Eric Dier

Getty Images

Tottenham beat Swansea to reach FA Cup semis

Leave a comment

Tottenham Hotspur beat Swansea City 3-0 at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday to book their spot in the FA Cup semifinal for the second time in as many seasons.

With Harry Kane out injured, plus the likes of Dele Alli and Mousa Dembele on the bench, Christian Eriksen was the star of the show as he scored twice, while Erik Lamela added another in a game Mauricio Pochettino‘s men dominated from start to finish as their final chance of silverware this season remains intact.

The semifinals of the FA Cup being held at Wembley Stadium on April 21-22 also give Spurs a big advantage as Wembley has been their temporary home ground for the 2017-18 season.

Swansea will now focus on staying in the Premier League as Carlos Carvalhal‘s men are battling against relegation.

[ MORE: Follow all the FA Cup scores ] 

Early on Nathan Dyer burst through and although it looked like he could’ve won a penalty kick as Michel Vorm raced out, neither the referee or VAR awarded the Swans a penalty kick.

Spurs then took the lead with a moment of magic as Eriksen ran towards goal and curled home a superb effort into the far corner to give his side the lead. That was his seventh goal in 10 games against the Swans.

Tottenham then dominated much of the game after going ahead as Eriksen’s perfect ball over the top found Heung-Min Son and he finished magnificently off the crossbar but the South Korean star was flagged offside and VAR decided that was the correct call. Another moment of controversy surrounding VAR…

Chances kept coming for Spurs. A cross from the left almost found Lucas Moura at the near post but he couldn’t quite get on the end of it, then Eriksen had a curling effort tipped onto the bar by Nordfeldt and Eric Dier nodded just over as Tottenham totally dominated the first half.

Lamela made it 2-0 right on half time as he ran towards goal and curled home a low shot past the unsighted Nordfeldt.

At half time Luciano Narsingh came on for the Swans as they tried to get back into the game.

Martin Olsson had a rasper pushed away by Vorm and the former Swansea goalkeeper then denied Tammy Abraham with a fine double stop. At the other end Dier’s long-range shot was tipped wide by Nordfeldt brilliantly as the game opened up.

Eriksen then finished the game off as Moura found him on the edge of the box and his low shot crept past several Swansea defenders and in. Game. Set. Match.

Tottenham could’ve added more goals late on but they settled for three goals as Swansea were in full damage limitation mode.

Pochettino, Dier react as Juve springs Wembley comeback

AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth
Leave a comment

Heads will droop on the white side of North London, as Tottenham Hotspur threw away an early second leg lead to fall 2-1, 4-3 on aggregate to Juventus in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Recap | 3 things from Wembley ]

Max Allegri and Juventus will get a lot of credit for his substitutions and tactical changes, as Stephan Lichtsteiner played a big role in the match-winning goals as The Old Lady overwhelmed Spurs for two second half goals in three minutes.

“[Juventus] changed their formation and they had a lot of the ball, we just need to settle down a little bit,” said Eric Dier. “The lads are gutted because of the way we started the game. It’s a tough one to take.”

But Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is a bit less stung.

Pochettino is already trying to find the bright side of the loss to the hardened Serie A champions who went to two UCL finals in the past three campaigns.

“In less than three minutes we conceded two goals – two big mistakes – and that is why we are out. In both legs we deserved more. I feel proud. We played fantastic football until that first goal and we dominated.”

“Of course we are very disappointed but it is part of growing. We will keep going. But we are very disappointed. … We played another massive team. For us it was tough. It was very positive for the future. You need this type of game and experience to build you as a player to compete at this level.”

He’s correct, and of course it’s also the right thing to say, but Spurs did drop the ball on a fantastic opportunity to cement its status as a next level club against one of the most celebrated clubs in the history of the game.

This one will sting for a while. Will it sting enough to rob their momentum at qualifying for next season’s tournament?

Juventus comes back, eliminate Spurs from Champions League

AP Photo/Frank Augstein
1 Comment
  • Spurs fail in bid for first quarter since 2011
  • Juve to 3rd quarterfinal in four years
  • Juve bidding for third final in four years
  • MORE: 3 things from Wembley

Juventus’ Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala scored quickfire second half goals to battle back past Spurs 2-1 — 4-3 on aggregate — and send The Old Lady into the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.

Heung-Min Son scored the lone Spurs goal to give the hosts a 1-0 lead at Wembley Stadium, but Tottenham failed in its bid to reach a first quarterfinal since 2011.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Harry Kane burst inside and past Giorgio Chiellini, then moved by Gianluigi Buffon but couldn’t cut his shot inside the goal post.

Douglas Costa was not given a penalty when Jan Vertonghen clipped his ankle in the box, perhaps because the Brazilian did not go down and instead tried to continue his dribble.

Instant replay is a beaut, but how this wasn’t called a penalty in real time we’ll probably never understand. So many refs!

Vertonghen would pick up a yellow card soon after, and the match devolved for a bit into a series of chippy incidents after (and during) hard tackles. Sandro earned one in the 35th.

Moments after Son dragged a shot wide of goal, the South Korean put Spurs ahead 1-0 and ensured Juventus would need at least two goals to win. Kieran Trippier‘s cross zipped through the 18 and Son got enough of the shot to score.

Miralem Pjanic placed a 41st minute shot wide of the near post within two minutes of the Londoners’ opener.

Chiellini saw yellow for a edgy tackle on Dele Alli two minutes before the hour mark.

Then it all fell apart for Spurs.

Juventus earned new life when Christian Eriksen and Eric Dier were watching Sami Khedira’s header and not Higuain’s move to the back post to push it past Lloris.

Within two minutes, Dybala raced past Ben Davies to catch Higuain’s pass and beat Lloris 1v1. Poor from Spurs, euphoria for The Old Lady.

Spurs pushed hard, but an emotional Juve defended with vigor. Chiellini had a fine intervention to force a corner in the 79th minute.

Any Juve’s aggrieved penalty feelings received some salve when Chiellini’s blocked shot in the 18 rebounded off his arm but went uncalled by the referee.

Then, pure anguish: Kane nodded off the ground and the post and sub Erik Lamela couldn’t get his bearing to redirect the rebound before Andrea Barzagli cleared the ball.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Tottenham 2-0 Huddersfield Town: Son the star

Leave a comment
  • Son finishes first half team goal
  • Then latches onto beautiful Kane cross
  • Spurs move third for time being

Heung-Min Son scored a pair of goals as Tottenham Hotspur cruised past Huddersfield Town 2-0 at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

Spurs are unbeaten in 17 matches and hasn’t lost to a promoted side in 16. They are a point ahead of Liverpool, who kicks off versus Newcastle to finish Saturday’s matches.

Huddersfield Town sees its two-match winning run end, and is three points clear of the drop zone.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

There was an early injury… to a referee. Mike Jones hurt his calf in warm-up and needed to swap spots with fourth official Kevin Friend.

Jonas Lossl made a fine save on Harry Kane, and the latter won a dangerous free kick in the 19th minute. Christian Eriksen presided over the chance, and his shot was deflected wide of the goal by the wall.

Son scored a terrific goal to give Spurs a well-earned lead, dancing around Lossl to finish a very well-worked team goal. It started with an Eriksen pick and fine vision by Eric Dier.

Lossl made another good stop on Kane in the 38th minute, collecting the well-protected rebound.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Terence Kongolo got away with what should’ve been a penalty kick award to Son and Spurs.

The South Korean wasn’t deterred and scored a goal within two minutes when Kane delivered a remarkable cross over the Town defense and onto the path of Son.

His second, Spurs second, Town’s death knell on the day.

Tottenham’s Alderweireld ruled out with injury

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Happy Birthday to Toby Alderweireld and his manager at Tottenham Mauricio Pochettino.

Now, onto the important stuff…

Alderweireld has been ruled out of Tottenham Hotspur’s huge UEFA Champions League clash against Juventus at Wembley next Wednesday.

The Belgian defender, 29, made his return in two FA Cup games in February but hasn’t featured in the Premier League since injuring his hamstring in Spurs’ UCL win against Real Madrid back on Nov. 1.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Speculation regarding his future at Tottenham beyond this season has been rife as talks over a new contract stall and a release clause in his current deal could see him leave for $32 million in the summer of 2019. Alderweireld is being linked with a move to Manchester United, Real Madrid and others and this injury layoff has done little to quell the rumors.

Speaking in his press conference ahead of Spurs’ clash with Huddersfield Town (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET online via, Mauricio Pochettino confirmed Alderweireld will be missing for the key clash against Juventus with the scores locked at 2-2 after the first leg in Turin.

“It is true that we need to be careful with him,” Pochettino said. “I don’t believe he will be ready for Juventus.”

Who could slot in alongside Alderweireld’s compatriot Jan Vertonghen?

Spurs could revert to a back four and start Davinson Sanchez at center back alongside Vertonghen, or Eric Dier could slot back in to defense if Spurs decided to play three central defenders against Huddersfield.

With the top four chase well and truly on and Spurs the form team in the Premier League, there is no need to rush Alderweireld back. Yet you get a sense that more is going on here. Is Pochettino punishing Alderweireld for not signing a new deal? The Argentine coach has a reputation of being a manager who is ruthless when it comes to having players on his side. You’re either in his good books, or you’re out.

There’s a sense it could be a case of the latter for Alderweireld.