Fri, Jan 23, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Spurs leave it late to see off Burnley’s challenge

DRAMA AT TURF MOOR Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is heading back to Wembley, although rank outsiders Burnley almost overcame odds of 100-1


Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jermain Defoe scored deep into extra-time on Wednesday to break Burnley hearts and ensure holders Tottenham Hotspur will face Manchester United in the League Cup final.

With less than three minutes of extra-time left at Turf Moor, the second-tier Championship side were on course to go through to a March 1 meeting at Wembley with world champions United on the away goals rule.

At that stage the tie was all square at 4-4 on aggregate, with the Clarets 3-0 ahead in the second leg courtesy of goals from Robbie Blake, Chris McCann and Jay Rodridguez.

However, Pavlyuchenko edged Spurs in front overall before Defoe’s 120th minute effort made sure Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, who won the FA Cup with Portsmouth last season, would be heading back to Wembley after a dramatic 6-4 aggregate success.

Burnley were 100-1 rank outsiders to go through before the second-leg kicked-off but on a rain-drenched evening, Burnley made a mockery of those odds.

The home side broke the second leg deadlock when Blake beat Spurs’ keeper Ben Alnwick at the near post with a superb curling free-kick.

Burnley continued to press forward and in the 73rd minute a cross from Blake was turned in at the far post by McCann.

Spurs advantage was erased with two minutes of normal time left, after Alnwick fumbled a free-kick and Rodriguez scored.

Spurs made the running in the first-half of extra-time.

But Burnley did not concede and were in sight of a first League Cup final appearance when Pavlyuchenko scored from close range in the 118th minute.

Moments later Defoe grabbed another goal, to make sure of an all top-flight final clash.

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