With the League Cup game this week here at the archives we have a look back at a story that hasn’t even had time to gather dust yet. It’s the trophy win in the 2007/08 season, we change managers mid-season, hand out thrashings to two of our biggest rivals and win a trophy when we visit Wembley.
That season had started badly and we only had five points from seven games leaving us in 18th place when Premier League Middlesbourgh came to the Lane to start of the League Cup campaign. Although we had beaten Anorthosis Famagusta from Cyprus in the UEFA Cup the week before.
Defoe was withdrawn after 69 minutes with the score 0-0 to the sound of boo’s. Jol’s decision worked and within three minutes Bale gave us the lead from a narrow angle. Three minutes later Lennon centered for Huddlestone to head home, 2-0.
We drew our next three league games then lost three in a row, we were still in 18th when lower league Blackpool come to the Lane for the next round. Martin Jol had been replaced by Juane Ramos for his first game in charge. Blackpool had a number of good chances and on another night, but it was Berbatov (1) who headed on for Keane who lobbed the goalie in the 18th minute. Chimbonda headed home with half an hour to go, another 2-0 win.
Into the quarter finals and a tough draw away to Manchester City on a bitterly cold night. City had an unbeaten home record. Spurs had climbed to 12th in the League, including a home win over City on the way. We gave a great fighting performance with an injury hit side. After just five minutes a Lennon cross and Defoe gave us the lead. With four defenders out injured Zokora had started in the back four and he was was sent off in the 20th minute. Defoe was pulled off for Tainio as we regrouped. Spurs defended well. Then on the hour Berbatov found O’Hara, who had made his league debut at the weekend and now replaced Lennon. He in turn found Malbranque to give us a 2-0 lead with ten minutes to go and the semi finals beckoned.
The second leg was one of those magical floodlight nights at White Hart Lane. It took just 169 seconds for Jenas to hit a shot from the edge of the box and in off the post. Keane was pulled down in the 27th minute and Jenas’s free kick into the box only found an Arsenal head which put it past the goalie 2-0. Two minutes into the second half and Keane made it 3-0. It was Keane’s turn to be provider on the hour mark as he fed Lennon who slid home 4-0.
Adebayor came on for the visitors, scored, got booked, had a toe to toe row with Bendtner and was lucky to stay on after assaulting Lee. Malbranque scored at the death, 5-1 and we were going to Wembley. The first League Cup final to be played in the new stadium.
We had gone out of the FA Cup and remained 11th in the table (where we would finish) and had reached the round of 16 in the UEFA Cup, in which we would be eliminated on penalties.
When we met Chelsea at Wembley. Tottenham were playing well, Chimbonda hit the bar but a Drobga free kick gave them the lead in the 39th minute. After the break we didn’t create too much until Lennon found Huddlestone at the far side of the box. Bridge used his arm to juggle the ball off him and it was a penalty. Berabotv looked calm as he just strolled up to the ball with Cech going the wrong way and 1-1. The belief flooded back and we should of finished the game in normal time. Extra time was only a few minutes old when Lennon was hacked down, The free kick from Jenas found Woodcock who lost his marker his headed effort hit Cech but he put the rebound home and it was 2-1. Woodcock had joined in the January and it was his only appearance in the competition and his first goal for the club. Chelsea then tried hard to get back into the game but the Spurs lads defended well. Robinson was excellent. The trophy was ours and the fans and team celebrated. After such a dreadful start to the season we had won the League Cup for the fourth time.
The team that day was – Robinson, Hutton (also his only game in the competition having signed in January). Woodgate, King © Chimbonda (Huddlestone 61) Lennon, Jenas, Zokora, Malbranque (Tainio 75) Berbatov and Keane (Kaboul 102) Unused subs – Cerny and Bent.
Other players used in the competition were - Bale, Boateng, Dawson, Defoe, Lee and O’Hara
Spurs goals in the competition came from Jenas, Keane and Malbranque 2 each. As well as one from Bale, Berbatov, Chimbonda, Defoe, Huddlestone, Lennon and Woodgate With 1og.
For more about Spurs and the League Cup, there is a short series called ' Capital Notes', Part 2 gives an overview of our time in the competition.
Notes -1- incidentally Berbatov produced a Rebonda pass in this game.
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