Tottenham Hotspur reached the semi-finals of the League Cup with a 3-1 win over second-tier side Stoke City on Wednesday thanks to goals from Gareth Bale, Ben Davies and Harry Kane.
On the sort of freezing night that Stoke’s stadium became famous for when in the Premier League, Spurs boss Jose Mourinho paid the now-Championship team the compliment of fielding a strong side from the off including goal-machine Kane.
Chasing a first major trophy since winning the League Cup in 2008, the Premier League team totally dominated the first half at the Bet365 stadium, taking a deserved lead when Gareth Bale flicked in a cute 22nd minute header from a Harry Winks cross.
Stoke brought scowls to Mourinho’s face in the second half with a shock equaliser by Jordan Thompson, who beat Hugo Lloris from close after Jacob Brown’s pass in the 53rd minute.
Tottenham restored their lead with a fine low shot from outside the area by Ben Davies in the 70th minute – before Kane, inevitably – blasted into the top of the net from close range in the 81st minute.
Spurs were top of the Premier League earlier this month but they have dropped to sixth after collecting only a point from their last three matches.
Mourinho, who considers the League Cup as a great opportunity for silverware, has won it four times with other clubs.