REPORT: TOTTENHAM 2 ALBION 0Two second-half goals gave Premier League Tottenham Hotspur a 2-0 win over a battling Brighton & Hove Albion side.
The Seagulls were certainly not overawed by their top-flight opponents, defending stoutly throughout, but were ultimately undone by the quality the hosts had at their disposal.
Erik Lamela came off the bench to open the scoring shortly after half-time, before Harry Kane sealed Tottenham's place in the quarter-finals.
Christian Walton, 18, made his full debut for the Seagulls in goal as Sami Hyypia made six changes to the side held 1-1 by Rotherham on Saturday. Mauricio Pochettino also shuffled his pack following Tottenham’s surprise 2-1 loss to Newcastle United on Sunday.
Spurs started the stronger, dominating territory and possession for the opening 15 minutes, but they were finding it hard to get in behind a brave and determined Albion rearguard.
Jan Vertonghen was the first to properly test Walton, but his skimming drive was well collected by the young keeper, while Kazenga LuaLua was unable to find the target for the Seagulls after being played through by Rohan Ince.
Walton was on hand again, this time to prevent Ben Davies’s cross from creeping in at the near post, before both Lewis Dunk and Aaron Lennon fired over for their respective sides.
Albion continued to frustrate their hosts with a series of courageous defensive blocks but Hyypia’s men were indebted to Walton for his excellent reaction stop to foil Soldado’s angled drive. Lennon then miscued his volley from the resulting corner to leave the Seagulls’ goal unscathed going into half-time.
Tottenham almost established a lead five minutes after the re-start but Soldado couldn’t quite stretch far enough to connect with Harry Kane’s glancing header across the face of goal.
Albion’s resistance was finally broken on 54 minutes as half-time substitute Lamela played a neat one-two with Soldado before guiding the ball past Walton.
Kane came within a whisker of doubling the advantage before Soldado thundered a strike off the bar after a rapid counter-attack - and the Spaniard came close again only to be thwarted by Walton.
Kane, however, did find his way past the keeper to put the tie to bed, sliding in to finish from close range after Walton had prevented an initial ricochet going in off Adam Chicksen.
Albion's Capital One Cup dreams are over for another season, but they came off the field with their heads held high and will gain confidence from the performance.