Erik­sen dou­ble fires Tot­ten­ham into fi­nal

Dane’s late strike ends Blades’ dreams of another cup scalp and sets up a Wem­b­ley clash with Chelsea

The Herald - Sport - - FOOTBALL - HER­ALD WRITER

CHRISTIAN Erik­sen struck after 88 min­utes as Tot­ten­ham killed off a stun­ning Che Adams-in­spired Sh­effield United come­back to reach the Cap­i­tal One Cup fi­nal with a 3-2 ag­gre­gate win.

Nigel Clough’s men had res­cued a seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble po­si­tion in the tie as sub­sti­tute Adams scored twice within five min­utes of com­ing on at Bra­mall Lane to level the ag­gre­gate score at 2-2.

But Erik­sen, who had opened the scor­ing on a night of snow and hail with a bril­liant free-kick, had the fi­nal say just as the Blades be­gan to en­ter­tain hopes of another re­mark­able cup win.

League One United had gone into the game hav­ing beaten five Premier League teams over the pre­vi­ous year and they sensed another scalp de­spite trail­ing 1-0 from the first leg.

Adams, 18, gave them hope just when it seemed Spurs had it won, but the Premier League class even­tu­ally told.

It was the Blades who had the first se­ri­ous chance when vis­it­ing goal­keeper Michel Vorm fum­bled a cross un­der pres­sure.

Jamie Murphy was quick to pounce but for­mer Blade Kyle Walker got back to block on the line.

The game had a nice tempo to it and both sides looked to at­tack, although qual­ity was ini­tially lack­ing.

Spurs claimed a seem­ingly de­ci­sive edge in the tie just be­fore the half-hour after Ben­jamin Stam­bouli was brought down on the right.

There was lit­tle doubt Erik­sen would go for goal from the set-piece and he did not dis­ap­point, curl­ing a del­i­cate shot over the wall and in off the far post.

But United were far from be­ing run ragged and McNulty cre­ated an op­por­tu­nity for him­self as he flicked up and volleyed from 20 yards but Vorm was not tested.

Spurs looked like tak­ing a firm grip early in the sec­ond half as Lamela and Kane caused fur­ther prob­lems for the home de­fence, and there was a let-off when the lat­ter slipped as he threat­ened to shoot.

But just as it seemed the tie was drift­ing away from the Blades, Clough turned it on its head by send­ing on Adams for Ja­mal Camp­bell-Ryce after after 74 min­utes.

Within three min­utes he had lev­elled the score on the night as he ap­peared in the box at the right mo­ment to turn in a low cross from Ryan Flynn.

Two min­utes later the teenager was at it again. This time Murphy got to the by­line and pulled the ball back for Adams to strike a shot that took a de­flec­tion off Eric Dier and flew in.

The sta­dium was rock­ing at this point and the hosts sensed a fa­mous vic­tory.

Their hopes almost came through six min­utes from time as another sub­sti­tute, Louis Reed, bust through – only to fire nar­rowly over from the edge of the box.

The pos­si­bil­ity of ex­tra-time be­gan to loom but Erik­sen came to the fore again to res­cue the London side.

Kane picked him out with a su­perb pass and the Dane showed great foot­work and com­po­sure to fin­ish with a low shot and send Spurs to a Wem­b­ley date with Chelsea on March 1.

JUST TWO GOOD: Erik­sen was again the match-win­ner for Tot­ten­ham as they booked a first Wem­b­ley fi­nal since 2009.

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