Supersubs Help Tottenham Through To The FA Cup Semi Finals


Spurs met Fulham tonight as these two London teams tried to settle their differences in the FA Cup Quarter Final replay.

Tottenham started without Pavyluchenko, Bentley and Huddlestone. Defoe was also a no show as Crouch and Gudjonsson partnered up front. Fulham on the other hand had a strong side and with their recent run of big wins in the Europa League, and the amazing form of Bobby Zamora (who is hoping to catch Capello’s eye for a place in the England World Cup squad) you could be forgiven for taking the tasty odds of 5/1 for Fulham to win this match.

Things started incredibly well for the in form Fulham, who were slick and oozed confidence; and this paid off when Bobby Zamora slipped in the opening goal. Duff played the star striker in on seventeen minutes and Zamora tucked the ball away with his first touch, a deserved lead for the away team.

Tottenham came back in search of an equalizer but made very little impact on the Fulham goal in the first half. The only things the fans had to shout about was when news filtered through that Manchester City – their rivals for fourth spot in the league – had gone 1-0 down at home to Everton.

In the second half Redknapp brought on Huddlestone and Bentley to give them forty-five minutes to make a difference and turn the game around. Bentley proved to be a supersub and a savior for Spurs when he struck the equalize just two minutes in. His free-kick was whipped in with power, it missed the heads of everyone in the box and surprised the ‘keeper by heading straight into the corner of the goal. A quick reply from Tottenham to change the face of this game.

With just seven minutes of the half played Corluka hobbled off injured and was replaced by Pavyluchenko as Tottenham used up all of their subs very early on. The supersub scenario worked again though when Pavyluchenko rifled a shot in before the hour mark. Bentley – who changed the game when he came on – whipped a lovely ball to the back post where the Russian hitman was waiting to volley Spurs into a 2-1 lead.

Fulhams’ woes continued six minutes later when Gudjonsson rounded the keeper after being put through, and knocked the ball in for a Spurs third. Fulham had looked bright in the first half but Tottenham had clearly had an earful in the dressing room at half-time and whatever was said was by Redknapp; was working.

Fulham finally made their way into Tottenham’s half to try to fight for a comeback late on, but they lacked the flair needed and the game was always beyond them. Tottenham won well in the end and this 3-1 victory will see them through to the Semifinals of the FA Cup.

David Jester is the author of An Idiot in Love, This is How You Die and other novels. He writes under three different pen names and when he is not writing fiction or nonfiction, he works as a freelancer.