves. Berbatov plays through Keane, he crosses for Jenas and it's Arsenal 0-1 Spurs.

  • 37'

    More great work from Spurs, Keane outmuscles Djourou and squares for the main man Berbatov and Fabianski has fling himself to his left to parry the Bulgarian's fierce shot.

  • 36'

    Now it is Arsenal on the attack! Gilberto's raking ball found Van Persie but his attempt to do a Marco Van Basten in Euro 88 failed.

  • 35'

    Spurs go close again! Keane gets to Berbatov's ball ahead of Fabianski and crosses for Malbranque but his header flashes past the post again. Two great chances in two minutes!

  • 34'

    What a chance for Spurs! Berbatov clips one over the top for Keane who miscontrols when faced with only the keeper and as it broke clear Malbranque squirms his shot wide when well placed.

  • 33'

    The Arsenal corner is over-hit and the danger is averted.

  • 32'

    A poor ball from Lee let Denilson in there but King is across to conede a corner.

  • 31'

    As you'd expect Dawson is now being roundly booed by the home fans after that nasty tackle.

  • 30'

    Well, half an hour has flown by. This is an excellent game so far.

  • 29'

    Michael Dawson is a lucky boy to get away with that rash challenege on Denilson. There was no need to pile in like he did and the young man is very fortunate not to go into the book, especially in this current climate of red cards flying out for innocuous tackles.

  • 28'

    Free-kick to Arsenal, Van Persie over it, but it is a rather tame effort that Cerny catches comfortably.

  • 27'

    By the way, if you haven't already heard the news Sam Allardyce has been sacked as manager of Newcastle United. All the details are on (yep, you guessed it)

  • 26'

    Spurs have come back into it in the last five minutes, making it a more even contest and Berbatov has been outstanding. Playing for a move perhaps d'you think?!

  • 25'

    O'Hara strikes it firmly but the ball just didn't have enough bend on it to creep inside the far post.

  • 24'

    The ever-prominent Berbatov wins a free-kick after a sublime piece of skill to kill a dropping ball, then outfox Senderos who brings him down on the box edge.

  • 23'

    It's end to end stuff, Fabianski coming out to claim the ball ahead of the onrushing Berbatov then Ledley King heads back to his keeper after a great ball from Diaby.

  • 22'

    Now Spurs break well, Lennon dribbling towards danger and playing a nice one-two with Robbie Keane, then deciding to try and flick the ball across goal right-footed rather than hit it with his weaker left. It failed.

  • 21'

    It's all Arsenal at the moment, Spurs can't keep the ball for more than a few passes at a time.

  • 20'

    Denilson whips the ball in but Dawson hooks it clear. From the corner, Jenas (sporting a ridiculously greasy hairdo) nods clear.

  • 19'

    The corner is cleared but then Berbatov inexplicably gives away a free-kick by shoving Senderos to the floor.

  • 18'

    More good work from Arsenal, Van Persie switches play to find Denilson in space inside the area but he is closed down.

  • 17'

    This time it is Diaby who works a yard of space for himself but his left-foot shot is very wayward.

  • 16'

    Nothing comes from it but Arsenal try to build again.

  • 15'

    Great move by Arsenal! Superb interplay involving Diaby, Van Persie released Hoyte who crossed for Bendtner but his powerful header was well saved by Cerny. Corner.

  • 14'

    What a waste by Walcott! He broke clear and could have either shot from 18 yards or crossed for an unmarked Van Persie but he chose to fall over his own feet instead. Clearly he thought that was the right option. Thousands of Gunners don't share his opinion.

  • 13'

    Denilson's free-kick was poor - neither a shot nor a cross.

  • 12'

    Lovely play from Van Persie who steps away from Dawson and wins a free-kick. How pleased Arsenal will be to have him back.

  • 11'

    No team has tested our set of 'wet behind the ears' goalkeepers, Lukasz Fabianski for Arsenal and Radek Cerny for Spurs.

  • 10'

    From the way things have started we may even beat the four goals we got in the first leg last season. It's very open to date.

  • 9'

    There's a cracking atmosphere in the stadium as well, way above and beyond the static nature of Highbury the library.

  • 8'

    What a bright start to the game so far - we could have had a goal at either end. Let's hope it continues.

  • 7'

    Berbatov has started like he means business, displaying immaculate touch and linking play wonderfully already.

  • 6'

    More pressing from Arsenal, Walcott again looking dangerous before Ledley King (of all people!) found himself charging into the Arsenal penalty area but failed to get a shot off when he had a glaring chance to do so. That's why he's a defender I suppose.

  • 5'

    Two promising bursts from both sides, first Walcott raced into the Spurs box before losing control, then Berbatov was put through on the left but his cross looking for Robbie Keane was well undercooked.

  • 4'

    Gilberto has a big role to play in this Arsenal team - the wise old head in amongst many promising youngsters.

  • 3'

    There are still fans trickling into the ground, no doubt cursing London's crowded, ancient and generally rubbish public transport infrastructure.

  • 2'

    It's not quite a full house at the Emirates but one man who is in attendance is Fabio Capello. Well, you wouldn't expect anything else would you?

  • 1'

    And we're off...


    These teams met at this stage last season of course, Arsenal running out winners 5-3 on aggregate. It's much the same story selection wise in 2008, Arsenal effectively playing a reserve XI compared to a strong Spurs' line-up. That is why defeat over two legs was so humiliating for Martin Jol in 2007. Will things be different this time round? We are about to find out.


    The big news for Spurs fans is that Paul Robinson has been dropped, amid speculation Juande Ramos is keen to offload him. Maybe the Spaniard knows what he is doing after all eh?! Tottenham: Cerny, Chimbonda, Dawson, King, Lee, Lennon, Jenas, O'Hara, Malbranque, Berbatov, Keane.


    Here are the teams. Arsenal continue with their policy of fiedling 'yoof' in this, the fourth competition in the list of priorities for the season (out of four), but Robin Van Persie is BACK. The teams reads: Fabianski, Hoyte, Djourou, Senderos, Traore, Walcott, Denilson, Silva, Diaby, Van Persie, Bendtner.


    Good evening all and welcome to live commentary on this evening Carling Cup semi-final first leg between norf laahndaaahn rivals Arsenal and Tottenham. The kick-off at the Emirates has been delayed for 15 minutes because one of the nearby London underground stations is bust (a regular occurance sadly) so we won't be underway until 8pm.