Spurs 2 West Ham 1: Bergwijn and Moura send Conte's side in Carabao Cup semis as Lloris makes string of saves vs Hammers

THEY have got themselves a trophy-winning boss in the prime of life. 

And now Tottenham have a genuine shot at landing a first piece of silverware since 2008. 

Spurs may have sacked a manager, Jose Mourinho, six days before they contested last season’s Carabao Cup Final against Manchester City. 

But Antonio Conte, with six major titles in the last decade, will not get the same treatment if Spurs get on their way to Wembley again. 

This was a scruffy, unconvincing and not especially deserved victory in a quarter-final derby clash played out in a febrile atmosphere. 

West Ham edged it on balance of play, and were much the better side in the second half, but their season is heading backwards – largely because of a lack of manpower. 

Conte’s side prevailed through goals from Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura in a crazy five-minute first-half spell which saw the Hammers equalise through Jarrod Bowen. 

Their squad may still be lacking elite quality in several areas but Conte has added a serious sense of intent to his new club. 

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David Moyes’ side were without the Covid-positive Michail Antonio and Moyes fielded a couple of callow youngsters – but they acquitted themselves well, quelled the home support and will feel their exit is unjust. 

While Spurs haven’t won a trophy in 14 years, West Ham have failed to reach a major final in 16.

So while these may not have been their very strongest available line-ups, both Conte and Moyes were certainly taking it seriously. 

It was a significant achievement for Moyes’ men to finish above Tottenham in the Premier League last season. They had also beaten Spurs in their last two meetings and roared back from 3-0 to claim a draw on their last visit here. 

And the Hammers had defeated both Manchester clubs to get here – ending City’s four-year stranglehold on the competition. 

Yet Conte has injected knew life into Spurs – they are unbeaten in five Premier League games under the Italian – and they now have a semi-final to look forward to in the New Year. 

There had been violence outside the ground – and inside, the atmosphere was torrid, the football ragged. 

Lucas Moura’s cunning diagonal pace released Harry Kane whose shot was pushed wide by Alphonse Areola. 

But it was generally untidy until five minutes of mayhem which produced three goals and two saves, and felt just like Tottenham’s manic draw with Liverpool here on Sunday. 

Bergwijn, making first start under Conte, laid off to Pierre-Emerick Hojbjerg, who cut back a return pass back for the Dutch winger to score from close range with West Ham guilty of some static defending. 

The Moyes boys were stirred into an immediate reaction though. 

Twice Nikola Vlasic sent over a cross, twice Tomas Soucek produced powerful headers and twice Hugo Lloris tipped over the bar.

And then an equaliser which was a personal nightmare for Eric Dier – who had been lauded as a potential world-class centre-half by Conte in his pre-match press conference. 

Here, he was anything but, passing straight out to Vlasic and then being turned inside out by Bowen, who drilled home. 

But two minutes later, Spurs regained the lead and this time Bergwijn was the provider – a darting run into the danger zone, then a squared pass for Moura to bury a shot under Areola. 

Sergio Reguilon, in an offside position, appeared to impede the Hammers keeper but there was nothing from ref Chris Kavanagh – the VAR who failed to send off Kane for a horror tackle against Liverpool – and Stockley Park don’t bother with this competition anyway. 

Soucek was denied an instant leveller by Oliver Skipp’s saving tackle and Kane had a cross-shot pushed away by Areola.

West Ham started the second half at a fair old pelt, pressing high up the pitch and keeping Spurs penned back. 

Lloris advanced to thwart Bowen, impressing as a false nine.

Conte responded by withdrawing both of his goalscorers and replacing them with Son Heung-Min and Harry Winks.    

But it was West Ham who continued to make most of the running – and one of Moyes’ subs, Said Benrahma whistled a shot narrowly wide from distance. 

Another sub, Andriy Yarmolenko had a deflected shot tipped over by Lloris in injury-time.

Yet Spurs have a new kind of steeliness under Conte, one which they lacked under Mourinho as well as Nuno Espirito Santo. 

It is difficult to get used to the idea of Spurs being streetwise but they saw this one out, with minimal alarms, despite sustained West Ham pressure. 

It will seem even stranger if they are actually parading a trophy around Wembley in February. 

But that is what Conte was brought here to do and now that Spurs have a genuine sniff, he will not allow it to escape their nostrils.

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