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Page last updated at 21:43 GMT, Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Tottenham 4-2 Liverpool

By Sam Lyon

Fraizer Campbell, right, celebrates
Campbell, right, celebrates his first goal in a Tottenham shirt with Bale

Carling Cup holders Tottenham strode into the quarter-finals with a clinical win over Liverpool in a thrilling tie.

Three goals in six first-half minutes put the hosts in control, Roman Pavlyuchenko drilling in the opener.

Fraizer Campbell then got his first goals in a Spurs shirt when he clipped home before heading in from 12 yards.

Damien Plessis and Sami Hyypia headed in replies for Liverpool after Heurelho Gomes errors, but Pavlyuchenko tapped in his second in between to wrap it up.

It was an excellent performance from a home side that have been rejuvenated almost beyond recognition under Harry Redknapp, and only three matches now stand between the north Londoners and a return to Wembley where they won the trophy last season.

Liverpool, with some justification, may point to the fact that their side featured 10 changes to the side that beat West Brom at the weekend - but then Spurs themselves had made seven changes to the team that overcame Manchester City on Sunday.

Still, from the off only one side appeared to be in it.

Spurs were effervescent, closing Liverpool down at every opportunity and stringing passes together with a confidence that was so absent under Juande Ramos's reign this season.

Ryan Babel was a bright spark for Liverpool, epitomised by an excellent run into the home box, dribbling past three players, before the attack petered out.

But that was it, with Fernando Torres ineffective on his return from injury, and Spurs took full advantage in a stunning six-minute spell to end the half.

Lennon had come closest to rewarding Tottenham's dominance in the first half hour when he cut inside and saw his shot blocked well by Daniel Agger - but few expected what was to come.

Pavlyuchenko and Campbell had also gone close early in the match and it was that combination that broke the deadlock, the latter latching onto Gareth Bale's pass, out-muscling Sami Hyypia and laying the ball back for the Russian to hammer home.

Three minutes later and it was 2-0 as Campbell made the most of a collision between Reds keeper Diego Cavalieri and Andrea Dossena to collect Jamie O'Hara's pass and roll home.

Heurelho Gomes is stretchered off the field
Gomes is stretchered off the field, but the injury is not as bad as first feared
When Campbell headed in Lennon's far-post cross on the stroke of half time, Spurs fans were in dreamland, but Liverpool were thrown a lifeline at the start of the second 45 when Plessis caught Spurs keeper Gomes in no man's land and headed in Babel's corner.

Liverpool's renaissance lasted precisely four minutes, though, as Pavlyuchenko tapped into after Didier Zokora's shot had been deflected.

If Tottenham thought they could relax, they reckoned without another woeful spot of keeping from Gomes, Hyypia the one to benefit this time as the defender nodded in Babel's corner with the Brazilian flapping.

And the mood at White Hart Lane was further dampened minutes later when Gomes went down heavily under Phillipp Degen's challenge and had to be stretchered off after over seven minutes of treatment.

Liverpool sensed an opportunity to get back into the match but, despite Nabil El Zhar causing problems, the visitors' best hope appeared to be when Degen went down under Bale's challenge in the box late on - but replays showed the defender clearly got the ball.

As it was, Spurs saw out a deserved win - their second over Rafael Benitez's side in a fortnight - to make it five victories and a draw for the hosts under Redknapp so far.

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp:
"It was a good win and a good performance - even if we could have done better on corners!

"That's 18 goals we've scored in my five matches in charge - we're bringing in Les Ferdinand as a striking coach and I've told him if we stop scoring it's his fault!

"In all seriousness, though, I've been so pleased with the players. They have tremendous quality and want to win every game - the desire is brilliant.

"Winning's a great habit and we have three strikers who are firing on all cylinders. I'm happy."

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez:
"We did not play well, we did not defend well, and we did not deserve anything from the game.

"In the second half we were a little better, in commitment and in our quality, but after the first half it was impossible.

"I'm happy with my selection - the side was good, we just didn't perform. The only bonus from the match is that Fernando Torres played some minutes, which is good."

Tottenham: Gomes (Cesar 74), Hutton, Dawson, Corluka, Bale, Lennon, Zokora, Huddlestone, O'Hara, Pavlyuchenko (Boateng 90), Campbell (Bent 90).
Subs Not Used: Bentley, Modric, Gunter, Rocha.

Booked: Pavlyuchenko, Campbell.

Goals: Pavlyuchenko 38, Campbell 42, 45, Pavlyuchenko 52.

Liverpool: Cavalieri, Dossena, Hyypia, Agger, Degen (Darby 84), Babel, Leiva Lucas, Ngog, Plessis (Alonso 66), Torres (Insua 56), El Zhar.
Subs Not Used: Gulacsi, Riera, Benayoun, Carragher.

Booked: Plessis, Torres, Babel, Leiva Lucas.

Goals: Plessis 49, Hyypia 63.

Att: 33,242

Ref: Mike Riley (Yorkshire).

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see also
Carling Cup as it happened
12 Nov 08 |  League Cup
Carling Cup football photos
12 Nov 08 |  Football

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