Harry Kane kept his cool from the penalty spot to give Tottenham Hotspur a 1-0 win in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final against rivals Chelsea.
Spurs surged to a thrilling 3-1 win in the most recent Premier League meeting between the sides, but Wembley played host to a more cagey contest on this occasion.
Kepa Arrizabalaga’s ill-advised challenge on Kane allowed Tottenham to claim their slender advantage ahead of the return clash as the England captain converted from 12 yards with typical aplomb.
N’Golo Kante hit the post for Chelsea, who controlled large spells of the second half, only to gain little advantage over a miserly Spurs backline.
Callum Hudson-Odoi brought a vibrancy to the Chelsea attack and forced Paulo Gazzaniga into a routine save before life became more complicated for the Spurs goalkeeper’s opposite number.
Kepa hared off his line as Kane chased Toby Alderweireld’s raking ball, and once a VAR referral confirmed the England captain was onside, a penalty and booking were inevitable.
Chelsea’s number one guessed correctly, but could not redeem himself as Kane’s spot-kick beat him for pace.
160 – Harry Kane is now the outright fourth highest goalscorer for Tottenham Hotspur. Climbing. pic.twitter.com/Ri9nAnporn
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 8, 2019
Hudson-Odoi shines as Bayern rumours swirl
Widespread reports of being the subject of a £35-million bid from Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich might be expected to weigh heavily on an 18-year-old winger. But Hudson-Odoi romped around Wembley without a care in the world, his direct play bringing pace and purpose at odds with a sometimes dreary contest. He appears made for this stage.
Jorginho comes up short against Tottenham again
The sight of Jorginho flailing in pursuit of Son Heung-min was a defining image of Chelsea’s defeat in the league encounter on this ground. Although there were no causes for viral embarrassment this time around, Chelsea’s deep-lying playmaker was unable to exert his usual control on the contest, even when the visitors were in the ascendancy after half-time.
Tottenham and Pochettino face up to another Wembley blockbuster when they host Manchester United on Sunday, while Chelsea welcome Newcastle United to Stamford Bridge a day earlier.