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Solskjær plays down Cavani red claims after United set up derby semi-final

Guardian - ons, 23/12/2020 - 23:29
  • Draw sets up Manchester derby in January
  • Solskjær says Everton tie was ‘a proper game of football’

Ole Gunnar Solskjær dismissed suggestions that Edinson Cavani could have been sent off after his United side set up a Manchester derby in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup.

Related: Cavani and Martial send Manchester United past Everton into semi-finals

Manchester United v Manchester City
Tottenham v Brentford

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PL predictions: Burnley win at Leeds?

Sky Sports - ons, 23/12/2020 - 23:00
Jones Knows is here to arm you with Premier League insights and betting angles ahead of the festive period. He thinks Arsenal at 3/1 are overpriced to beat Chelsea.

PL predictions: Man City goalfest?

Sky Sports - ons, 23/12/2020 - 23:00
Jones Knows is here to arm you with Premier League insights and betting angles ahead of the festive period. He thinks Arsenal at 3/1 are overpriced to beat Chelsea.

Dele Alli: Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho angry with England midfielder

BBC - ons, 23/12/2020 - 22:35
Jose Mourinho accuses Dele Alli of "creating problems for his own team" in Tottenham's Carabao Cup quarter-final win over Stoke.

Jose: Alli 'created problems' for Spurs

Sky Sports - ons, 23/12/2020 - 21:32
Jose Mourinho admitted he was angry with Dele Alli for creating "problems for his own team" during Tottenham's 3-1 Carabao Cup quarter-final win at Stoke.

Spurs ease past Stoke to reach last four

Sky Sports - ons, 23/12/2020 - 20:40
Tottenham remain on track for a first piece of silverware since 2008 after beating Championship side Stoke City 3-1 to reach the Carabao Cup semi-finals.

Mourinho takes aim at Alli after Spurs sink Stoke to reach semi-finals

Guardian - ons, 23/12/2020 - 20:39

Tottenham moved a step closer to ending their 12-year trophy drought with a victory over Stoke that takes them into the Carabao Cup semi-finals. This was the competition they won in 2008 and as José Mourinho has four winner’s medals no side will relish meeting his side in the last four.

By the close Spurs were good value for the victory, dominating apart from a wobble after the break in which Jordan Thompson levelled Gareth Bale’s opener. But they steadied themselves and ended in cruise control thanks to fine strikes from Ben Davies and Harry Kane.

Related: Stoke 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur: Carabao Cup quarter-final – live!

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Stoke 1-3 Tottenham Hotspur: Carabao Cup quarter-final – as it happened

Guardian - ons, 23/12/2020 - 20:29
  • Bale, Davies and Kane on the mark for Spurs
  • Thompson nets for Stoke

7.53pm GMT

And here is the report.

Related: Davies and Kane send Spurs past Stoke and into Carabao Cup semi-finals

7.26pm GMT

Harry Winks’ verdict: “We’re really happy. A wet and windy Wednesday night in Stoke was always going to be tough. But we applied ourselves well. We knew they were doing to be a threat, they are a good side. But the mentality of the team was to keep doing what we did to get into the lead and that helped us get the lead back.” On his own performance - which Sky Sports rewarded with a man of the match gong - he says: “It’s been really tough fitness wise and to come into a game of this intensity when you haven’t had as many minutes as you’d want is always tough. I’m really pleased to get man of the match.”

7.20pm GMT

Spurs canter into the Carabao Cup semi-finals despite some sloppiness in the second half. After dominating the first period and taking the lead through Bale - and sein Alli twice denied by Lonergan, who had a decent game - , they conceded a soft equaliser to Thompson and needed a special shot from long-range by Davies to get them back on track. Kane wrapped up the win late on. Stoke certainly were not disgraced but they never looked good enough to oust the visitors.

7.16pm GMT

86 min: Spurs are just keeping the ball now. At least they are trying to but there’s still some sloppiness about them and they keep giving it back to Stoke. Unfortunately, Stoke aren’t good enough to take advantage.

7.13pm GMT

84 min: Fletcher has space in the Spurs box! But he fails to guide his header on to the target from 10 yards. Slack finishing pardons slack defending.

7.09pm GMT

A brilliant finish surely secures Spurs’ passage to the semi-final. Stoke gave away possession and Sissoko immediately stepped in to punish them, playing a frst time pass to Kane, who held off Souttar and thrashed a shot into the roof of the net from 16 yards.

7.07pm GMT

80 min: Lamela runs on to a clearance, jousts with Souttar and wins a corner for Spurs. Son delivers an out-swinger. It sails over everyone.

7.05pm GMT

79 min: Stoke substitution: Vokes on, Oakley-Booth off. That amounts to Stoke going for it, with two up top.

7.04pm GMT

76 min: Son dinks the ball over the advancing Lonergan and into the net ... but it’s ruled out for offside. Son wags his finer and hollers “no!” and he’s right: the replay shows Batth was keeping him onside. But there’s no VAR so Son will just have to swallow his anger.

7.02pm GMT

74 min: Kane tries to do a Davies but his shot veers several yards off target.

6.59pm GMT

72 min: Stoke substitution: Powell on, Brown off.

6.59pm GMT

Bang! Davies pounces on a half-clearance by Souttar over 25 yards out and then rifles a ferocious into the bottom corner! It didn’t take a snazzy move for the Premier Leaguers to get back in front, just one impeccable blast from long-range.

6.56pm GMT

68 min: Davies pings a low pass to Kane, who takes it just inside the area with his back to goal. He tries to swivel and shoot but is bundled away. There are hopeful calls for a penalty but the ref rightly ignores them.

6.53pm GMT

66 min: Spurs substitution: Lamela and Sissoko on, Alli and Moura off. Alli had a useful first half but could not get involved in the second, though that could be said for most of the visitors.

6.52pm GMT

64 min: Spurs still look ponderous. It’s as if they came out for the second half expecting to be allowed to continue to run things and have not been able to adjust to Stoke’s rebellion.

6.49pm GMT

62 min: Moura’s well-meant pass towards Kane is too long and trickles out of play as Kane curses himself for bothering to chase it.

6.49pm GMT

60 min: Spurs are looking flat. They haven’t responded well to Stoke’s improvement. “I’m not a Spurs fan (though would describe myself as a Spurs sympathiser who would quite like to see them win the league or a cup of some sort) but find Jose very frustrating,” blubs Will Lane. “The way he set up Spurs against City, and even Liverpool where I do think they deserved to win, was classic Jose and in those games Spurs did look like title contenders. But I will never understand his insistence on playing two holding midfielders against ‘lesser’ teams when one will do. It has come back to bite him against Palace and others and if anything the over-cautiousness they show in such games will prove their undoing. The truly frustrating thing is how exciting they could be to watch with Hojbjerg, Lo Celso and Ndombele as a midfield three and allowing Bergwijn to function as an actual forward rather than an auxiliary fullback.”

6.45pm GMT

57 min: Son’s corner comes to nought. Spurs regain possession in midfield and Winks flights a nice pass into the area, having spotted a smart run by Alli. Alli stretches but can’t connect with the ball. “I fail to understand the ‘risk’ involved with a professional football player playing 45 minutes of football,” storms Matt Burtz. “Surely if ‘risks’ are involved, there is a greater one in having Harry Kane (ostensibly) play all 90 minutes.” Valid point re: Kane, but you are, of course, being a berk when complaining about the use of ‘risk’ for the introduction of Son. Playing football is more risky than sitting on one’s hole, even for a pro.

6.41pm GMT

How about that for cutting! Stoke built cleverly down the right and when Brown curled a lovely cross between Lloris and Doherty, Thompson kept his eye on the bouncing ball and rammed it past the keeper from 10 yards! That’s Stoke’s first shot worthy of the name and it’s brought them level!

6.38pm GMT

51 min: Stoke are looking a little more zesty and ambitious but they’ve still not shown any thing remotely cutting. “I do not understand why we are risking Son tonight unless Bale picked up an injury?” inquires Dan F. All I can tell you, Dan, is that I didn’t spot anything wrong with Bale and the TV reporters haven’t made me aware of anything either. Maybe the sports scientists can detect when someone’s in “the red zone” or maybe Son just wants some action.

6.36pm GMT

49 min: Kane collects the ball midway inside the Stoke half, 10 yards in from the right. He looks up and drops a lovely pass into the path of Son ... who fails to get a clean touch on it from 12 yards out.

6.35pm GMT

48 min: Smith bangs one long for Fletcher as Stoke try to start putting pressure on Spurs. But Sanchez cuts it out easly enough.

6.33pm GMT

46 min: “As a Spurs supporter I got my entertainment from watching Arsenal lose, I am now enduring the game against Stoke waiting for my Mourinho-allotted three minutes of excitement,” writes Ben Hayes. “ I think Bale and Dele gave us about 90 seconds in the first half, so we’re on course.” Well Bale won’t be giving you any more because he’s been replaced at half-time - by none other than Son. No respite for Stoke, then.

6.16pm GMT

It’s been a gentle outing for Spurs so far, though they’ll be irritated at their failure to rack up a bigger lead. Lonergan deserves credit for that, having denied Alli with two good saves, but there’s been nothing to report in terms of a Stoke threat at the other end. Can they find a way of shaking Spurs out of their stride?

6.13pm GMT

43 min: Bale sends a raking diagonal pass from left to right. Moura lets it bounce and then nods it down to Alli, who essays a fetching low curler from 20 yards. Lonergan produces another agile save, plunging to his right to tip it around the post!

6.11pm GMT

40 min: McClean loops a cross from the let into a packed Tottenham box. Fletcher slips, and Dier heads clear under no pressure.

6.09pm GMT

38 min: This is very comfortable for Spurs, but they’ll want at least one more goal asap. There’s been nothing t suggest Stoke are capable of equalising but it can’t be ruled out.

6.05pm GMT

36 min: A pass by Collins is intercepted in midfield, and Spurs quickly release Kane down the let. He lopes towards the box and then threads a pass through to Alli, who hits it first-time on the run from 10 yards. Lonergan make a fine save with his feet!

6.03pm GMT

34 min: Stoke substitution: Fletcher on, Fox off.

6.02pm GMT

32 min: Fox off looks to have picked up a muscle injury. He’s off the pitch while Stoke determine whether he needs to be replaced. McClean is filling in for him at left wingback.

5.59pm GMT

30 min: Collins booked for pulling down Alli in midfield.

5.58pm GMT

28 min: Souttar concedes a corner kick rather cheaply. Bale trots over to take it. He curls an in-swinger beyond the far post. Lonergan flaps at it and misses, but Collins does well to stop Alli from getting on the end of it.

5.57pm GMT

27 min: Stoke have a freekick by the right touchline, a chance to hoist the ball into the Tottenham box for the first time. The big men come up from the back ... and Stoke take it short and then fitter away the crossing opportunity.

5.56pm GMT

Spurs have the breakthrough in surprising fashion. Winks curled an inswinging cross in from the left and Bale was fre on the penalty spot, from where he glanced a backwards header into the net. All Stoke’s fine defensive work falls apart!

5.56pm GMT

25 min: Alli has worked hard to try to make things happen but things aren’t quite coming off for him just yet, other than a nice nutmeg on Smith just now.

5.54pm GMT

23 min: Stoke aren’t going to open up and chase an equaliser just yet. First, they’ve got to make sure Spurs don’t put the game out of sight, which they are trying to do. Stoke are struggling to get hold of the ball. “I’m curious,” admits Paulo Biriani. “Any details as to who Stoke’s sub keeper is?” It’s Blondy Nna Noukeu, an 18-year-old who joined Stoke last summer from a club in Belgium, where his father, Patrice, used to play for Mouscron. He has represented Cameroon at youth international level.

5.47pm GMT

18 min: Stoke continue to frustrate the visitors. Kane and Moura have both dropped deep in the last couple of minutes in an effort to create something but neither produced a pass accurate enough to unpick the home defence.

5.45pm GMT

15 min: Doherty skitters down the right and then slips the ball into the path of Kane, who hammers a shot into the sidenetting from a tight angle.

5.42pm GMT

12 min: The first shot of the match comes in from Hojbjerg. And by ‘comes in’ I mean he tonked the ball high and wide from 25 yards.

5.40pm GMT

9 min: Stoke are well drilled and energetic, as expected from an O’Neill team. They’ve kept Spurs at bay very effectively so far.

5.37pm GMT

7 min: Winks dances past McClean in midfield, but the Irishman hares back to dispossess Bale down the left. Neithr Bale nor Alli have done much yet.

5.35pm GMT

5 min: Spurs continue to hog the ball, mainly in the Stoke half.

5.34pm GMT

3 min: An in-swinging corner from Moura brings Lonergan into the action for the first time. The keeper goes to punch it clear but is not needed, as Batth nods it away for him. But when the cross comes back in from the left, Lonergan is required to punch it to safety.

5.32pm GMT

2 min: Arsenal were a goal down at this stage in yesterday’s quarter-final, so it’s been a superb start by Stoke even though Spurs have had about 99% of possession.

5.30pm GMT

1 min: Off they go in a very blustery conditions. Spurs are wearing their dark green third kit for the first time this season. There must be still time for you to order it as a Christmas gift?

5.23pm GMT

“Good evening! Hoping Spurs get on the front foot right away and attack so we can get two or three up by half time. Then we can withdraw people like Kane and rest them for Saturday. But as a Tottenham fan knowing us I doubt it will be that simple!” quips Dan F.

5.22pm GMT

“Is Michael O’Neill’s decision to play 37-year-old Andy Lonergan in goal—after two years on the bench with pipe and slippers at the ready—the ultimate ‘Lads, it’s Spurs!’ moment?” chortles Justin Kavanagh.

5.18pm GMT

Concerning the inclusion of Alli and Bale, Mourinho suggests this represents a chance for them to play their way into the starting lineup in the Premier League. “It is an opportunity. Of course the objective is to win and go to the semi-final and I would never a pick a team or a player that I didn’t believe can perform for the team and do the job we need to do.”

Mourinho also says that Stoke have been fine hosts so far, having upgraded the facilities for visiting teams in the wake of a recent condemnation from the likes of Neil Warnock. “It’s very good,” says Mourinho. “I know the ones who complained had a reason to complain because we watched the videos. Probably we have to thank them because today we have very good facilities.”

5.09pm GMT

The conditions in Stoke are - yes - very wet and windy. O’Neill says that was a factor in his decision to plump for Lonergan n goal. “We only had young goalkeepers as other options and we felt with the conditions, and at this stage of the competition, we decided to go with experience. “ He adds: “The league is always our priority and we want to push for a top six position but having got this far in the competition, we want to treat this game properly. We’ve made six changes but we’ve put energy in the team.”

4.43pm GMT

With three goalkeepers out injured and another Cup-tied, O’Neill has chosen to give a start between the sticks to 37-year-old Andy Lonergan , who hasn’t played a competitive match for nearly two years. The unrested Harry Kane will be deadset on testing his reflexes ... and look, there’s Dele Alli, given a chance to play his way back into José’s heart ... or attract January bidders.

Stoke: Lonergan; Collins, Souttar, Batth; Smith, Thompson, Cousins, Fox; Oakley-Boothe, Brown, McClean

4.23pm GMT

Hello. Stoke City win trophies at a rate of one every 153 years so they wouldn’t exactly have been viewed as prime contenders to win this season’s Carabao Cup even before being pitted against one of the best teams in England. Yes, that means Spurs even though they come into this game on the back of defeats to Liverpool and Leicester, two of the five teams above them in the Premier League table. With jumping back up that table being their chief priority for this season - and this being one of three matches Spurs have to play in a week - José Mourinho is likely to make several changes to his usual starting lineup. But make no mistake, he would like to win this tournament to prove he has turned Spurs into winners and he has a mighty squad so the Premier League side should certainly be expected to beat a team sitting seventh in the Championship. But Michael O’Neill, who took over Stoke last season when they were bottom of Tier 2, has a proud record of upsetting teams with far greater resources, especially from his time with Northern Ireland and Shamrock Rovers. Stoke have already ousted Wolves and Aston Villa this season and are capable of bloodying Tottenham’s noses. Let’s be having you!

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Kieran Trippier suspended for 10 weeks over breaches of betting rules

BBC - ons, 23/12/2020 - 15:08
England's Kieran Trippier is given a 10-week worldwide football ban and fined £70,000 after a Football Association panel found he broke betting rules.

Wolves 1-1 Tottenham highlights

Sky Sports - ons, 23/12/2020 - 14:58
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