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Alli hit by bottle as Spurs knock Arsenal out of League Cup

<p class="">Tottenham marched into the League Cup semi-finals with a 2-0 win at bitter rivals Arsenal, but the north London derby was overshadowed as Dele Alli was hit by a bottle thrown from the crowd.</p>

<p class="">South Korea forward Son Heung-Min put Tottenham ahead in the first half of a fiery quarter-final clash.</p>

<p class="">Alli increased Tottenham’s advantage after half-time as they won at the Emirates Stadium for the first time in 10 visits dating back to 2010.</p>

<p class="">The England midfielder’s decisive contribution provoked a disgraceful reaction from an Arsenal fan, who threw a plastic bottle that cracked Alli on the back of the head in the 73rd minute.</p>

<p class="">Alli rubbed his head but appeared unharmed as he risked inflaming the situation further by gesturing towards the Arsenal fans to indicate the scoreline.</p>

<p class="">There also appeared to be other objects thrown by Arsenal supporters into the section occupied by Tottenham’s fans as the atmosphere turned toxic.</p>

<p class="">The shocking incidents came after a Tottenham fan was banned for four years after being found guilty of throwing a banana skin at Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang when the teams met in an acrimonious clash earlier this month.</p>

<p class="">It continued a worrying trend of fan behaviour after the recent alleged racist abuse of Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling by a Chelsea supporter.</p>

<p class="">The unsavoury issues in the stands took the gloss off a mature Tottenham performance that underlined why Mauricio Pochettino has been installed as the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed the sacked Jose Mourinho as Manchester United’s next permanent manager.</p>

<p class="">Pochettino has yet to win a major trophy in his four-year reign at Tottenham, or in his previous jobs at Espanyol and Southampton.</p>

<p class="">But if the 46-year-old does take charge of United at the end of the season, once Ole Gunnar Solskjaer finishes his spell as interim boss, he remains in with a chance of leaving with silverware back in the Tottenham trophy cabinet.</p>

<p class="">Tottenham haven’t won a major prize since lifting the League Cup in 2008 and this will be their first semi-final appearance in the competition since they reached the final in 2015.</p>

<p class="">Just 17 days after Arsenal’s 4-2 Premier League win against Pochettino’s team, this was a welcome early Christmas present for Tottenham.</p>

<h>Thrilling Spurs</h>

<p class="">Arsenal, once again without the axed Mesut Ozil, had dominated the early exchanges, Aaron Ramsey drilling a low drive narrowly wide.</p>

<p class="">Henrikh Mkhitaryan should have put Arsenal ahead when he ran onto Ramsey’s deft pass, but the midfielder’s tame effort was saved by Paulo Gazzaniga.</p>

<p class="">Against the run of play, Tottenham gave a thrilling glimpse of their class as they snatched the lead with a lethal counter-attack in the 21st minute.</p>

<p class="">When Lucas Moura’s aerial challenge deflected the ball into Alli’s path, the Tottenham midfielder instinctively clipped a superb pass over the Arsenal defence.</p>

<p class="">Son anticipated the delivery with a perfectly-timed run behind the flat-footed Nacho Monreal and kept his nerve to slot a fine finish past Petr Cech.</p>

<p class="">Arsenal appealed in vain for a penalty when Lucas Moura nicked the ball away from Mkhitaryan as he prepared to shoot.</p>

<p class="">With Arsenal still protesting, Tottenham threatened to double their lead when Christian Eriksen broke away and teed up Moussa Sissoko, only for the midfielder to scuff a woeful shot high over the bar.</p>

<p class="">Ramsey was inches away from equalising when he met Iwobi’s cross with a volley that cannoned back off a post.</p>

<p class="">Arsenal’s profligacy proved costly as Pochettino’s men turned up the heat after half-time.</p>

<p class="">Pochettino went for the kill as he sent on Harry Kane for his first appearance in the tournament since 2015.</p>

<p class="">It was an inspired move as Kane played a key role in Tottenham’s second goal in the 59th minute.</p>

<p class="">When Cech miskicked a clearance straight to Kane, the Tottenham striker floated a superb pass to Alli, who beat the offside trap before clipping a majestic finish over the Arsenal keeper.</p>

<p class="">In the other quarter-final, Eden Hazard came off the bench to score Chelsea’s 84th minute winner in their 1-0 victory against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge.</p>

<p class="">Manchester City and third tier Burton advanced to the last four on Tuesday.</p>
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