Carling Cup 2008

Chelsea
1-2
AET
Tottenham Hotspur
Drogba 39

 

Berbatov 70 (pen)
Woodgate 94
     
Ref: Mr M Halsey    Attendance: 87,660

 

By Tony Leighton

An extra time goal by central defender Jonathan Woodgate ended Tottenham's nine-year wait for silverware as Juande Ramos' team deservedly won the 48th League Cup Final and brought the manager his first trophy in England following his October appointment.

In only Woodgate's fourth appearance for the club since his £8million January move from Middlesbrough, the England defender headed the 94th minute winner after Dimitar Berbatov's 70th minute penalty had cancelled out Didier Drogba's opener for the Carling Cup holders six minutes before half-time.

On the Final's return to Wembley after eight years, Chelsea had gone into the match as favourites as they looked to lift the Cup for the third time in four seasons.

But it was the north London club who made the brighter start, striker Robbie Keane having a goalbound shot deflected off central defender John Terry for a corner after just 20 seconds.

Spurs went even closer in the ninth minute, right back Pascal Chimbonda landing a header on the top of the crossbar from right winger Aaron Lennon's corner.

Striker Berbatov and Woodgate both missed good scoring chances from close range headers as Spurs maintained their early grip.

They may well have taken the lead in the 28th minute, left winger Steed Malbranque having a 20 yard shot touched for a corner by the diving Petr Cech following a good move involving Woodgate, Berbatov ad Keane.

Chelsea at this stage had failed to make any attacking inroads and it was not until just before the half-hour that they managed their first shot at goal, a 25 yard drive by Lampard that flew wide of the near post.

Three minutes later striker Didier Drogba curled a free-kick from a similar distance narrowly past the other post. But that was just target practice - following a foul on himself that earned midfielder Didier Zakora a booking, Drogba drilled the resultant free-kick just inside Paul Robinson's left hand post to put Blues in front.

The second half was lacking in goalmouth action until Ledley King almost let Shaun Wright-Phillips in for a second Chelsea goal, the winger chasing down the defenders weak back pass and goalkeeper Paul Robinson having to hurriedly hack the ball clear.

But the game sprung into life as Spurs were awarded a 70th minute penalty for hand-ball by left back Wayne Bridge. Chelsea contested the decision by referee Mark Halsey, who had consulted his assistant, but action replays proved the officials correct and Berbatov calmly stroked home the spot-kick.

Tottenham should then have won the game in the 81st minute, but when Zakora ran free to collect a Keane through-ball his first shot was blocked by Cech and, from the rebound, the midfielder drove the ball wide.

Cech then forced the game into extra time with a smart 84th minute save from Berbatov's 15 yard effort. But four minutes into the extra period the Chelsea keeper was beaten in unusual fashion by Woodgate, whose header from a Jermaine Jenas free-kick was punched by Cech back on to the head of the central defender for the ball to this time to rebound into the back of the net.

Chelsea hit back hard for an equaliser and almost got one in the 23rd minute of extra time, when substitute Salomon Kalou's low 15 yard shot was expertly kept out by the diving Robinson - who four minutes later made an equally smart stop from substitute Joe Cole.

And as the Tottenham fans celebrated a famous victory at the final whistle, it was Robinson - discarded by club and country until his return to the Spurs goal in the midweek Uefa Cup tie against Slavia Prague - who too the hero's accolades.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Cech; Belletti, Carvalho, Terry, Bridge; Essien (Ballack 88), Mikel (Cole 99), Lampard; Wright-Phillips (Kalou 72), Drogba, Anelka.

Substitutes not used: Cudicini, Alex.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-4-2): Robinson; Hutton, Woodgate, King, Chimbonda (Huddlestone 61); Lennon, Jenas, Zakora, Malbranque (Tainio 75); Keane (Kaboul 103), Berbatov.

Substitutes not used: Cerny, Bent.


Chelsea     Tottenham Hotspur
Goal Attempts
14
17
Goal Attempts
On Target
7
11
On Target
Crosses
5
9
Crosses
Corners
5
10
Corners
Offside
2
3
Offside
Fouls
20
17
Fouls
Free kicks
21
22
Free kicks
Yellow cards
3
2
Yellow cards 
Red cards
0
0
Red cards
% Possession
48
52
Possession %

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