West Ham United scored twice in the final 10 minutes to come back from a goal down and see off Tottenham Hotspur in the quarter-final of the Capital One Cup at White Hart Lane on Wednesday.
Matt Jarvis got the comeback underway in the 80th minute before Modibo Maiga scored what proved to be the winner with five minutes left.
Emmanuel Adebayor, having played just 45 minutes of competitive football this season coming into the match, had opened the scoring shortly after the hour mark.
With caretaker manager Tim Sherwood in charge of his first Tottenham match since the exit of Andre Villas-Boas earlier in the week, the hosts got off to a quick start and almost took the lead after just two minutes when Jermain Defoe flashed his shot wide of target after some good work by Aaron Lennon down the right.
Spurs continued to apply the early pressure and got another good opportunity through Andros Townsend in the fifth minute, and not long after that Joey O’Brien came close to turning the ball into his own net after Lennon played in another searching cross from the right.
But West Ham, who did well to absorb Tottenham’s spell of possession, posed a regular threat on the counter-attack, although Carlton Cole should have done better in the 20th minute when his pass intended for Jarvis was picked out by Mousa Dembele.
With 10 minutes to play in the first half, Defoe placed a rare shot on target for the hosts, but after Adrian made the routine save, Hugo Lloris was called into action at the opposite end of the field to deny Carlton Cole.
Having failed to capitalize on their early chances, Spurs made another good start to the second half, and in the 49th minute Lennon pulled a meaningful opportunity just wide of the far post after George McCartney could only partially deal with an arching ball from Danny Rose.
It was in the 67th minute that the hosts finally had their lead—and Adebayor his first goal since May.
Following a poor West Ham corner, Townsend was able to break down field and find Defoe, who raced down the left flank before placing an inch-perfect cross to the far post where Adebayor was waiting with a thunderous volley.
But the introductions of Maiga and Mohamed Diame from the West Ham bench made an almost instant impact, and after Lloris was called upon to make superb saves from the pair of them, the visitors found themselves firmly on the front foot.
With 10 minutes remaining, Jarvis had the Hammers quite deservedly back on level terms—his emphatic effort inside Lloris’ right-hand corner coming after a delicate lay-off from Matthew Taylor, who had received Maiga’s flick-on following a goal-kick.
Then, in the 85th minute, Maiga capped off the comeback with an excellent header from a Diame cross and put his side into the semi-finals of the competition.
Key Player Grades
Emmanuel Adebayor: A-
He had the rust of a footballer with only 45 minutes under his belt coming into Wednesday’s match, but Adebayor managed four shots at goal and found the back of the net with one of them, and his 64 touches of the ball suggest he was typically putting himself in good space to involve himself in the attack. (Statistics courtesy WhoScored.)
Modibo Maiga: A
He played only 25 minutes at White Hart Lane but put in a Man of the Match-worthy performance nevertheless. He might have had a brace had he not hit the crossbar late on, but not only did he find the back of the net but he also completed 89 per cent of his passes as West Ham applied fierce pressure in the final moments.
Next up for Tottenham Hotspur is a Premier League trip to Southampton before they welcome West Bromwich Albion to this ground on December 26. West Ham, meanwhile, are away to Manchester United on Saturday before hosting Arsenal on Boxing Day.