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Tottenham still in misery with loss in League Cup quarters

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The Canadian Press
12/18/2013 6:02:25 PM
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LONDON -- Shock therapy failed to produce the desired result at Tottenham as Spurs conceded two goals in the last 10 minutes to go out of the League Cup in the quarterfinals after a 2-1 home defeat to West Ham on Wednesday.

Manchester United also advanced with a 2-0 win at Stoke courtesy of goals from Ashley Young and Patrice Evra. The Red Devils next face Sunderland, with a potential final against bitter rival Manchester City after the Blues were drawn against West Ham in the other semifinal.

The match at Stoke was interrupted in the 29th minute because of hail with a delay of more than 10 minutes before Young scored a spectacular goal from the edge of the box in the 62nd following a 1-2 with Javier Hernandez. Evra then sealed the Red Devils' win by curling home a right-footed strike in the 78th.

"Sunderland played well to beat Chelsea so anything can happen but we are really pleased to be in the last four," Manchester United manager David Moyes said. "The conditions were a leveler and it was really difficult to play in tonight. It's some of the worst conditions I've played or managed in. But once we got the first goal we felt confident. This club is used to winning trophies, it is business as usual."

In the first match since Andre Villas-Boas' dismissal on Monday - following a 5-0 home loss to Liverpool - Tottenham interim manager Tim Sherwood made six changes as Emmanuel Adebayor enjoyed his first start of the season.

Adebayor, who had played only 45 minutes this season after being ignored by Villas-Boas, put Spurs in front with a spectacular volley in the 68th but West Ham got back into the match when Modibo Maiga flicked the ball to Matt Taylor, who found Matt Jarvis before the winger scored with a clean finish in the 80th.

Maiga then jumped higher than the Tottenham defenders five minutes from time and headed home past Lloris to silence the Spurs fans with his first goal of the season.

After West Ham secured a second consecutive win at White Hart Lane following a 3-0 victory in October in the Premier League, Sherwood said his immediate future at the club was still "up in the air." The list of potential candidates touted to succeed Villas-Boas in the long term includes Fabio Capello and Glenn Hoddle.

"I don't know if I'll be Spurs manager, I haven't spoken to the chairman," Sherwood said. "We have to have a chat and see. It has to fit me and the club. The club have to make the right appointment, as you can imagine the list is as long as your arm."

With Adebayor up front alongside Jermain Defoe, Sherwood also started Danny Rose, Vlad Chiriches, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Andros Townsend.

Tottenham got off to a strong start, creating a first chance almost immediately as Aaron Lennon surged down the right flank before crossing the ball for Defoe, whose shot ended just wide.

With Tottenham applying constant pressure on the visitors, West Ham defender Joey O'Brien almost headed the ball into his own net as he struggled to cope with Lennon's cross from the right in the 7th minute, moments before Adebayor sent a looping header wide.

Struggling to string passes together, West Ham was forced to watch and rarely entered Tottenham's half in the first 30 minutes. Looking uninspired, Sam Allardyce's players relied on basic tactics, unsuccessfully sending long balls to Carlton Cole.

Lennon went close after the interval after West Ham's defence failed to clear Rose's cross, but the Spurs winger saw his deflected effort ending inches wide.

It was then Sigurdsson's turn to miss a chance from close range before West Ham captain James Collins almost lobbed Lloris from 70 metres.

Tottenham finally got rewarded after a flash of genius from Townsend released Defoe on the left flank, with the striker sending a perfect cross that Adebayor converted with a fierce volley under the crossbar in the 68th.

Townsend limped off the pitch with a suspected hamstring injury soon after. Matt Taylor went close in the 75th, forcing Lloris to a good save to keep Spurs in command.

Just as Spurs thought they were through, West Ham levelled and Maiga finished Spurs off with his precise header.

"It was a matter of exploiting the space Tottenham left," said West Ham boss Sam Allardyce. "We saw the shaken nerve ends of Tottenham when we scored. We then went for the jugular. Our substitutes, who came on with fresh legs, exploited the spaces."

West Ham players celebrate (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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