EFL Cup - Semi-Final - 1st Leg
TottenhamTottenham Hotspur1Sheff UtdSheffield United0

Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Sheffield United

By Michael EmonsBBC Sport
Andros Townsend
Andros Townsend's goal was his fourth of the season for Tottenham
  • Game was delayed by 15 minutes as visitors stuck in traffic
  • Townsend scored a penalty after McEveley's handball
  • Second leg at Bramall Lane on Wednesday, 28 January
  • Winners face Liverpool or Chelsea at Wembley on 1 March

Andros Townsend's penalty ensured Tottenham will go into the second leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final with an advantage over Sheffield United.

Spurs had been frustrated by the League One side before Jay McEveley's needless handball in the 74th minute gave them a spot-kick, which Townsend converted.

Emmanuel Adebayor shot over, Townsend fired wide and Eric Dier also had a header saved for Premier League Spurs.

Sheffield Utd a very good team - Pochettino

United created little and must win the second leg at Bramall Lane to advance.

Nigel Clough's side - seventh in the third tier of English football - had defeated West Ham and Southampton in earlier rounds of this season's competition but they never looked like beating Spurs.

However, the Blades had produced a resolute performance to restrict the hosts' opportunities and looked on course to head to the second leg at Bramall Lane on 28 January with a hard-earned goalless draw.

But their hopes were wrecked when defender McEveley, under pressure from substitute Roberto Soldado, raised his arms and handled in the area for a clear-cut penalty.

Tottenham have not won a trophy in the last six seasons and manager Mauricio Pochettino will be relieved with the victory, but annoyed by his side's lack of creativity.

The run continues
Tottenham have scored in each of their last 27 home games in the League Cup. The last time they failed to do so was in a goalless draw against Wimbledon in a semi-final first leg in January 1999.

Harry Kane, with 18 goals this season, failed to make an impact in front of watching England boss Roy Hodgson, although Kane was not the only Spurs player to be frustrated by a well-organised away defence.

Kane's strike partner Adebayor, captaining the side on his first start since 2 November, was also ineffective and wasted his only chance when he shot over the crossbar after he collected Christian Eriksen's ball over the defence.

Clough credits Blades' 'work' in defeat

Adebayor's replacement Soldado also did not test goalkeeper Mark Howard, but helped force McEveley into the crucial error.

For the Blades, whose coach was stuck in London traffic causing a 15-minute delay to the match, they will be pleased to still be in the tie.

They only had 35% possession but did manage to create two notable chances.

Jamal Campbell-Ryce, who scored twice in the Blades' 3-0 win against Premier League QPR in the FA Cup earlier this month, dragged his shot wide before Stefan Scougall also narrowly shot off target.

But McEveley's mistake and Townsend's calm finish from the spot mean a draw at Bramall Lane will be enough for Tottenham to face either Liverpool or Chelsea, who drew 1-1 in their first leg, in the Wembley final on 1 March.

Sheffield United
Sheffield United have only lost two of their 18 games in the FA Cup and League Cup under Nigel Clough
Kyle Walker
Tottenham right-back Kyle Walker began his career at Sheffield United and is a lifelong Blades supporter
Emmanuel Adebayor
Spurs striker Emmanuel Adebayor has only scored two goals in 14 games this season
Andros Townsend
Sheffield United also reached the semi-finals of the League Cup in 2003, when they lost to Liverpool
Jay McEveley
Jay McEveley's handball gave Tottenham the penalty, which Andros Townsend converted



  • 13Vorm
  • 2Walker
  • 15Dier
  • 5Vertonghen
  • 33Davies
  • 25StambouliSubstituted forPaulinhoat 75'minutes
  • 38MasonSubstituted forDembéléat 65'minutes
  • 17Townsend
  • 18Kane
  • 23Eriksen
  • 10AdebayorBooked at 17minsSubstituted forSoldadoat 65'minutes


  • 3Rose
  • 4Kaboul
  • 7Lennon
  • 8Paulinho
  • 9Soldado
  • 19Dembélé
  • 24Friedel

Sheff Utd

  • 1Howard
  • 7Flynn
  • 6Basham
  • 19McEveleyBooked at 55mins
  • 3Harris
  • 8Doyle
  • 22Reed
  • 20Campbell-Ryce
  • 10ScougallSubstituted forWallaceat 87'minutes
  • 9Murphy
  • 12McNultySubstituted forBaxterat 83'minutes


  • 2Alcock
  • 11Baxter
  • 21Higdon
  • 24Turner
  • 27Kennedy
  • 29Adams
  • 33Wallace
Neil Swarbrick

Match Stats

Home TeamTottenhamAway TeamSheff Utd
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 1, Sheffield United 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 1, Sheffield United 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jamie Murphy (Sheffield United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Jose Baxter.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Kyle Walker.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, Sheffield United. Kieran Wallace replaces Stefan Scougall.

  6. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jose Baxter (Sheffield United) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left misses to the left. Assisted by Jamal Campbell-Ryce.

  7. Post update

    Corner, Sheffield United. Conceded by Jan Vertonghen.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Stefan Scougall (Sheffield United) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jose Baxter following a set piece situation.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur).

  10. Post update

    Jamal Campbell-Ryce (Sheffield United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Sheffield United. Jose Baxter replaces Marc McNulty.

  12. Post update

    Offside, Tottenham Hotspur. Christian Eriksen tries a through ball, but Harry Kane is caught offside.

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jay McEveley (Sheffield United) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Robert Harris with a cross following a set piece situation.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur).

  15. Post update

    Marc McNulty (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Jamie Murphy (Sheffield United).

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Harry Kane.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Paulinho replaces Benjamin Stambouli.

  20. Goal!

    Goal! Tottenham Hotspur 1, Sheffield United 0. Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom right corner.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Wednesday 21st January 2015

Top Stories