Can history repeat itself for Jose Mourinho in the League Cup?
Juande Ramos’ League Cup triumph back in 2008 remains Tottenham’s only piece of silverware since 1999 and how Spurs’ success-starved fans would love to savour some glory.
Tottenham were professional against Michael O’Neill’s spirited Stoke side and showed their class as Ben Davies and Harry Kane scored in the final 20 minutes to book their semi-final place.
It was a bad night for Dele Alli and Mourinho hooked him after his mistake led to Stoke’s equaliser.
Alli waved his arm in frustration at Mourinho and the Spurs dug-out as he walked off and a parting of the ways seems inevitable.
It was a better night for loan star Gareth Bale and he opened the scoring with his third goal since returning from Real Madrid, although he failed to appear for the second half.
Mourinho will be pleased to return to winning ways after slipping from first to sixth in the Premier League following back-to-back defeats.
He does not have the best memories of Stoke and he lost here twice in the space of 10 days, including in the League Cup, in the final weeks of his second spell in charge of Chelsea.
The weather provided one of the usual ingredients for a cup shock and the bet365 Stadium was at its most wet and windy.
But Mourinho was determined Spurs would not be upset and fielded a strong side, despite making seven changes.
Kane, who scored his first Spurs goal against Michael O’Neill when he was Shamrock Rovers boss nine years ago, had a shot blocked before Bale showed his class to open the scoring.
Lucas Moura fed Harry Winks inside him and he crossed into the middle of the box for the unmarked Bale to flick his header into the bottom corner.
It was only Winks’ third assist for Tottenham and the first goal Stoke have conceded in the competition this season.
It was one-way traffic and only Andy Lonergan prevented Tottenham from scoring more.
The veteran goalkeeper made his Potters debut in his first appearance since turning out for Rochdale in March 2019 and he made a fine save with his feet to deny Alli.
Alli was bright and beat the hapless Tommy Smith in quick succession before he hit a 25-yard right-foot effort, which was saved by Lonergan.
O’Neill has transformed Stoke and they improved to equalise with their first shot on target in the 53rd minute.
Steven Fletcher released Jacob Brown down the right and he sent over a beautiful, curling cross for Jordan Thompson to slot home his first goal for the Potters at the back post.
Alli lost possession with an attempted flick to allow Stoke to counter and an unimpressed Mourinho gave him an earful from the touchline before taking him off soon after.
Spurs gathered themselves and went back in front on 70 minutes when Den Davies picked up Harry Souttar’s sliced clearance to fire home in off the far post from nearly 30 yards out.
Stoke were beaten and when Thompson lost possession, Moussa Sissoko played in Kane to hammer home the third nine minutes from time.
Stoke (3-5-2): Lonergan 7; Collins 6, Souttar 5, Batth 6; Smith 5, Cousins 6, Thompson 6, Fox 5 (Fletcher 34, 6), McClean 6; Oakley-Boothe 6 (Vokes 79, 6), Brown 7 (Powell 71, 5). Subs: Nna Noukeu, Ince, Shawcross, Fletcher, Tymon.
Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Lloris 6; Doherty 6, Sanchez 6, Dier 6, Davies 7; Hojbjerg 7, Winks 8; Alli 6 (Lamela 66, 6), Moura 7 (Sissoko 66, 6), Bale 7 (Son 46, 6); Kane 7. Subs: Hart, Reguilon, Alderweireld, Vinicius.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Harry Winks
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