Tottenham edged past London rivals West Ham 2-1 on Wednesday to book their place in the semi-finals of the League Cup for a record-equalling 17th time.
West Ham eliminated Manchester United and holders Manchester City to reach this stage but came out second best in an entertaining tie at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura scored either side of Jarrod Bowen’s equalizer in a frantic five-minute spell to give Spurs a slender lead at the midway stage.
Antonio Conte’s side kept their opponents at arm’s length in a quieter, albeit equally as tense, the second half to remain on course for back-to-back finals in this competition.
West Ham shut out United and City in the previous two rounds but fell behind on Wednesday when Bergwijn exchanged passes with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and finished from close range.
Hugo Lloris twice denied Tomas Soucek as West Ham produced a strong response that saw them level matters through Bowen, who showed great footwork to find space and pick out the far corner after Eric Dier had given away possession.
That was a deserved goal for the visitors, but they were behind again two minutes later as Bergwijn dribbled through the opposition defence and squared the ball for Lucas to convert from six metres.
Without Covid-positive forward Michail Antonio, the Hammers relied on Bowen to attack. The versatile forward would have been in again if not for Lloris’ quick instincts to come off his line.
Spurs introduced Son Heung Min to partner Harry Kane in an attempt to kill off the contest but had to survive a scare at the other end when the lively Soucek’s cross looped up and hit the top of the crossbar in the closing moments.