Chelsea vs Tottenham Hotspur in English League Cup Final

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The English League Cup Final (Capital One Cup) at Wembley Stadium on March 1st will be a London derby between Premier League sides Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. It will also be a rematch of the 2008 final which Spurs won 2-1. Chelsea reached the final showdown by eliminating Liverpool of the Premier League 2-1 on aggregate in their semifinal clash. The first leg at Anfield in Liverpool ended in a 1-1 draw, but Chelsea came out on top 1-0 after extra time in the second leg at home at London’s Stamford Bridge on Jan. 27.

Spurs and Chelsea have met twice already in league action this season with each team winning a game. The current odds at bet365 have Chelsea favored to lift the League Cup trophy at 8/1 with Spurs 5/2 and a 90-minute draw at 14/5.

Chelsea, the Premier League leaders, clinched their place at Wembley when veteran defender Branislav Ivanovic scored after four minutes of extra time when he headed in Willian’s free kick. The match had ended in a 0-0 stalemate after 90 minutes. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was aiming to lead his eighth-place squad to its first cup final since he took over on Merseyside, but couldn’t manage to pull it off. For Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, this will be his first Wembley cup-final appearance with the team since returning to London last season. The Portuguese manager previously led Chelsea to League Cup glory back in 2007 and 2005.

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Tottenham earned their place in the Cup final by edging Sheffield United of League One 3-2 on aggregate. The first match at White Hart Lane in London a week ago resulted in a 1-0 victory for Spurs after English international winger Andros Townshend converted a penalty kick. The second leg took place at Bramall Lane in Sheffield on Jan. 28 with the Premier League’s sixth-place team and third-tier Sheffield playing to a 2-2 draw.

Tottenham left it late to secure the aggregate win as Danish international Christian Eriksen leveled the match in the 88th minute. He had given Spurs a 28th-minute lead on a free kick, but Sheffield United came roaring back in the second half and took a 2-1 lead when 18-year-old substitute scored a pair of goals in the 77th and 79th minutes. Adams had been inserted into the contest just a few minutes earlier as the team’s third and final sub by Sheffield manager Nigel Clough. However, United failed to hang onto the lead and paid the ultimate price when Eriksen fired in the winner in snowy Sheffield.

Sheffield beat some of England’s top-tier teams in their run to the semifinal as they ousted Premier League sides Southampton and West Ham earlier in the competition. The club also beat some top sides last year when it reached the semifinal stage of the FA Cup. Eriksen was the hero on the night and his double means Spurs will now be playing in their first domestic cup final in the past half dozen years and in their eighth overall League Cup. For Eriksen, he has now scored four times this season in the 88th minute or beyond with the first three being game winners.

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