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Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Ramos savours rousing Tottenham victory

Juande Ramos admitted his surprise at the rate of Tottenham's development following last night's emphatic Carling Cup semi-final win that left Arsenal's players appearing to turn on each other.

Spurs ended their miserable run against their rivals in style, the 5-1 victory at White Hart Lane sending them to Wembley next month to face Chelsea or Everton.

After more than eight years without defeat to Spurs, Arsenal's players lost their cool towards the end of the clash, with pictures suggesting Emmanuel Adebayor and Nicklas Bendtner confronted each other.

Having such an effect on Arsenal seemed remote when Ramos took over from Martin Jol as manager at the end of October, when the club were struggling at the wrong end of the Premier League.

'Yes, it's been a big change,' said Ramos. 'But without the collaboration of the footballers themselves, this would have been impossible. The huge effort the players have made to come out of a bad situation means we have been improving.

'We're involved in everything at the moment. I want to publicly recognise that they are the architects of this change.'

Ramos has played his part, though, with his changes behind the scenes.

The result has been extending his remarkable record in knockout competitions; he has not lost a cup tie in two years.

'Really I'd want to win everything, whether it's a cup competition or the Premier League or the UEFA Cup,' the Spaniard added. 'Sometimes you don't get the luck. But, really, I don't know why I'm particularly good at knock-out competitions.'

Jermaine Jenas got the ball rolling last night with a third-minute strike, then Bendtner headed into his own net before the break.

Robbie Keane added a third after the restart and Aaron Lennon grabbed a fourth.

Adebayor came off the bench and found the top corner but Steed Malbranque wrapped up the scoring in stoppage-time.

'We put the record straight (against Arsenal) so fair play to the lads,' said Jenas.

Keane added: 'I've been here a long time, it's been a long wait to get to a final but it's been worth the wait. I know how much it means to the players and also the fans.'

Reaching the final gives Spurs a chance to win their first trophy since 1999 when the won this trophy.

'To get to a final in such a short period of time since I came here is a fantastic achievement,' Ramos said. 'More so for the fans, who are tremendously happy.

'It's been a long time since they've had a flavour of a final. That makes it all the more satisfying.'

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