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If you are a Tottenham fan, admit it that you were sure they were out of the Carling Cup with three minutes left in extra time. Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp did as he admitted he was fearing the worst but insisted his side do deserve their place at Wembley.
“I thought we were dead and buried,” he told Sky Sports. “You’re thinking ‘what do we do? But we showed character and we came back. I was disappointed (with the performance), of course. Burnley were terrific, they showed great character, but we’ve had some great performances (in the Carling Cup), beating Liverpool, and we deserve to be there.”
It took goals from Spurs’ £29 million forwards, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Jermain Defoe deep into extra time to eventually seal a Wembley date with Manchester United on March 1 after a 6-4 aggregate win but only after Burnley had pulled themselves to within three minutes of pulling off the finest comeback in League Cup history.
After winning 4-1 in the first leg, Spurs were odds-on favorites to go on to Wembley and defend their trophy, but throughout the match, they looked nervous, indecisive and desperately short of confidence and were lucky to find themselves only 3-0 down at full-time and still in the competition.
Robbie Blake’s superb free-kick in the first half had given Burnley hope that they could pull off an unprecedented comeback, and that hope turned to real belief with 18 minutes to go when Chris McCann scored Burnley’s second. With Spurs visibly shaken, substitute Jay Rodriguez scored with three minutes remaining to make the score 3-0 and take the tie to extra time.
Unlike most competitions, the Carling Cup rules state that away goals only come into effect AFTER extra time, or else Burley would have won in normal time.
Spurs struggled to create anything in the extra time until Pavlyuchenko swept home the all-important Spurs goal in the 117th minute, before Defoe ended Burnley’s dreams in the final minute of added time.