Spurs beat Arsenal 5-1 ending their nine-year winless streak against the Gunners
Spurs have ended their nine-year winless streak against Arsenal after routing the Gunners 5-1 to reach the League Cup final.sports Updated: Jan 23, 2008 17:35 IST
Tottenham Hotspur reached the League Cup final after ending a nine-year winless streak against Arsenal on Tuesday, an emphatic 5-1 victory earning a 6-2 aggregate triumph over their weakened north London neighbours.
Tottenham had not beaten Arsenal in 21 games, including last year's semi-finals, but were always in command against Arsene Wenger's second string after Jermaine Jenas put them 1-0 up after three minutes of the second leg at White Hart Lane.
When Steed Malbranque slotted the fifth in injury time to secure their biggest win over Arsenal for 25 years, the Spurs fans were in heaven.
The three-times winners next face holders Chelsea or Everton, who meet at Goodison Park on Wednesday with the Londoners 2-1 up, in the Feb. 24 final at Wembley.
"It's fantastic, the lads worked their socks off and it was well deserved," Spurs captain Robbie Keane told Sky Sports. "I've been here a long time and it's been a long wait to get to a final.
"We know what it means to the fans so it's a special occasion for the players and for them and we are absolutely buzzing."
Jenas, who put Spurs ahead early in the first leg, did it again on Tuesday as he strode through a hesitant defence to plant a low shot beyond inexperienced goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
The hosts doubled their lead after 27 minutes when Nicklas Bendtner headed a Jenas free kick into his own net.
Spurs fans were celebrating but, aware they led by the same score in the first leg of last year's semi-final, there was concern three minutes later when Dimitar Berbatov hit the post.
The third goal eventually arrived three minutes into the second half when Berbatov sent Keane through and the Irishman, who notched his 100th goal for the club at the weekend, began his second century with a shot Fabianksi should probably have saved.
Bendtner hit the bar with an acrobatic volley a minute later before Keane turned provider on the hour to set up Aaron Lennon for the fourth.
Substitute Emmanuel Adebayor pulled one back for Arsenal from 20 metres in the 70th minute.
Jenas then set up Malbranque for a close-range fifth in added time to leave the ground rocking with the songs of the long-suffering fans, who last tasted success when Spurs beat Leicester City 1-0 in the 1999 final.
"Everything went against us tonight and I feel sorry for the young players who had to chase the game," said Wenger.
He stood by his decision to play a second-string side, saying: "I feel the competitions that matter for us are the Premier League and Champions League. "
Juande Ramos, who took over from Martin Jol as Spurs manager in October, looked composed at full time but the Spaniard might force a smile if his side lift the trophy next month.