West Ham 1 Tottenham 3: Son double seals quarter-final spot

Son Heung-min returned to form in emphatic fashion as his double helped Tottenham to a 3-1 victory at West Ham to send Mauricio Pochettino’s side into the EFL Cup quarter-finals.

Having opened the scoring with his first goal of the season 16 minutes in, Son, one of 10 changes and making his 150th Spurs appearance, doubled his tally with a composed finish early in the second half to set Tottenham on their way to a second victory at London Stadium in the space of 12 days.

Son’s goals – his first since March – were Tottenham’s only opportunities of note amid a barrage of West Ham attacks, though, and the hosts’ pressure paid off when Lucas Perez headed in with 19 minutes remaining.

However, West Ham’s hopes of a comeback were dashed inside four minutes, Fernando Llorente tucking home from close range to secure progress into the last eight.

Son wasted little time in opening his account for the campaign, picking out the top corner after latching onto a loose ball on the edge of the area.

West Ham rallied quickly and Tottenham had Paulo Gazzaniga to thank when he pulled off a smart stop low to his right to deny Javier Hernandez an equaliser on the stroke of half-time.

Michail Antonio looked set to restore parity shortly after the restart, but the forward failed to beat Gazzaniga after outmuscling Juan Foyth.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side were soon punished for their wastefulness, Son pouncing on Arthur Masuaku’s error before coolly rounding Adrian.

Perez’s header threatened to make things interesting late on, but West Ham’s defence was exposed again when Llorente reacted quickest to Christian Eriksen’s corner to wrap up the victory.

What does it mean? Pochettino’s back-ups come good

With just 48 hours between this game and their defeat to Premier League title rivals Manchester City, Pochettino had little choice but to make wholesale changes.

Fortunately for Tottenham, their strength in depth shone through as West Ham, who trounced Macclesfield Town 8-0 in the third round, failed to make their chances count.

Son off the mark in style

Son scored 14 goals in all competitions last term, but following his exploits at the World Cup and then the Asian Games, it has taken time for the South Korea forward to click into gear.

With neither Lucas Moura or Erik Lamela presenting as obvious goalscorers, Son will be hopeful his double has forced him back into starting contention.

Hernandez fails to take his chance

Having made just two Premier League starts this season, Hernandez needed to grasp his opportunity with both hands on Wednesday if he is to mount a challenge to Marko Arnautovic, but despite finding himself in good positions, the former Manchester United striker failed to take advantage. 

What’s next?

West Ham host Burnley in their next Premier League outing, while Tottenham travel to Wolves in a late kick-off on Saturday.

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Nacho: Real Madrid will work as if Solari is here all season

Nacho Fernandez says Real Madrid’s players are working on the basis Santiago Solari will remain in charge for the whole season after the interim head coach oversaw a 4-0 Copa del Rey win over Melilla in his first match at the helm.

Former Madrid midfielder Solari was handed control of first-team affairs this week when the club sacked Julen Lopetegui in the wake of a Clasico humbling at the hands of Barcelona.

The likes of Antonio Conte and Roberto Martinez have been linked with succeeding Lopetegui on a full-time basis, but Nacho insists he and his team-mates are only focused on the present.

After Madrid’s comprehensive success against third-tier Melilla, Nacho told beIN SPORTS: “We will work as if he [Solari] is here for the full season. He is from here; he is experienced; he has won titles with Madrid.

“We, the players, don’t have to make these decisions and we will see what happens but he’s a great coach.

“The squad was with Lopetegui, but we didn’t have any luck. Now we have a new coach, who is excited, and we will fight to the death for him, too.”

Nacho acknowledged the days following Madrid’s 5-1 loss to Barca had not been easy.

“It has been a difficult time after the Clasico, where he had a result which we hadn’t expected,” the Spain defender added.

“But this is football and, luckily, we had a game very soon after, which we wanted to win and above all score goals in. Obviously, it’s painful to lose like the other day but thankfully there are more games to come.”

Next up for Real Madrid is home match against Real Valladolid on Saturday.

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Chelsea 3 Derby County 2: Nightmare defending denies Lampard on homecoming

Chelsea overcame a Halloween fright on Frank Lampard’s return as two own goals cost Derby County in a 3-2 loss in the EFL Cup on Wednesday.

Impressive in beating Manchester United in the third round, Lampard’s young side were the architects of their own downfall in London as Chelsea loanee Fikayo Tomori and Richard Keogh both put through their own net inside 21 minutes.

The hosts were not immune to horror moments at the back, with Jack Marriott and Martyn Waghorn on target in a thrilling five-goal first half that concluded with Cesc Fabregas restoring his team’s lead.

And it proved to be the winner as the upright denied David Nugent late on and left Blues legend Lampard to contemplate the unusual feeling of a Stamford Bridge defeat.

Tomori and Mason Mount were granted special dispensation to feature against their parent club, yet the Rams might have wished that was not the case when Davide Zappacosta’s cross struck the former’s standing leg and diverted in for the fifth-minute opener.

The inexplicable error was quickly forgotten as Marriott, a scorer against United, capitalised on Gary Cahill’s slip to drive an unerring low finish across Willy Caballero.

A stumbling Waghorn passed up a one-on-one chance to complete a quickfire turnaround and Derby punished themselves through more calamitous defending.

In eerily similar circumstances to the first, the experienced Keogh sliced another right-sided Zappacosta cross past a bewildered Scott Carson.

Still, the visitors were just as dangerous going forward as they were in their own box and snatched a second equaliser after 27 minutes, Mount squaring for a Waghorn tap-in.

But they failed to plug the leaks and it was no surprise that Fabregas forced home the third for Maurizio Sarri’s side from close range in the 41st minute.

A quieter second half eventually livened up, with substitute Nugent turning the last of three Derby openings into the base of the far post, forcing Lampard to settle for the consolation of receiving the adulation of the supporters, who consistently sung his name.

What does it mean? Sarri certain to stick with status quo

Cahill and Andreas Christensen, paired in the heart of defence, have both expressed interest in leaving Chelsea if more regular opportunities are not forthcoming. On this evidence, Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz will not be dislodged any time soon.

Zappacosta adds zest going forward

He may never be much more than an understudy to Cesar Azpilicueta, but right-back Zappacosta at least left an imprint of his attacking ability in Sarri’s mind, the Italian having been involved in all three Chelsea goals.

Cahill cut to pieces

Ex-England defender Cahill was particularly exposed on Wednesday with his slip in the lead-up to Derby’s initial equaliser the first disappointing moment of a match in which his waning pace was problematic.

What’s next?

Stamford Bridge is again the setting for Chelsea’s clash with Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Sunday, while promotion-chasing Derby host Birmingham City in the Championship on Saturday.

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Ajax rule out January exit for De Jong and De Ligt

Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars has said that in-demand pair Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt won’t be leaving the club in January. 

Several of Europe’s biggest clubs have been in pursuit of the Dutch international duo. 

Goal understands Barca and Manchester City are both trying to sign midfielder De Jong, and the Liga side believe that the Premier League champions have the edge in the race for the 21-year-old.

Meanwhile De Ligt is also being pursued by City and Barca among other sides, with the 19-year-old centre-back also a target for Juventus.

Despite the huge interest in his two stars, Overmars has insisted that the pair will finish out the 2018-19 campaign with Ajax. 

“I think it is pretty well known that nobody will be leaving Ajax in the January transfer window,” Overmars told Fox Sports when asked about potential offers for De Jong and De Ligt.

“There is absolutely no chance, regardless of any offers that could come in.”

Though Overmars was insistent that his prized duo wouldn’t be leaving in January, he was more realistic about the prospects of keeping the pair in the long term, along with some of his team’s other sought-after players.

“We also know that some of our players have reached a certain level where it becomes impossible for us to hold on to them, though. We know that,” Overmars said.  

“I think we could be talking about three to four players, but we obviously want to lose as few players as possible. It’s not like we will sell all of our key players. 

“But Europe’s five to six biggest clubs are in attendance for some of our players on a weekly basis.”

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Spanish football rallies around Real Sociedad’s Sangalli after suffering ‘mild stroke’

Clubs from across Spanish football have rallied round Real Sociedad’s Luca Sangalli after the club confirmed the youngster had been hospitalised due to a “mild stroke”. 

Sangalli, 23, has been one of the high points in a mixed start to the season for the Basque side. 

The player has appeared in six Liga games since making his debut on August 31, scoring his first goal for the club in a 3-1 victory over regional rivals Athletic at San Mames to cap a brilliant performance. 

But Real have now revealed that the midfielder, whose brother Marco also represented the club, required treatment for a serious medical condition. 

“Luca Sangalli suffered this morning a mild stroke,” the club explained in a short statement posted on their official website. 

“He is currently housed in the Stroke Unit of Donostia University Hospital, pending the completion of tests and observation.”

Sangalli had been expected to continue his run in the first team on Thursday, when Real take on Celta in the Copa del Rey. 

He was later removed from the squad, however, with first reports indicating a bout of flu before his club went public with full consent from the player, as noted in the statement. 

The news has been greeted with an outpouring of support from Real’s Liga and Spanish colleagues, including a touching message from rivals Athletic posted on Twitter. 

“Feel better Luca!” the Bilbao side wrote on their official account. 

“We hope to see you soon on the pitch, even it means you hurting us again. Stay strong.”

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