Fri, Mar 26, 2010 - Page 20 News List

Spurs surge into FA Cup semis

REUTERS AND AFP , LONDON

Tottenham Hotspur surged back with three second-half goals to beat Fulham 3-1 at White Hart Lane on Wednesday and book a place in the FA Cup semi-finals against manager Harry Redknapp’s old team Portsmouth.

Bobby Zamora gave Fulham an early lead against his former club in the quarter-final replay as Fulham, still going strong in the Europa League, looked to continue their hot streak.

However, a goal with his first touch by second-half substitute David Bentley leveled the tie.

Another substitute, Roman Pavlyuchenko, continued his great scoring run with the second and Eidur Gudjohnsen completed the job.

The victory took eight-times winners Spurs into the last four for the first time since they lost to Arsenal in 2001 as they seek to win the trophy for the first time in 19 years.

It also meant an emotional April 11 Wembley reunion with Portsmouth for Redknapp, who won the Cup there with the troubled south-coast club in 2008.

“It will be a funny old day, a strange day really,” Redknapp told reporters. “They have got great support. It will be a great atmosphere. Everybody would love to see Portsmouth go back and get to a Cup final. They have been through the mill this year.”

Holders Chelsea play Aston Villa in the other semi on April 10.

Meanwhile, Chelsea closed to within just a point of Premier League leaders Manchester United with a 5-0 victory away to bottom-of-the-table Portsmouth on Wednesday.

Didier Drogba scored twice to take his tally to 24 goals in 27 league matches as Chelsea bounced back from the disappointment of dropping points in a draw with Blackburn last weekend.

Florent Malouda also scored twice with England midfielder Frank Lampard adding a fifth goal late on.

“We needed to win and I hope the bad moment is finished,” said Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, whose side were also knocked out of the Champions League last week.

“We have to wait until Saturday [when Chelsea play Aston Villa] because this is a very important test for us,” the Italian said.

Elsewhere, Australia’s Tim Cahill scored for Everton in a 2-0 victory over Manchester City as the Merseysiders became the first away side to win in the league at Eastlands this term — a result that dented their hosts’ hopes of Champions League qualification.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa and Sunderland drew 1-1 and Blackburn defeated Birmingham 2-1.

On a day when cash-strapped Pompey, hit last week with a nine-point penalty for entering administration, were given permission to sell players outside of the transfer window, potential financial asset David James helped gift Chelsea a 32nd minute lead at Fratton Park.

Nicknamed “Calamity” for a series of high-profile mistakes, the England goalkeeper wasn’t helped by a bad bounce as he missed completely with an attempted kick in a bid to clear Deco’s header.

James’ error let in Drogba, who shot into the empty net.

Malouda, booked earlier for elbowing Ricardo Rocha, doubled Chelsea’s lead early in the second half with a fierce shot.

France winger Malouda then put the result beyond doubt on the hour mark when, after James palmed out Lampard’s shot, he followed up to score.

And there was still time for Ivory Coast striker Drogba to get his second goal, in the 77th minute, when he ran onto Jon Obi Mikel’s pass, shrugged off Steve Finnan and scored at the near post.

Manchester City kicked-off fifth in the table.

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