Jose Mourinho labelled Son Heung-min a "special player" after Tottenham reached the EFL Cup final on Tuesday.

Moussa Sissoko and Son scored as Spurs recorded a 2-0 win over Brentford, who were reduced to 10 men after Josh Dasilva's late red card.

Only Harry Kane (17) has scored more goals in all competitions this season than Son (16) among Premier League players.

Mourinho lauded the forward, who had more key passes (three) and shots on target (two) than any other player against Brentford.

"That's the humility of a player. That's Sonny. That's the human nature. He's like that. Some other guys they are not like that. For him it's the team," the Spurs head coach told a news conference.

"For him, for [Harry] Kane, for Lucas [Moura], for many the team is first and of course we depend a lot on the characteristics of some players. Sonny is one of them.

"He had two chances. He had a good volley. I saw the ball in the net but unfortunately, I was wrong and the ball went out. Then he faced the keeper in a difficult moment of the game, where the game is open.

"The opponent is trying and pushing and he goes and he kills the game. So special player but also a special human being."

Spurs' next outing is a trip to non-league side Marine in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Jose Mourinho hailed a win of huge importance after Tottenham overcame Brentford 2-0 to reach the EFL Cup final.

Moussa Sissoko and Son Heung-min were on target to see Spurs past their Championship opponents, who finished with 10 men after Josh Dasilva was dismissed for a challenge that left Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg with a gashed shin.

Tottenham have not won a piece of major silverware since lifting this trophy back in 2008 and it is a competition Mourinho has won four times.

The last of those came with Manchester United in 2017, with his former club taking on holders Manchester City in Wednesday's semi-final.

"It's a game that takes us to a final. Probably, I hope not, but probably an empty Wembley final but a Wembley final," Mourinho told Sky Sports, casting doubt on the EFL's ambitions to have a crowd at its rearranged April showpiece.

"I'm very, very happy with that. Of course we had matches this year against the biggest clubs in the country, we had London derbies, but this one is one that got us in a final

"I would consider that a very important match for us. Now we have this final in the pocket for a few months.

"We have to forget it and focus on what we have to play in the FA Cup, the Premier League and Europa League."

Brentford fell foul of a marginal VAR offside call when Ivan Toney thought he had equalised after the hour and Mourinho conceded it was not a vintage Tottenham display.

"Solid enough to win," he said. "The game was way under control. They had an offside goal and one penetration on the right-hand side.

"We did not play brilliantly with the ball. Sometimes the wrong decision, sometimes one more touch and not that soft control that allows you to play fast.

"But the game was always under control against a team who are probably coming here next year to play in the Premier League."

Tottenham booked a place in the EFL Cup final as Moussa Sissoko and Son Heung-min got the goals in a 2-0 victory over Brentford.

Thomas Frank's Championship promotion-chasers headed into the match bolstered by a 16-match unbeaten run and victories over four other Premier League sides in this season's competition, but Sissoko's 12th-minute header punctured any early enthusiasm.

The visitors posed enough questions of Spurs in their usual eloquent style and Ivan Toney had a 63rd-minute header disallowed for offside.

Son then streaked clear of their defence to hammer home his 16th goal of the season and grant Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho his latest shot at silverware.

Brentford finshed with 10 men after Josh Dasilva's ugly lunge caught Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

They had given themselves an uphill task by allowing Sissoko far too much room to glance home Sergio Reguilon's left-wing cross in a first half of few chances.

Toney outmuscled Davinson Sanchez to get on the end of Bryan Mbeumo's floated 34th-minute delivery, although Hugo Lloris was equal to a looping header.

The Brentford striker arguably caused his own goalkeeper more discomfort when Lucas Moura's header from Son's corner spun off Toney, with David Raya saving superbly as he tumbled backwards to his left.

Serge Aurier made a vital last-ditch challenge to thwart Toney after Mbeumo got the better of Sanchez five minutes into the second half.

Aurier and Son spurned presentable chances and Toney thought he had equalised for Brentford, only for a VAR review to show he was fractionally offside.

That close shave roused Spurs from their second-half torpor and Harry Kane combined with Tanguy Ndombele for the latter to slide Son through for an emphatic finish.

A spirited Brentford were sapped by that strike and needed another impressive intervention from Raya to prevent Kane from adding further gloss to the scoreline.

Dasilva was deservedly dismissed six minutes from time after leaving Hojbjerg with an ugly gash on his shin.

What does it mean? Mourinho's League Cup love affair continues

Mourinho has lifted the three-handled trophy on four occasions and it was his first honour in English football with Chelsea back in 2005. It was also the last major prize Spurs were able to collect, back in 2008. Victory over either of the other semi-final combatants - his former club Manchester United or Pep Guardiola and holders Manchester City - would surely by richly enjoyed by Mourinho if he and his players can complete the job at Wembley in April.

What's next?

Both sides turn their attention towards the FA Cup this weekend, with Brentford hosting Championship counterparts Middlesbrough and Spurs travelling to non-league Marine in the most intriguing tie of the third round.

Teams will be allowed to make five substitutions from nine players on the bench for the EFL Cup semi-finals and final. 

The change in the rule was introduced following consultation with Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham and Brentford, the four semi-finalists in the 2020-21 competition. 

VAR will also be introduced, having not been involved in previous rounds. 

The EFL added in a statement on Monday: "Each team is only permitted a maximum of three opportunities (excluding half time, full time and half time of extra time) to make substitutions during normal time. However, if a tie goes to extra time, an additional opportunity to use a substitute(s) will also be permitted but only from the five substitutes allowed." 

The decision comes despite Premier League clubs voting against the option of using five substitutes in a single game in England's top flight, a rule which has been adopted in other major competitions across Europe this season. 

City boss Pep Guardiola has been among the more vocal in his criticism of not continuing the five-sub rule, which was temporarily introduced into the Premier League following the resumption of the 2019-20 season after the coronavirus-enforced shutdown. 

City face United at Old Trafford on Wednesday, with Spurs hosting Brentford 24 hours earlier. 

This season's semi-finals will be one-legged and go to extra time and penalties if required, rather than the traditional two-legged ties, due to the congested fixture schedule caused by the disruption to the football calendar. 

The final was moved from February to April, when it is hoped some fans may be allowed to attend.

Jose Mourinho considers Tottenham's EFL Cup semi-final against Brentford on Tuesday their biggest game since he joined the club. 

Spurs take on the Bees at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after overcoming Stoke City in the last eight almost a fortnight ago. 

The club are now just two wins away from a first major trophy since they won the same competition in 2008, beating Chelsea 2-1 through Jonathan Woodgate's extra-time goal. 

Mourinho has won the EFL Cup four times – three with Chelsea and one with Manchester United – and is looking to become just the third manager to reach the final with three different clubs after Ron Atkinson (United, Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa) and Ron Saunders (Norwich City, Manchester City and Villa).

But he will have his work cut out against a Brentford side who have already eliminated four Premier League teams in this season's competition in Southampton, West Brom, Fulham and Newcastle United.

Indeed, the Bees are only the second non-Premier League side to achieve that feat in a season after Bristol City in 2017-18.

Mourinho, who has won 15 of his 17 home EFL Cup and FA Cup matches as against teams from outside the top flight, knows only too well the confidence boost a trophy triumph would bring and is determined to end Spurs' drought. 

Asked at a media conference if it was the biggest game since he took over at Spurs in November 2019, Mourinho responded: "I think so, in the perspective that the club has been chasing silverware for many years. 

"We had a match at Crystal Palace [last season] which gave us participation in the Europa League and that match was important. The only thing more important is finals.

"For me, every competition is important. I won the EFL Cup in my first season [in England in 2004-05], so for me, every competition is important; it doesn't matter where you are or what your ambitions are. 

"Especially for a club without silverware for more than a decade. If we win two matches, we win the trophy, which would be a very good thing for the club and players.

"It is not about me winning it five times with two or three clubs. It's about the players that want trophies and fans that want trophies. We just need two victories. 

"We have to look to this semi-final with this ambition and respect a very good team."

Mourinho confirmed Erik Lamela would not feature against Brentford but did not reveal if his absence was due to his breach of coronavirus regulations. 

Pictures circulated on social media of Lamela alongside Spurs team-mates Sergio Reguilon and Giovani Lo Celso at a festive gathering, with West Ham's Manuel Lanzini also in attendance.

The party went against COVID-19 rules put in place by the UK government as those present ignored social-distancing guidelines.

Reguilon was an unused substitute for Spurs' 3-0 Premier League win over Leeds United on Saturday, but there was no place in the squad for Lamela. Lo Celso remains out injured.

Asked if Lamela would be available, Mourinho said: "Not for me to tell you. Just to tell you that against Brentford he cannot play."

Manchester United and Manchester City will once again face one another in the EFL Cup semi-finals as Pep Guardiola's side continue their quest to win the competition for a fourth consecutive season.

City prevailed 3-2 on aggregate against their neighbours in the final four last season, winning 3-1 at Old Trafford, where this year's single-legged encounter will take place.

United and City are just the second pair of teams to meet in the League Cup semi-finals in consecutive seasons, after Arsenal and Tottenham faced off in the last four in both 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Their 1-0 loss in the return was the second of three defeats suffered against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team in 2019-20, while the Manchester clubs played out a dour 0-0 draw in the Premier League earlier this month. 

The other semi-final is an all-London affair, with Brentford eying Tottenham as potentially their fifth Premier League scalp in tournament.

Josh Dasilva scored the only goal on Tuesday to sink Newcastle United and book a trip to Spurs, following triumphs over Southampton, West Brom and Fulham for Thomas Frank's men.

United were the last team to book their semi-final spot as late goals from Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial saw off Everton at Goodison Park on Wednesday.

Solskjaer will aim to make it fourth-time lucky, having gone down to Chelsea and Sevilla in the FA Cup and Europa League semi-finals respectively last season, compounding the City reverse of 11 months ago.

The holders brushed aside Arsenal 4-1 in a Tuesday quarter-final – Gabriel Jesus, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden and Aymeric Laporte all on target at Emirates Stadium.

Spurs ensured the Brentford would be the only Championship representatives in the final four as Gareth Bale, Ben Davies and Harry Kane scored to complete a 3-1 win at Stoke City.

Both one-off ties will be played in the week commencing January 4.

This week, the English Football League pushed the final back to April 25, in the hope of being able to welcome fans to Wembley.

Brentford claimed another Premier League scalp in the EFL Cup as Newcastle United's quarter-final misery continued with a 1-0 defeat on Tuesday.

The Bees had never previously reached the last eight of this competition but will now play their first semi-final after Josh Dasilva scored the only goal 24 minutes from time at the Brentford Community Stadium.

It was no less than the Championship side deserved as they again edged top-flight opposition, having already knocked out Southampton, West Brom and Fulham to advance to this stage.

Brentford join Chelsea (twice), Tottenham and Hull City in beating Newcastle in the quarter-finals since the turn of the century, with the Magpies - without a major honour since 1969 - maintaining a woeful EFL Cup last-eight record, having won just one of nine ties.

Sloppy defending on an awful pitch led to first-half chances at both ends, with Brentford going closest as Saman Ghoddos scuffed an untidy finish onto the crossbar.

The home side then controlled the second half and got their reward when the impressive Dasilva steered a first-time volley under Karl Darlow from the middle of the penalty area.

Newcastle - kept busy by their former player Ivan Toney, the Championship's top scorer introduced off the bench - offered little in response, yet again missing out on the last four.

The 2020-21 EFL Cup final has been moved from February to April in order to have "as many supporters in attendance as possible", the EFL has announced.

The first major domestic showpiece of the English season was previously scheduled for February 28, 2021.

However, restrictions relating to the coronavirus pandemic in the United Kingdom have limited the attendance of fans this term.

Some stadiums are still allowed to house spectators, but their return in London was brief as the capital was placed under lockdown.

The EFL hopes a new Wembley Stadium date of April 25, 2021 will enable supporters to make the trip.

"The number of fans permitted will be dependent on government guidance in place at the time and it is hoped that moving the date to later in the year will give clubs and their fans the best opportunity to attend in person." a statement read.

The competition is at the quarter-final stage, with last-eight ties to be played this week.

Holders Manchester City face struggling Arsenal on Tuesday after Brentford host Newcastle United, with Tottenham at Stoke City and Manchester United travelling to Everton on Wednesday.

West Ham have completed the signing of Said Benrahma after days of uncertainty over the Brentford star's future.

The 25-year-old had appeared set to move to London Stadium after weeks of speculation, only for reports to emerge of complications with his medical on Friday.

Manager David Moyes insisted it was not true Benrahma had failed his medical but could not offer any guarantees the deal would be completed before the deadline of 1700 local time.

However, the Hammers later confirmed they have secured the signing of the Algeria international on loan with an obligation for a permanent deal.

"West Ham is a historic club, which has been in the Premier League for a very long time. It included and still includes good players. It's a massive club in England," Benrahma said via the club's website.

"I spoke to the manager, so I know exactly what he expects from me. I'll try to meet his expectations on the pitch because he's put faith in me and hopefully I can give it back on the pitch.

"I like this prospect [of playing in the Premier League]! I play football to enjoy myself first and foremost, but it's always enjoyable to know you're joining the most-watched league in the world, so I'm definitely looking forward to showing what I can do."

Benrahma has shone for Brentford after signing from Nice in July 2018.

Since making his debut in August two years ago, he has been directly involved in 54 goals in all competitions (29 goals and 25 assists), which is more than any other Brentford player.

In England's second tier, no player can match his 50 goal involvements (27 goals and 23 assists) over the same period.

Since the start of 2018-19, he has created 188 goalscoring chances in the Championship, second only to Pablo Hernandez (204). He has also completed 233 dribbles, 32 more than any other player in the division, with a success rate of 48.3 per cent.

What does the future hold for Kylian Mbappe?

The Paris Saint-Germain and France forward is not short of options as Europe's elite eye a blockbuster transfer.

But Real Madrid are believed to be Mbappe's preference.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE WANTS MADRID MOVE  

Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe is only thinking about joining Real Madrid amid interest from Barcelona and Liverpool, according to the front page of Friday's AS.

Mbappe is reportedly unwilling to extend his PSG contract, which expires in 2022.

Madrid are eyeing a 2021 swoop for Mbappe, and while LaLiga rivals Barca and Premier League champions Liverpool are also interested, the French forward wants to move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport claims Barcelona have already agreed to sign Lyon captain Memphis Depay in January. The report says Barca are now trying to reduce salaries at the club as they look to resolve the futures of Ousmane Dembele and Martin Braithwaite. Dembele was linked with a deadline-day move to Manchester United.

Juventus are set to reignite their interest in Lyon star Houssem Aouar, reports Calciomercato. Aouar was heavily linked to Arsenal before the transfer window closed, while PSG have also been credited with an interest.

Milan and Serie A rivals Juve will go head-to-head to sign Salzburg midfielder Luka Sucic, says Calciomercato. The 18-year-old has only made two league appearances for the Austrian champions.

West Ham are set to confirm the signing of Brentford star Said Benrahma, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano and widespread reports. Benrahma is reportedly going to cost the Hammers £30million.

- Bild reports Borussia Dortmund sensation Giovanni Reyna is set for a new lucrative contract in Germany. The American teenager has been linked with Liverpool and Madrid.

Borussia Dortmund held onto Jadon Sancho during the previous transfer window – and they have no plans to sell the star in January.

Sancho was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, but the England international ended up staying at the Bundesliga club.

If United are planning another move in January, it seems it is destined to fail again.

 

TOP STORY – DORTMUND WON'T SELL MAN UTD TARGET SANCHO IN JANUARY

Borussia Dortmund will not sell Sancho in January, according to Bild.

Sancho, 20, has continued to be linked to Manchester United, while Liverpool and Bayern Munich have also been credited with an interest.

The attacker has scored one goal and provided two assists in three games in all competitions this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- As he recovers from another serious knee injury, Nicolo Zaniolo is set to stay at Roma. Corriere della Sera reports Roma will extend the Italy international's contract – which expires in 2024 – until 2025.

- Staying in the Italian capital and Corriere dello Sport says Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac has been offered to Roma, who are preparing for the January transfer window.

- West Ham appear set to land Brentford forward Said Benrahma. BBC reports the Premier League club are set to sign Benrahma for £30million, with £25m of that being paid up front.

- As Harry Wilson prepares for another loan move from Liverpool, the Premier League champions want a £1m fee as part of a deal, according to The Sun. Swansea City reportedly lead the race for Wilson.

- Brighton and Hove Albion are apparently looking at Swansea City attacker Andre Ayew. However, The Sun reports Ayew's high wages could see him miss out on a move to the Premier League club.

- West Brom appear set to strengthen. Sky Sports reports they have agreed a fee worth around £15m for Huddersfield Town striker Karlan Grant. Grant scored 19 Championship goals last season.

Sergio Ramos could reportedly leave Real Madrid for Juventus or Paris Saint-Germain, while Paul Pogba is being linked to Barcelona.

Madrid captain Ramos, 34, has been at the LaLiga giants since 2005, but his contract is expiring at the end of the season.

And his situation is catching the eye of two European giants.

 

TOP STORY – JUVENTUS, PSG EYEING RAMOS

Juventus and PSG have tabled contract offers for Madrid star Ramos, according to El Chiringuito.

Ramos is out of contract in June next year, leading to fresh speculation over his future.

The Spain international has won five LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues among numerous other trophies with Madrid.

 

ROUND-UP

- Amid a difficult financial position, Barcelona could also be looking at players coming out of contract. Mundo Deportivo reports Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and Bayern Munich defender David Alaba may become targets.

- Inter reportedly offered Bayern Munich and intriguing exchange during the transfer window. Sky Germany says Christian Eriksen was offered to Bayern by Inter, who wanted Jerome Boateng, but the Bundesliga champions turned down the deal.

- Sergio Romero wants out of Manchester United. The Sun reports the goalkeeper has begged the Premier League giants to let him leave amid apparent interest from MLS.

- Harry Wilson could be set for another loan spell away from Liverpool. After spending last season at Bournemouth, Wilson is being offered to Swansea City, according to The Sun.

- Danny Welbeck may stay in the Premier League. The Daily Mail reports the forward, who was released by Watford earlier this month, is attracting interest from Brighton and Hove Albion.

- West Ham's move for Brentford forward Said Benrahma has stalled, according to The Telegraph, and Aston Villa may make a move for the 25-year-old.

Mauricio Pochettino could find himself back in management sooner rather than later.

Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham in November, having led Spurs to the 2018-19 Champions League final.

Now, Manchester United and Manchester City are reportedly considering moves for Pochettino.

 

TOP STORY – POCH A MAN IN DEMAND IN MANCHESTER

Manchester United and neighbours Manchester City are both eyeing Mauricio Pochettino, according to the Mirror.

Pochettino has been out of work since his Tottenham sacking last year, and the former Spurs boss has emerged as the favourite to replace struggling United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United vice-chairman Ed Woodward is reportedly ready to sack Solskjaer if results do not improve, while City are considering Pochettino, with Pep Guardiola yet to sign a contract extension.

 

ROUND-UP

- Sport claims Barcelona are already planning for the next transfer window. The LaLiga powerhouse are keen to sign two players, with City defender Eric Garcia and Lyon captain Memphis Depay at the top of the list. Barca are also looking to offload Ousmane Dembele who failed to join United on deadline day.

Liverpool are in talks to sign Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland, claims the Mirror. It comes after Adrian struggles to deputise in the absence of injured number one Alisson.

- Tuttosport reports Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are interested in signing Bayern Munich star David Alaba. The two clubs are eyeing Alaba on a free transfer, with the Austria international's contract expiring at season's end. Alaba has also been linked to the likes of City and Real Madrid.

West Ham are trying to sign Brentford star Said Benrahma in a £17million deal, according to the Telegraph.

Mikel Arteta will face former mentor Pep Guardiola after Arsenal were drawn against Manchester City in the EFL Cup quarter-finals.

Arsenal manager Arteta spent three seasons as assistant to Guardiola during an unprecedented period of success for City before swapping jobs last December.

The sides have met twice since then, with Arsenal exacting revenge for a 3-0 Premier League defeat towards the end of last season with a 2-0 win in the 2019-20 FA Cup semi-finals.

Arsenal beat Liverpool on penalties after a goalless last-16 tie on Thursday, while City saw off Burnley 3-0 to stay on course for a fifth EFL Cup triumph in six years.

Elsewhere, Manchester United will travel to Everton in another all-Premier League tie and Tottenham's reward for knocking out London rivals Chelsea is a trip to Championship outfit Stoke City.

Brentford are the other second-tier side remaining and host Newcastle United – penalty shoot-out winners against Newport County on Wednesday – for a place in the semi-finals.

The last-eight ties will be contested over one leg on the week commencing December 21.

Liverpool and Wolves could be involved in another deal, while Arsenal's shortlist reportedly includes four players.

Premier League champions Liverpool confirmed the signing of Diogo Jota from Wolves on Saturday, with Ki-Jana Hoever heading in the opposite direction.

But the business between the clubs may not end there.

 

TOP STORY – WOLVES TARGET OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN

Wolves are eyeing a move for Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, according to the Mirror.

The report comes after Liverpool signed star midfielder Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich earlier this week.

Oxlade-Chamberlain arrived at Anfield from Arsenal in 2017, and made 43 appearances in all competitions in 2019-20.

ROUND-UP

- Arsenal could strengthen further. The Express reports the Premier League club have Lyon star Houssem Aouar, Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey, Dijon goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson and Brentford shot-stopper David Raya on their shortlist.

- Staying in the Premier League and Goal reports Atletico Madrid attacker Thomas Lemar has interest from two clubs in England's top flight. Arsenal, Wolves and Everton have been linked with Lemar previously.

- Manchester City are reportedly close to signing a centre-back. AS reports the Premier League giants are close to sealing a deal for Sevilla's Jules Kounde, a 21-year-old who is a France youth international.

- Arturo Vidal is finally set to get his move to Inter. Fabrizio Romano reports Inter have agreed a €1million fee with Barcelona for the midfielder, while he also says veteran defender Diego Godin will join Cagliari next week.

- After almost signing Daniel James in 2019, Leeds United could be set for another move for the attacker. The Sun reports Leeds are planning a move for James, who joined Manchester United in 2019.

- Staying at Old Trafford and another exit is expected. The Sun says the Red Devils are looking for a new club for Sergio Romero with the goalkeeper upset about missing last month's Europa League semi-final loss to Sevilla.

Page 1 of 4
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.