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Rediff.com  » Sports » Football Briefs: Tottenham ease past Newport; Sevilla reach Cup final

Football Briefs: Tottenham ease past Newport; Sevilla reach Cup final

Last updated on: February 08, 2018 20:37 IST

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Tottenham Hotspur

IMAGE: Erik Lamela doubled Tottenham Hotspur’s lead. Photograph: .Tottenham Hotspur/Twitter.

Tottenham Hotspur cruised into the FA Cup fifth round by dispatching fourth-tier Newport County 2-0 in a replay with a largely second-string side on Wednesday.

 

Tottenham, who had needed a late Harry Kane goal to force a 1-1 draw in the first game, were never troubled at Wembley, progressing thanks to an own goal from Dan Butler before Erik Lamela doubled the lead.

There was no place in the Tottenham lineup for top scorer Kane, who was missing along with a host of other first-team players, as Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino rang the changes with one eye on Saturday's Premier League derby against Arsenal.

The hosts were in cruise control after 26 minutes, however, when Moussa Sissoko's drilled cross deflected cruelly off Butler's heel and wrong-footed keeper Joe Day on its way into the Newport net.

The lead was doubled eight minutes later when Lamela scored his first Tottenham goal since September, 2016, the Argentine showing quick feet before slipping his finish through the legs of Day having been played in by Son Heung-min.

Tottenham, who missed several chances in the second half with Fernando Llorente, substitute Dele Alli and Lamela all guilty of wasting opportunities, will travel to third-tier Rochdale in the last 16.

Sevilla outlast Leganes to reach Cup final

Sevilla recovered from a humiliating loss to Eibar by booking their place in the King's Cup final for a second time in three seasons, beating Leganes 2-0 on Wednesday in a semi-final second leg to progress 2-1 on aggregate.

Argentine midfielder Joaquin Correa struck the opening goal by slotting a loose ball into an empty net from close range in the 15th minute after Colombian forward Luis Muriel had burst into the area.

Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella risked his reputation by playing a weakened team on Saturday against Eibar and his side were thrashed 5-1, but his gamble paid off as his side outlasted Leganes and Franco Vazquez smashed into the net from a tight angle in the 89th minute.

"We knew how to stick together when we were down and how to be a team and thanks to this we're in the final. This will give us an important boost for the remainder of the season," Montella told reporters.

Leganes produced a huge shock by knocking out Real Madrid in the previous round and kept fighting but they struggled to create decent openings, managing only one shot at goalkeeper Sergio Rico, who had conceded an embarrassing own goal in the first leg.

"We are very proud of all the players as they gave everything and tried but we had an opponent in front of us who were better than us," Leganes coach Asier Garitano said.

"When you give everything you can't ask for anything else, we're going to see how we react to all of this and focus on our objective of remaining in the top flight next year."

Triple holders Barcelona visit Valencia on Thursday in the other semi-final with a 1-0 advantage from the first leg.

The winners will play Sevilla in the final on April 21.

West Ham sign former Man United full back Evra on short-term contract

West Ham United have signed former Manchester United left back Patrice Evra on a short-term contract, the Premier League club said on Wednesday.

The 36-year-old Frenchman has been without a club since he left Ligue 1 side Olympique Marseille by mutual consent in November after kicking one of the club's fans before a Europa League match.

Evra was subsequently banned from European competitions by UEFA for the rest of the season but he will be able to play domestically for West Ham.

"It's amazing to be back (in England) and I am thankful to West Ham for giving me the opportunity to do my job," Evra told the club's website (www.whufc.com).

"When I wake up and know I am going to work hard, to have fun with my team mates and give my best on the pitch, I want to say a massive thanks to West Ham, to the Chairman, to the manager and to all my team mates."

Evra made 379 appearances for United between 2006 and 2014 and won nine major trophies, including five Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2008.

Wenger delays keeper decision for Spurs game

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will decide on Friday whether to play Petr Cech or Daniel Ospina in goal for Saturday's north London Premier League derby against Tottenham Hotspur.

Cech suffered a calf injury in Saturday's 5-1 win over Everton and was substituted by Ospina after 71 minutes.

But he has recovered well and is in line for a recall.

"Cech or Ospina, I will make that decision tomorrow," said Wenger.

"Petr Cech has not practised but I will not take any risk if he is not 100 percent fit."

Wenger also hopes to have Nacho Monreal and Danny Welbeck available for the game.

The game is the first time Wenger has taken Arsenal to play Spurs at Wembley, a ground where the Gunners traditionally thrive, winning the FA Cup final in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

"We feel we have a good level of performance at Wembley, but it will all come down to the day," said Wenger.

"What Wembley gives you is a good pitch to allow you to play the way you want to play."

Arsenal go into the game in sixth place, four points behind Spurs and five off a Champions League qualifying spot.

"I know the importance of this game and it is a chance to close in on a Champions League spot. We are behind in the table and have to catch up," said Wenger, who will face Spurs for the 52nd time in his 22 years as Arsenal manager.

"There is always huge passion. I worked with Pat Rice for many years and he quickly got me on that territory.

"It is always a game more charged emotionally for everyone but this season for us it is a very important game in terms of the table.

"The players know how important it is and you have to find a balance between being rational and emotional."

Valencia urges United to stay in hunt for Premier League title

Manchester United have to continue fighting for the Premier League title regardless of the 13-point gap to leaders ManchesterCity, defender Antonio Valencia said.

United are second on 56 points with 12 games remaining but Valencia said the club can not lose hope yet, pointing to how their cross-town rivals overcame an eight-point deficit in the final six games to pip them to the title in the 2011-12 season.

"We lost a title when we were eight points ahead and there were only a few games left. Now, we have a lot more games to play and we need to keep fighting," Valencia told the club's website (www.manutd.com).

"We need to keep going.

"The important thing is to get the three points, playing at home, playing well, and we will carry on with this mentality until the end of the season."

United bounced back from a 2-0 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur last Wednesday to beat HuddersfieldTown 2-0 on Saturday.

"We have showed that we have the quality and conditions to fight until the end of the season," Valencia added.

United travel to 16th-placed Newcastle United on Sunday.

Source:
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