She says it will give all children the opportunity to play football after her husband’s death.
Category Archive: Tottenham Hotspur FC
Permanent link to this article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-39697729
Spurs fans delight in skills of Harry Kane and Dele Alli but have their dreams shattered again by Antonio Conte’s streetwise Chelsea
The script for Tottenham Hotspur at what must be referred to as the new Wembley stadium has taken on a standard feel. They arrive with great expectations and leave with their dreams in tatters.
They had defeated Chelsea in the 2008 League Cup final but, before this visit, it was eight appearances and a single win – and that was the largely meaningless one against CSKA Moscow in the final Champions League group phase tie earlier this season.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/apr/23/chelsea-tottenham-fa-cup-semi-final
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is thrilled after watching his side beat Tottenham 4-2 in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday. The Italian believes that the victory can provide Chelsea with some momentum in the Premier League title race. Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino meanwhile reflects that he is proud of his team’s effort despite the loss
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/video/2017/apr/22/fa-cup-win-spurs-gives-chelsea-momentum-title-race-conte-video
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is “not worried” that losing to Chelsea in the FA Cup could derail their Premier League title bid.
Permanent link to this article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39680061
• Manager describes FA Cup win over Spurs as a credit to English football
• Mauricio Pochettino: ‘We played better but they were more clinical’
Antonio Conte is still in his first season in England and finding it hard to believe cup games can be fought with such commitment and vigour. His Chelsea side reached the FA Cup final after a 4-2 victory against Tottenham that the Italian described as a great advertisement for English football.
“England must be proud to have football of this intensity,” the Chelsea manager said. “It is a great achievement for me to reach a final in my first season, but also for my players. They had to come through a really tough game against a very strong team.”
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/22/antonio-conte-chelsea-fa-cup-spurs
The Chelsea manager gambled but both his starting XI and his substitutions paid off in a display that had his imprint stamped all over it
With 15 minutes gone on a fun, balmy, febrile afternoon at Wembley, Antonio Conte could be seen cavorting on the touchline in his sombre suit like an old-time revivalist preacher working the crowd at the village hall, arms windmilling, fists pumping, shiny shoes pounding the turf.
High above his head an aeroplane appeared, trailing a message across the sky. The message was: “Antonio Conte!” Hallelujah! And indeed, praise be.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/22/antonio-conte-chelsea-spurs-fa-cup-semi-final-barney-ronay
Willian and Eden Hazard were Chelsea’s standout performers, while Hugo Lloris and Toby Alderweireld had days to forget at the back for Spurs
GK Thibaut Courtois 6/10 Fit again after missing last week’s defeat to Manchester United, the big Belgian could not be faulted for either of Tottenham’s goals.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/22/chelsea-4-2-tottenham-hotspur-fa-cup-semi-final-player-ratings
The Wembley misery for Tottenham goes on. Not only were Mauricio Pochettino’s team well beaten by what appeared to be a weakened Chelsea side, their hopes of striking a psychological blow against their title rivals were dealt a blow when Antonio Conte came up with some blue sky thinking of his own, saving the best until last to put a strong Spurs performance into unflattering perspective.
Tottenham have still not been in an FA Cup final since Paul Gascoigne was running around injuring himself against Nottingham Forest in 1991, and they have now failed at the semi-final stage on eight consecutive occasions. Chelsea last won the Cup in 2012, and Conte now has a chance to mark his first season in England by winning the Double. It would be foolish to write him off, for though his selection policy might have been deemed risky, it ended up underlining the strength at his disposal.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/22/chelsea-tottenham-hotspur-fa-cup-semi-final-match-report
Chelsea won a six-goal Wembley thriller, Nemanja Matić scoring one of the sweetest Wembley goals.
And that’s that. Chelsea reach their first FA Cup final since 2012; Tottenham’s 26-year wait goes on. The scoreline reads like a rout, but this match was in the balance until Chelsea’s two spectacular late strikes. A wonderful game which ebbed and flowed all evening. Spurs can be very proud of their contribution to a classic FA Cup semi, though that won’t keep them warm tonight. Ah well, time to concentrate on the league. As for Chelsea, they were simply magnificent, Antonio Conte’s selection and subsequent substitutions playing out perfectly. A league and cup double is a very real possibility now.
90 min +4: … they so nearly do! Kane batters a low shot towards the bottom left, full of vim and frustration. It squirts under Courtois’s body, and should by rights trickle over the line. But – the final insult for Spurs, this – the ball screeches to a stop on the line, and spins back into the keeper’s arms! Invisible string. Phil Mickelson wouldn’t be able to impart as much spin on a ball as that!
90 min +3: Alli dribbles down the middle and slips past Luiz. He’s then clipped from behind by Kante, on the edge of the D. Kante is booked. Spurs simply have to score from the free kick. And…
90 min +2: Eriksen, to the right of the Chelsea D, attempts a snapshot towards the bottom left. It flies harmlessly wide.
90 min: There will be four added minutes, but there’s no sense of Spurs launching a late recovery. Chelsea are in control.
89 min: Walker curls a dangerous ball into the box from the right. Courtois punches clear with purpose. Spurs have run out of ideas, the wind taken from their sail. You can’t blame them. They’ve been excellent this evening, but Chelsea sucker-punched them with two amazing goals.
86 min: Space for Fabregas to the right of the Spurs goal. He dinks one inside for Costa, who should bury a header from close range, but clanks it wide right under no pressure whatsoever.
85 min: Now Costa has a run at a dispirited Spurs back line. He’s eventually crowded out, but only just.
83 min: Spurs don’t deserve to be on the end of a rout. But there’s a danger of it, as Hazard scampers after a long ball down the left, gets to it first, rounds Lloris who races out of his area, and pulls back for Alonso on the edge of the box. Alonso’s attempt to replicate Hazard’s goal is blocked.
82 min: Amid the celebrations of that crazy strike, Kurt Zouma’s face on the bench was Wow personified. Poor Spurs. They’ve been brilliant. It’s just that Chelsea have been even better.
Oh my word. Fabregas and Hazard nearly open Spurs up down the inside right. Not quite. Hazard lays the ball back for Matic, who is 25 yards out, a little bit left of centre. Matic catches the ball first time, and sends an unstoppable bullet into the very top-right corner. Lloris was rooted to the spot, but had no chance whatsover. That was as sweet a strike as Wembley has ever seen. Slightly reminiscent of Billy Bremner’s peach at the same end in the 1965 FA Cup final. But further out. Football purity.
79 min: Wanyama is replaced by Nkoudou.
78 min: Dier Beckenbauers his way up the middle of the park and looks to release Kane down the middle with a threaded pass. But Luiz is wise to the grift and eases Kane out of it.
77 min: Spurs come straight back at Chelsea and earn a free kick in the heart of the Chelsea half. They load the box. Eriksen floats the ball into the area; it skims off the top of Luiz’s head and out for a corner on the left. The resulting set piece is battered miles upfield by the head of Costa. Spurs are clearly in no mood to take this lying down. But do they have a third equaliser in them?
Chelsea win their first corner of the match, down the right. It’s half cleared by Walker. Hazard, to the left of the D, takes a touch and, despite three white shirts swarming, threads a stunning low fizzer through a thicket of players, across Lloris, and into the bottom right! What a finish that was! What a game we have on our hands here!
74 min: Conte has now played his hand: Fabregas comes on in place of Pedro.
73 min: Spurs are on top in terms of possession and territory. But then Chelsea like to play on the break. Here they come on the counter after a period of Spurs probing. Moses tears through the midfield, with Spurs light at the back. Alli clips his heels and takes the booking.
71 min: Willian is back on the bench now, and to be fair doesn’t have a face on any more. Out on the pitch, Spurs press Chelsea back in their own box. The ball’s pinged this way and that. Eventually Walker wins a corner on the right. From the set piece, Costa nearly accidentally tees up Kane, but clears; then Pedro is close to scarpering free down the left, but Dembele shoulder charges him out of the way.
69 min: Spurs rejig their defence, taking off Son and throwing Walker on. Trippier will shift over to the left, Walker taking up his spot on the right.
67 min: Kane and Alli combine well down the left. Kane very nearly breaks into the Chelsea box, but stumbles and can’t regain his poise. It’s a double shame as Tripper was clear on the right, an option if Kane didn’t fancy shooting himself.
65 min: Wanyama has a dig from the best part of 30 yards. Nope. But you can forgive players for getting a bit giddy in this atmosphere. It’s a rollicking cup tie, and Wembley can’t get enough of it.
63 min: Alonso tries to find Costa in the Spurs box with a long throw. Spurs break upfield, Alli making good down the left. He looks to return the favour to Eriksen with a glorious curling cross into the Chelsea box from a deep position on the wing. If Eriksen had opted to volley that, the net could have come off. But he decides to guide a header goalwards instead, and that’s easy pickings for Courtois. A sparkling counter attack, though.
61 min: No hat-trick for Willian, then. He doesn’t look too happy as he’s hooked, along with Batshuayi, and heads off straight down the tunnel. Hazard and Costa come on. This match really is perfectly poised. Just wonderful entertainment.
59 min: A couple of corners on the left for Spurs. Both are easily cleared by Chelsea, and Alli turns down the pressure with a very ambitious attempt to chip Courtois from 30 yards. Nope. Spurs are asking questions, though.
57 min: Pedro runs at a Spurs defence light on numbers. For a second it looks as though he might scoot clear, but the ball stays behind him for a second. He recovers and dribbles to the edge of the box, before shuttling it wide right to Willian. The Chelsea winger looks for his hat-trick with a low fizzing shot, but it’s blocked at source by Alderweireld.
56 min: Wembley is bouncing. What an atmosphere! And no wonder: an FA Cup semi, a London derby, four goals, a few contentious decisions, and we’re not even an hour in! Marvellous.
54 min: Immediately from kick off, Alli turns Aki and enters the Spurs area down the inside-right channel. He goes over Aki’s leg, but the defender, coming back at Alli from the side, gets a faint touch of the ball. No penalty. But boy that was close.
Chelsea allow Spurs to ping it around the midfield. It all looks very sterile. But then Eriksen, just to the right of the centre circle, sprays a long curling pass forward, towards the Chelsea box. Alli is cutting in from the left. He’s ahead of Luiz, and meets the perfectly judged quarterbacked pass first time, blasting it into the top right from ten yards! What a finish … but that was all about the pass. Wow.
51 min: Spurs have started the second half with purpose, though. Chelsea seem happy enough to sit back, but there’s no disguising Tottenham’s energy.
50 min: … it’s komik kutz as Eriksen plays it short to Son, whose return stab goes straight to Kante. The Chelsea man blooters clear with glee.
49 min: Kane strides down the right after a throw, skating past Matic as though he wasn’t there. Time to cross, but there’s nobody in the middle so he purchase a corner instead. From which…
47 min: Kane tries to spin around Azpilicueta down the inside-left channel. He’s upended, but the Chelsea defender doesn’t get booked for the slightly wild clatter. Then Luiz cynically bodychecks Alli, but there’s no free kick. The Spurs fans make their displeasure known; the decisions not going their way right now.
And we’re off again! No changes made by either side. Chelsea get the ball rolling for the second half.
Half-time reading: There’s a big semi-final north of the border midday tomorrow. Here’s our man Ewan Murray looking forward to light lunch with the Old Firm.
Alonso finally goes in the book for pointlessly kicking the ball away after a common-or-garden free kick was awarded in the midfield, just before the half-time whistle is blown. What idiocy. And that’s that for the first half. Chelsea lead, but that was finely poised before Son’s ludicrous challenge on Moses. Chelsea are 45 minutes away from their first final since 2012; Spurs have 45 minutes to turn this around and scratch that 26-year itch.
45 min: Lloris comes to the edge of his area to collect a loose ball. He slides out of the box and, under pressure from Batshuayi, pats the ball back into the area before smothering. A clear hand ball, but the referee opts to avoid making a difficult decision minutes after awarding a penalty. Lucky Lloris.
After a long debate over who’ll take the spot kick, Conte orders Willian to do his thing. He smacks the penalty into the left-hand side of the net, Lloris no chance!
42 min: Spurs have been well on top for some time, so here come Chelsea on the counter. Moses is found in space down the right. He enters the area, taps the ball past a recklessly sliding Son, goes over the player, and cleverly purchases a cheap penalty kick. Spurs complain forcefully, but Moses did what he had to do. What a stupid challenge by Son.
40 min: A poor crossfield pass by Azpilicueta is intercepted by Eriksen, 35 yards from the Chelsea goal. Eriksen sends a looping shot towards the top left, but Courtois is behind that all the way.
39 min: Vertonghen pitching-wedges a lovely pass down the inside-left channel and isn’t far away from sending Son clear in the Chelsea area. Luiz is quickly over to hack away, though, and the flag goes up for offside anyway. Spurs are soon coming back at Chelsea, with Trippier given a chance to send one of his dangerous Beckhamesque crosses into the box from the right. Courtois plucks it from the sky in confident fashion, with Kane lurking.
37 min: Yes, Spurs are gaining the ascendancy. Trippier rakes a glorious long ball down the right and very nearly releases Kane on goal. Ake comes across to cover marvellously, hounding Kane out of it on the edge of the Chelsea box and dealing with the danger.
36 min: Eriksen whips the free kick into the Chelsea box, looking for Kane at the near post. A corner’s earned, from which Dembele is not far away from connecting with a header in the middle, six yards out. Instead, Vertonghen recycles the ball on the left, and swings a high one into the area. Dier rises highest and attempts to feather a header towards the bottom right. It only just sails wide of the post. Not entirely sure Courtois had that covered were it on target.
34 min: Alonso slides in late again, this time on Trippier down the right. Another loose challenge and he’ll surely go in the book. Meanwhile a chance for Spurs to load the box.
32 min: This is a very entertaining game. It’s not wide open as such, but there’s a nice breezy feel to it, both teams looking to be positive at every opportunity. Spurs are slowly beginning to get the upper hand in terms of possession.
30 min: Son makes good down the left and earns another Spurs corner. Eriksen has three goes at finding someone with a cross, but nothing pays off. Still, if you don’t buy a ticket, and all that. “Gee, Harry Kane in the box and not taking the corner kicks,” observes Hubert O’Hearn. “Who would have thought such a radical strategy might pay off in a goal?” Breaking news: Roy Hodgson is still unemployed.
27 min: Dembele tries to play his way out of his own box. He nearly allows Willian in on goal, the Chelsea man not falling for his dropped-shoulder dummy. The pair wrestle, which is asking for trouble. Son bashes clear. Up the other end, Kane tries to dribble his way straight down the middle, but is stopped in hearty fashion just inside the Chelsea box by Luiz. He doesn’t claim a penalty kick, though the Spurs fans do.
25 min: Luiz gets some treatment. He’ll be OK to continue. “After an unfortunate shift to the right, the result is a decisive outcome on the left,” begins TW3’s Andy Gordon. “Is Hugo Lloris predicting the French elections, a Paul the octopus de nos jours?”
23 min: Chelsea passes aren’t sticking all of a sudden. Son makes a couple of driving runs down the left, but can’t find anyone in the middle. Then a third cross, and he nearly finds Alli, but Luiz clears with a sliding tackle. Alli then stands on his ankle during the follow-through. A complete accident, he was looking the other way and didn’t know where Luiz had landed. Luiz writhes in pain. He’ll need some treatment.
20 min: Spurs have their tails up now. Eriksen dribbles down the right and is clumsily upended by a sliding Alonso. Free kick. Eriksen over it. Kane lurking. But this delivery doesn’t beat the first man. This is a match now!
Chelsea looked comfortable, but now look! Kane earns a free kick 25 yards out from Kante. Eriksen and Kane try to work space for a shot down the right channel, but can only win a corner. From that, Eriksen twists and turns on the right wing, and whips a ball towards Kane, level with the right-hand post, 12 yards out, his back to goal. Kane stoops, and back-flicks a rather brilliant header across Courtois and into the bottom left. What a response!
15 min: Pedro makes a rare old nuisance of himself down the right wing. A cross into the mixer, and Batshuayi heads goalwards from six yards. It’s a powerful downward effort, but it’s smothered by Lloris on the line, and the young striker was offside anyway.
13 min: In the air, a plane trailing a banner with, for once, a positive message: “Antonio! Antonio!” It’s not quite the Graf Zeppelin hovering over the 1930 FA Cup final between Arsenal and Huddersfield, but it’s a welcome distraction during a scrappy phase.
11 min: Chelsea are stroking the ball around in the confident style, as you’d expect after their fast start. Spurs are struggling to get a sniff right now.
9 min: Having said that, their heads might not have totally cleared. Vertonghen plays a loose pass just outside his own area, allowing Batshuayi and Kante to exchange crisp passes which very nearly open Spurs up. But Alderweireld and Dier swarm, and the danger is snuffed out. Spurs were so close to going two down.
7 min: Spurs attempt to come straight back at Chelsea. Kane flicks a ball down the inside-left channel for Eriksen, but the midfielder can’t quite break into the area. Another phase of play, though, and Alli earns a corner off Azpilicueta. The set piece is eased away from danger by Ake, but Spurs fans will be pleased to see their team haven’t gone into their shell, their so-called recent Wembley curse and all that.
And how costly it is! Willian whips a stunning free kick around the right of the wall and into the right-hand side of the net! Lloris was nowhere near it … though he arguably should have been. It was his side of the goal, but he’d taken a needless step to the right. But how about Willian, a shock selection ahead of Hazard, huh? That Conte knows a thing or two, it would seem.
4 min: Pedro takes down a loose ball in the midfield and drives down the inside-left channel. He makes for the box and is unceremoniously upended by Alderweireld on the edge of the area, to the left of the D. That’s a cynical slide and a yellow card. And a free kick in a very dangerous position.
2 min: Alderweireld rises at the near post, but can’t make contact. Chelsea clear their lines, and Willian goes bowling down the right wing. He very nearly breaks clear but loses control as he tries to circumvent acting wing-back Son. The ball breaks through to Lloris, who clears for a throw that’s eventually mopped up. A lively end-to-end start!
And we’re off! Spurs get the ball rolling. And with 13 seconds now elapsed, both teams have managed to avoid the old Hibs false start. Spurs move forward down the right, Kane winning a corner off Ake. From which…
The teams are out! A magnificent atmosphere, as you’d expect at Wembley, and ahead of a London derby and an FA Cup semi-final. A huge roar. Chelsea are in their famous royal blue, Tottenham Hotspur in their equally storied lily-white. We’ll be off in a little while. But before we kick off, a minute of the warmest applause for Ugo Ehiogu. His old team-mate Gareth Southgate looking very pensive in the stand. Bittersweet chants of “Ugo” ring around the stadium. It’s the most emotional of moments.
Mauricio Pochettino is up next, and first he pays his respects to the memory of Ugo Ehiogu. “It is so difficult. A big loss for us. For all the Tottenham family. I want to say to Ugo’s family and friends all my best, because it is a terrible moment for us. And now we play football. It is very tough and difficult, but we will live and adapt with that pain in our heart. We will give all our support to his family.”
And then onto the game: “For us the system it is not important. We want to win, and will put a very offensive set-up, try our best and try to win the game. That is our challenge.”
Antonio Conte speaks! “I took this decision about our starting XI. I think at this moment, at this part of the season, you play another game, it’s very important for us … it’s important to have a play in your mind. And then to take the decision, yeah. You risk, in the same way you start with Eden and Diego, or to come on, it’s the same. It’s important to have an idea of the team and your players and to make the decision.” A free-jazz ramble, basically. Obviously Conte isn’t speaking in his first language, so nobody’s knocking him for that. One suspects he didn’t really fancy explaining himself to the BBC, that’s all, and decided to straight-bat the questions with a series of meaningless phrases and non sequiturs. Hey, if Theresa May’s allowed to get away with it…
The sun is shining, spring has sprung, it’s FA Cup semi-final day! Ah look, here comes Jonathan Watts, author of the Spursy Scenarios, and there’s a black cloud of doom hovering ominously over his poor head. “As a Spurs fan – long starved of trophies – the next seven or eight games, starting with today’s FA Cup semi-final, have more promise than any season in my life. But years of misery also suggest the possibility of disaster. Three scenarios:
“1) We win the semi-final on Saturday, a psychological blow from which Chelsea are unable to recover and they suffer an end-of-season collapse. Spurs surge to the league title and end the season winning the FA Cup by beating Arsenal 9-0 at Wembley with a hat-trick of hat-tricks by Harry Kane. Having beaten our two London rivals to secure the double, 2016-17 goes down in club history as The Mother of all Seasons.
Antonio Conte has indeed given his Chelsea XI a good hard shuffle. Eden Hazard and Diego Costa are two of five changes to the team sent out to their fate at Old Trafford last weekend. They drop to the bench, along with Asmir Begovic and Kurt Zouma, while Gary Cahill misses out altogether as he’s suffering from gastroenteritis. Stepping up: Thibaut Courtois, Nathan Ake, Marcos Alonso, Willian and Michy Batshuayi.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettinho makes an altogether less dramatic tweak to his team. From the XI selected for the thrashing of Bournemouth last weekend, Ben Davies and Kyle Walker drop down to the bench, with Kieran Trippier and Victor Wanyama taking their places.
Chelsea: Courtois, Azpilicueta, Luiz, Ake, Moses, Kante, Matic, Alonso, Willian, Batshuayi, Pedro.
Subs: Begovic, Zouma, Terry, Chalobah, Fabregas, Hazard, Costa.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Trippier, Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Wanyama, Dembele, Son, Eriksen, Dele, Kane.
Subs: Lopez, Davies, Walker, Wimmer, Sissoko, Nkoudou, Janssen.
While we wait for the confirmed team news – has Antonio Conte really rested Eden Hazard and dropped Diego Costa, as rumoured on the old social media? – how about getting your semi on with this classic Joy of Six? Starring a Welsh wine bar owner, Gazza, Alan Cork’s beard and Merseyside’s answer to Arie Haan?
A dozen days before the release of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea met in the very first all-London FA Cup final. Showing scant regard for the audible range of yer actual Bow Bells, the big 1967 showdown was dubbed the Cockney Cup Final. Spurs, though not a patch on the team of the Blanchflower-White era, which had manufactured 411 league goals in four seasons (!) between 1960 and 1964, were hot favourites nevertheless, on the back of a 23-match unbeaten run. Chelsea by contrast were out of form, “playing badly enough to win the cup” according to the Guardian’s football correspondent and chief wag Albert Barham, cracking wise.
Charlie Cooke, John Hollins and Bobby Tambling fought the good fight for Chelsea. But Bill Nicholson’s team boasted too much quality: Dave Mackay, Jimmy Greaves, the Alans Gilzean and Mullery. A young Joe Kinnear overlapped relentlessly and won many plaudits; Jimmy Robertson and Frank Saul scored the goals that secured Spurs their third cup in six years.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2017/apr/22/chelsea-v-tottenham-hotspur-fa-cup-semi-final-live
Former Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and England centre-back loses his fight for life at the age of 44
The death of Ugo Ehiogu in the early hours of Friday morning following a cardiac arrest has plunged the footballing world into a state of sadness. The Tottenham Hotspur Under-23 coach had been working on one of the training pitches on Thursday morning when he collapsed. Even as the tributes poured in, it was impossible to make sense of the loss of a universally popular and ostensibly fit 44-year-old.
The passing of the former England defender, whose playing career was defined by long spells at Aston Villa and Middlesbrough, has cast a shadow over Tottenham’s FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday – a tie between the top two clubs in the Premier League and which has so much riding on it.
Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/apr/21/ugo-ehiogu-spurs-irreplaceable-death-long-shadow