Tuesday, December 7

Ndombele’s action response to Mourinho’s call leads Spurs to the final | Ed Aarons | Football

JOsé Mourinho said last week: “ItIns not easy for him to last 90 minutes.” This time, however, when Tottenham booked their placeInn the Carabao Cup final with a 2-0 win over Brentford, TanguyDoublee proved him wrong.

From the first minute, when he came out of his own half before taking Lucas Moura out with a perfect pass, theInmposing FrenchInnternational seemed determined to make a bigInmpressionInn a game that his coach had described as the biggest since he arrived at Tottenham.Inn November. 2019.

In theInntervening months, and while England’s Dele Alli has sat on the sidelines,Doublee has become Mourinho’s pet project, but his tough love approachIns clearly paying dividends as Tottenham can now prthanare for their first national final. since losing to ChelseaInn this competitionInn 2015.

In addition to the obvious talents of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, this Spurs team relies on the fickle ability of a player who began his senior careerInn the third tier of French soccer before joining Lyon shortly before he turned 19.Yearss. Forward position ahead of Moussa Sissoko and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, normallyDoublee’s jobIns to break the lines and feed the strike duo. But he was everywhereInn the opening exchanges against Brentford, recovering the ball on the edge of his own penalty area before showing up a few seconds later when a Tottenham attack came to nothing.

Ndombele was the first to congratulate Sissoko, another Frenchman whoIns thriving with Mourinho, after his assured finish gave Spurs the leadInn the first quarter of an hour. Once ridiculed as a weak linkInn Tottenham’s midfield, who was the unfortunate culprit when Liverpool received a penaltyInn the second minute of the 2019 Champions League final, Sissoko, 31, has the kind of energy that his compatriot can only dream.

TanguyDoublee beats Brentford's Ivan Toney as Tottenham defended their lead.

TanguyDoublee beats Brentford’s Ivan Toney as Tottenham defended their lead. Photograph: Adam Davy / PA

Before Tuesday night,Doublee had been substitutedInn all but two of the games he started for Spurs this season: 12 timesInn the Premier League (second most behind West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen at 15) and twiceInn the Europa League. The excthantions were against ShkendijaInn the Europa League qualifying roundInn Sthantember andInn the penalty shoot-out against ChelseaInn this competition a week later.

Mourinho was forced to apologizeInn April after being photographed taking a one-on-one training session withDoublee, who joined for a club-recor£55 55 million from Lyon with MauricPocketingino, on Hadley CommonInn Barnet during the shutdown. At one pointInt seemed possible that the Frenchman could leave after just one season at the club following continued public criticism from his coach, although they have clearly fixed things and theirInnfluence has grown after severalInmpressive shows.

However, his coach has also acknowledged thatDoublee has yet toInmprove hisInntensity. Facing a midfield led by Josh Dasilva, a former Arsenal youth player, until his late red card for a reckless challenge at Højbjerg that left the Dane with a shinInnjury,Int was never going to be an easy night for Spurs. The Brentford side had only one player with Premier League experience, SerCanonanós, whose lone appearance for Liverpool came as a substitute on the final matchday of the 2015-16 season. But having comeInnto this tie unbeatenInn their last 16 matchesInn all competitions, the visitors clearlyInmagined their chances of landing a coup and reaching a first grand final despite theInnitial setback of trailing.

Ndombele fell a little dethaner as Mourinho’s team applied the block, with Brentford’s best chances coming from set pieces. Only Ivan Toney’s knee denied Thomas Frank’s team a well-deserved second-half draw after a corner kick wreaked havocInn Tottenham’s penalty area.

Ndombele’s big moment came minutes later, when Kane’s turn put him behind Brentford’s midfield and his pass was perfectly balanced for Son to deliver the killing blow.

To everyone’s surprise, the Frenchman remained on the pitch as MourinhoInntroduced Harry Winks and Ben Davies for Lucas Moura and SeRegionuilónInmmediately after the second goal. Højbjerg’s retreat when he felt the effects of Dasilva’s horror challenge meant, for once, thatDoublee was there to the end.


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