Spurs set up League Cup final against Chelsea
SHEFFIELD, England (AP) — Christian Eriksen added a late goal to his sublime early free kick to help Tottenham scrape a 2-2 draw with third-tier Sheffield United on Wednesday and secure a place in the League Cup final against Chelsea.
Tottenham advanced 3-2 on aggregate and will play in its first cup final in six years.
Spurs were a goal ahead, through Eriksen’s pinpoint free kick into the top corner in the 28th minute, and coasting when substitute Che Adams scored in the 77th and 79th minutes.
With the score at 2-1 on the night and 2-2 on aggregate, extra time was looming at a snowy Bramall Lane but Eriksen ran on to a through-ball from Harry Kane and coolly slotted a left-foot finish into the corner in the 88th.
“It’s a big relief on everyone’s faces,” Eriksen said.
The final takes place at Wembley Stadium on March 1 and is a repeat of the 2008 showpiece match, which Spurs won 2-1. Chelsea will also be out to avenge a 5-3 loss to Tottenham in the Premier League last month.
United surprisingly beat Premier League teams West Ham and Southampton on the way to the last four, emulating its run to the FA Cup semifinals last season and earning the club a reputation as a cup specialist and so-called “giant-killer.”
However, the team managed by former England forward Nigel Clough looked out of it when Eriksen curled his free kick across the goalkeeper and in off the far post, adding another spectacular goal to his collection this season.
“It’s one of the top free kicks I’ve taken,” the Denmark playmaker said.
The 18-year-old Adams’ double — only minutes after he came on as United’s last substitute — changed the dynamic of the game and Spurs nearly went behind on aggregate when United midfielder Lewis Reed shot just over the crossbar.
“I’m incredibly proud of the players,” Clough said. “It was just a bit of quality that made the difference. Eriksen’s two goals were superb.” Eriksen’s two goals tonight were superb
It was the fourth time Eriksen has scored a goal in the 88th minute or later this season. The first three won league games for Spurs and the fourth has sent them to an eighth League Cup final.
“It’s 1-1 between us this season,” Eriksen said of Tottenham’s record against Chelsea. “It’s a decider if you like and there’s no better place for it than Wembley.”
“I am incredibly proud of the players and what they gave over the two games. It was just a bit of quality that made the difference. Eriksen’s two goals tonight were superb.