Tottenham and Chelsea set up Carabao Cup semi-final date
Carabao Cup quarter-final: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 2
TOTTENHAM attacker Dele Alli revealed being hit on the head by a plastic bottle thrown by an Arsenal fan made his brilliant goal in the 2-0 Carabao Cup win all the more sweeter.
The Gunners are analysing CCTV footage in a bid to identify the supporter who launched the missile at Alli in the second half of Spurs' quarter-final win at the Emirates Stadium.
It came not long after the England international scored a sublime goal to add to Son Heung-min's first-half effort as Spurs set up a two-legged semi-final tie with Chelsea in January.
And it was another unsavoury episode, coming just 17 days after a Spurs fan was arrested for throwing a banana skin at Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang in the Premier League fixture which the Gunners won 4-2.
Spurs got their revenge for that loss in what was the first game since Manchester United's reported interest in boss Mauricio Pochettino and this result would have strengthened opinion in the north west that he is the man to take over from Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.
Alli said: "It is what it is. It made the goal a little bit sweeter and the win."
Pochettino, who on Tuesday declined the chance to distance himself from those United rumours, hopes the culprit can be caught but was keen not to tarnish the whole Arsenal fanbase.
"It was lucky that it wasn't a big issue," the Argentinian said. "For me, okay we play a derby and we hate each other in a good way but that is in a bad way when you go to damage some people or an opponent.
"I cannot talk in general because only one stupid person made a mistake. I respect the Arsenal fans, like I respect the professionals from Arsenal and I respect our fans.
"For one you cannot talk about everyone. I hope that Arsenal take responsibility and through the camera they can identify because it wasn't a problem but it can happen to be a big problem."
It was another big game where Alli stepped up as he also set up Son's opener with a great throughball and Pochettino revealed he thrives playing in the pressure games.
"I think I explained before, Dele is very competitive," he said. "He loves to compete. I explained to you that in easy situations he gets bored easily.
"He feels so comfortable when he's in a very competitive space and situation he always gives his best. Yes, that is a quality he has and you cannot buy that in the supermarket of course."
Arsenal had their chances as Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette both hit the woodwork, but they were second best.
Mesut Ozil's non-selection was again the main talking point after the game and boss Unai Emery was particularly evasive when asked about his future.
Ozil was not included in the matchday squad and his future at the Emirates Stadium looks bleak.
Emery said: "It was a tactical decision, I thought the players today that are with us, were for us the best for this match.
"We have 24 or 25 players and when they are playing in one or not playing in another it is for me the decision and today it is tactical.
"The focus is to analyse this match and for Saturday, it is a very important match. Tomorrow we are going to train with every player.
"I am thinking about the match on Saturday and not thinking about another situation. Every player is important, I decided he didn't play and it was only a tactical decision."
Carabao Cup quarter-final: Chelsea 1 Bournemouth 0
ASSISTANT boss Gianfranco Zola says Chelsea's players and supporters are keen to be at their best for the Carabao Cup semi-final with Tottenham.
Eden Hazard came off the substitutes' bench to score six minutes from time in a 1-0 quarter-final win over Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge, setting up next month's two-legged tie with Spurs.
Tottenham beat Chelsea 3-1 at Wembley last month and the behaviour of a minority of Blues' fans has come under scrutiny following alleged anti-Semitic chanting which the club wishes to eradicate.
Zola reckons Chelsea are keen to impress on and off the field next month, saying: "Everyone is very excited to be facing them again.
"We are happy because, some time ago, they gave us a good footballing lesson. We're looking forward to challenging them again.
"There are a lot of proud players in our team. Of course they will want to play this game and show we were not the ones playing in that game. Too many players under-played.
"Some of them were hurt. They will be looking forward to it."
UEFA is investigating after the alleged use of a chant by Chelsea supporters featuring discriminatory language, anti-Semitic in nature, aimed at Tottenham fans.
Zola added: "I have no doubts that they will respond to it in a proper way. We have fantastic supporters and I'm sure they'll be supporting respectfully and in the Chelsea way."
Hazard was not risked from the start due to a foot injury, but came on and scored the decisive goal, his 10th of the season.
"The difference was the changes we made. When Pedro and Eden came on, they gave us an extra gear," Zola added.
"Eden is the type of player who can make a big difference when he comes on, even for 20 minutes."
Hazard has admitted his future is uncertain, with his contract expiring in June 2020 as he ponders whether to seek a "dream" move to Real Madrid. Zola hopes to work with Hazard under boss Maurizio Sarri for some time to come.
"He's certainly one of the players who has given this club a lot of satisfaction," said Zola, who in 2003 was voted Chelsea's greatest ever player.
"He is 27, and hopefully he will stay long with us and become even bigger."
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was pleased with his side's performance.
And he expected Hazard to make an impact after chatting to the Chelsea forward on the touchline prior to his introduction.
"He seems to have this habit of scoring against us," said Howe, after Hazard's seventh goal against the Cherries.
"He's a quality player and, again, he made the difference tonight. He has such good feet in tight areas."
Chelsea appeared to make their interest in striker Callum Wilson public on Tuesday, prior to the tie.
Howe insisted he was unaware of complimentary comments about Wilson made by Zola on Tuesday. The Cherries boss added: "Callum's our player and very, very focused on us. I think you could see that with his performance."
When asked whether there was any scenario which could see Bournemouth sell the England striker in January, Howe added: "Not from my perspective, no."