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Pochettino bracing himself for crazy January

Tottenham Hotspur's joy of reaching the League Cup semi-finals was rather diluted by the draw.

Spurs' reward for a 2-0 win at Arsenal - thanks to goals by Son Heung Min and Dele Alli - was a semi-final date with Chelsea, with holders Manchester City almost certainly waiting in the final after they were paired with third-tier Burton Albion.

Tottenham have beaten London top-flight rivals Watford, West Ham United and Arsenal to reach the last four of the competition they won under coach Juande Ramos in 2008 by beating Chelsea in the final - their last silverware.

They will now have to overcome Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea in what Pochettino said will be a "crazy" January.

The Blues defeated Bournemouth 1-0 in yesterday's other quarter-final, thanks to Eden Hazard, who scored the winner in the 84th minute after coming on as a second-half substitute.

The first leg will be played in the week of Jan 7, with the return on Jan 21, meaning Tottenham face seven matches next month, including a home English Premier League clash against Manchester United.

COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT

That comes after nine matches in December.

Asked what it would mean to deliver Tottenham a long-awaited trophy, Pochettino said the challenge of winning silverware in England's fiercely competitive environment should not be underestimated.

"It's unfair to talk about winning titles in this competitive country, it's so difficult," Pochettino, who took Tottenham to the League Cup final in 2015 but lost to Chelsea, said after Spurs' first win at Arsenal in eight years.

"The most important thing is to create a competitive team and the last few seasons we have done that. Then you need some luck. It's going to be crazy January."

Spurs' victory at the Emirates was marred when Alli was hit by a plastic bottle thrown from the crowd.

Thankfully, he seemed unharmed, but Pochettino was livid.

He said: "One stupid person made a mistake. I respect the Arsenal fans. I hope that Arsenal take some responsibility." - REUTERS, AFP

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