90 min: Brentford’s chance for scrap of consolation evaporates as Henry sends a swirling shot over the bar from 16 yards.
RED CARD (Dasilva)
84 min: After a the referee consults the evidence on the pitchside scree, Dasilva is sent off for going over the ball and catching Hojbjerg in the shin. Can’t argue with that, whether it was intentional or not. There’s a long gash on the shin of Hojbjerg, who is very, very angry.
80 min: A sign of Brentford’s desperation: Jensen tries to blem one in from 35 yards. Sanchz stops it from even reaching the box.
78 min: Hojbjerg s hassled into losing possession near his own box but Harry Kane, of all people, is back to help out.
76 min: Spurs want to bury Brentford. Kane feeds Son, who sweeps the ball wide to Ndombele, who tries his way into the box. From a difficult angle he smashes the ball out via the near post.
74 min: Raya denies Kane after more slack defending. Then Brentford hurtle down the other end and one of the newcomers, Fosu, forces Sanchez to block a shot.
73 min: Beck Sorensen gets soppy at the back and is lucky Son doesn’t nick the ball and set off in search of a third goal for Spurs.
71 min: Spurs substitution: Winks and Davies on, Lucas and Reguilon off.
GOAL! Spurs 2-0 Brentford (Son 70)
Now Spurs have extended their lead! Kane laid the ball off to Ndombele, who had burst from midfield and then slides a perfect pass through to Son, scampering on to the ball from deep. Son fires high into the net from 16 yards.
66 min: That was a reminder to Spurs – who shouldn’t need one after recent events – of the danger of not extending a one-goal lead. They can mull that over now while Aurier receives treatment, having seemingly hurt himself in a tackle with Jensen.
It’s been ruled out for a very tight offside. The trouble for Spurs started from a corner, which reached Pinnock beyond the back post. He nodded towards goal, Lloris clawed it half-away, and Toney knocked it over the line from close range. But he was offside by millimetres. Apparently.
62 min: Mbeumo flings a mighty throw into the Tottenham box, Sissoko tries to head clear but instead flicks it on. Reguilon, caught by surprise, shins it out for a corner.
59 min: Dier spanks a long diagonal to Aurier, who feeds Sissoko at the edge of the area. Sissoko drives for the byline and then clips a cross to Son, who’s free 16 yards out. Son tries to steer a volley into the bottom corner … but misses by a yard.
57 min: Jensen’s freekick into the Spurs box is headed away. Spurs continue to stifle their opponents.
53 min: Reguilon booked for barging into Toney to stop a counterattack.
52 min: Mbeumo booked for catching Reguilon after stretching to reach the ball after it ran away from him. And it’s a freekick to Spurs at he edge of the area. Kane bashes it straight into the wall.
50 min: Aurier flies forward to support Lucas, then collects a through-back from the Brazilian on the underlap. Then he lashes a shot a couple of yards wide.
49 min: Mbeumo eludes Sanchez down the right and cuts into the box. From the byline he pulls it back for Toney. But Aurier has read the danger and throws himself in front of Toney’s shot to make a tremendous block!
48 min: Canos holds back Lucas and then takes him down. The referee calls over Brentford’s captain, Dalsgaard, to explain that Canos will get a second yellow if he carries on like that.
47 min: Jensen spreads play wife to Canos on the right. Canos carries it infield and then wraps around his shot from 25 yards. Sanchez gets in the way of it.
46 min: Off we go again. Can Brentford do anything differently? They’re going to have to, because Mourinho’s men won’t change so long as they’ve got the lead.
“That ‘old-school’ stand at Salford can still be seen at many a junior, and indeed some lower league senior, grounds around Scotland,” writes Simon McMahon. “I hope when it was demolished, Paul Scholes rebuilt it brick by brick in his back garden?”
Half-time: Spurs 1-0 Brentford
It’s been a job efficiently done so far by Spurs. They took an early lad thanks to a smart header by Sissoko and some sloppy defending, and they’ve managed the game pretty well since then, working hard and harmoniously to keep Brentford at arm’s length. Brentford need to come up with something special to get back into this.
43 min: Brentford are passing nicely around mid-way but Spurs are solid and aren’t allowing them any openings.
40 min: Son’s corner is met at near post by both Moura and Toney and goes spinning and lopping towards the far corner of the net! Raya reacts swiftly to backpedal and palm it away, preventing his team from going 2-0 down.
38 min: Danger! Canos pings over a fetching cross from the let. Dier makes a critical intervention to stop Toney from getting on the end of it. But his header falls to Dasilva near the edge of the box, and Son charges in to block the forward’s powerful shot.
35 min: Cute interplay by Brentford, then Mbeumo clips a pass towards Toney near the penalty spot. Despite pressure from Sanchez the striker manages to connect with a diving header, but he can’t apply enough power to trouble Lloris.
33 min: Brentford continue to pass progressively – until they approach the Tottenham third, where they can find no way through.
30 min: That’s better from Spurs. They pen back Brentford and probe for openings. Son and Reguilon both have crosses repelled before Sissoko floats on towards the back post. Brentford hold firm and eventually clear.
27 min: Harry Kane has appeared in nine semi-final so far in his career and scored two goals. He’s had very little involvement so far today. In fact, in the last few minutes Spurs have dwindled as an attacking force. Hopefully for them that is only temporary and not another manifestation of a negative tendency that has cost them in the Premier League recently.
25 min: Brentford seem to have digested the concession of the early goal and are now starting to gain momentum as they seek an equaliser. But Lloris irritates them by venturing towards the penalty spot to catch the ball from a corner.
23 min: Reguilon brings down Mbeumo, who’s given the fullback plenty of problems. The freekick is near the right touchline, half way inside Spurs territory. Jensen sends it towards the back post. Pinnock leaps well to meet it but can’t direct his header on target from 15 yards.
20 min: Ndombele can carry on, happily. “James Poole (of Hartley & Poole fame) scored a wonder goal from the half-way line in the FA Cup for Salford City a few years back when they were still in the Northern Premier League,” recalls Andrew. “It’s worth a look just for the brilliant old-school stand, which was later demolished.”
17 min: Brentford kick the ball out of play so that Ndombele can receive treatment. He’s lying in the centre circle clutching his ankle after a late tackle by Janelt, who get a deserved booking.
14 min: True to their pre-match word, Spurs are not trying to sit on their lead. ON the contrary, they’re trying to double it immediately. Raya foils them this time, diving to his left to turn away Son’s bending sidefooter from the edge of the area.
GOAL! Spurs 1-0 Brentford (Sissoko 12)
Spurs open the scoring from their first dangerous attack! Brentford will be disgusted at their own defending. Reguilon’s cross from the left was lovely, but Sissoko had plenty of time and space between the two centrebacks – and he used it impeccably, guiding a header from 10 yards beyond the diving keeper and into the corner of the goal.
9 min: Jensen flights a freekick from 10 yards inside the Spurs half towards the left-hand side of the area. Pinnock heads it across goal but Spurs clear, with Ndombele overhead kicking it to safety.
7 min: There is no sign of Brentford freezing or being overwhelmed by this occasion. They’re very clever and sprightly and, so far, giving as good as they get.
5 min: Dasilva pounces on a loose pas by Aurier and dribbles past two and into the Spurs area. But when the ball runs away from him, Sanchez whacks it off him and it ricochet into the arms of Lloris.
4 min: Mbeumo gets the wrong side of Reguilon and curls over an inviting cross. But Sanchez is well positioned to head clear.
3 min: It’s been a confident start from Spurs, with all their main players getting useful touches. Ndombele plays a particularly nice pass through to Son, who knocks it wide to Reguilon, who wins a corner. It’s cleared easily.
1 min: Brentford set the semi-final in motion by kicking the ball straight back to their keeper, who wellies it downfield.
The players march down the tunnel and on to the pitch, to absolutely no applause or cheers. Spurs are wearing their customary colours of white shirts and navy blue knickerbockers, while Brentford are in a dark grey number with red stockings.
“White and Hart on the bench tonight is up there with Arsene managing Arsenal, but Hartley and Poole once playing for Hartlepool can never be beaten,” declares Antony Wilson, who has presumably forgotten that Wolfsburg used to be managed by Wolfgang Wolf.
“With White and Hart on the bench for Spurs, couldn’t Jose have had a laugh and asked Kane to put his feet up too?” writes Risha Mohyeddin with a chortle.
Thomas Frank speaks
Firstly, he reveals that Pontus Jansson would have been picked but is suffering from a minor injury. He also says the fact that this tie is being contested over one leg rather than the usual two increases the chances of Brentford pulling of an upset in their first ever semi-final. “We all know it’s not an everyday game but we are looking forward to it. Let’s try to attack, do our best and see what happens. Everybody knows Tottenham are big favourites and name-for-name are a better team than us but the fact it’s only one game helps us.”
Moussa Sissoko has ben speaking to Sky Sports and reveals Jose Mourinho’s instructions, which, apparently, really do include “don’t sit back”: “He told us to take this team seriously because they are a very god opponent, doing very well in the Championship. Everyone wants to be in the final so it’s going to be a big battle. Let’s do everything to go through. Be strong defensively and when you have the ball, go forward. Don’t sit back and don’t wait.”
Spurs: Lloris; Aurier, Sanchez, Dier, Reguilon; Sissoko, Hojbjerg; Lucas, Ndombele, Son; Kane
Subs: Alderweireld, Alli, White, Hart, Davies, Bergwijn, Winks, Vinicius
Brentford: Raya; Dalsgaard, Pinnock, Beck Sorensen, Henry; DAsilva, Janelt, Jansen; Mbeuno, Toney, Canos
Subs: Daniels, Forss, Fosu, Ghoddos, Gilbert, Haygarth, Marconedes, Rasmussen, Stevens
Referee: M Dean
Hello. Spurs haven’t won a major trophy for 13 years and it would mean a lot to them and José Mourinho to get one in the cabinet as soon as possible. Brentford don’t even need a cabinet (although, as Richard Foster details here, they they did win the London War Cup in 1942, which is not to be sniffed at). Now both clubs have a chance to end long waits, or at least to meet a Manchester club in the Carabao Cup final. Spurs are the obvious favourites but that means nothing to Brentford, who have already ousted four Premier League clubs to get this far.
This is Brentford first match of the year, because their joust with Bristol City last weekend was postponed owing to Covid-19. They have a fully fit squad, except for the injured Christian Norgaard. Spurs are without several players, including Matt Doherty, Giovani Lo Celso and Erik Lamela. But they have a big squad and no credible excuses. It’s on.