By Martyn Herman
LONDON (Reuters) – Tottenham Hotspur gained a slender advantage in their League Cup semi-final against London rivals Chelsea as Harry Kane’s penalty earned them a 1-0 win in the first leg at Wembley on Tuesday.
Kane’s 26th-minute spot kick, his 160th goal for the club, means Mauricio Pochettino’s side will be slight favourites to reach the final although there is plenty of work still to do.
The only goal of the evening arrived in unusual circumstances with referee Michael Oliver eventually awarding a penalty with the help of VAR after Spurs skipper Kane was adjudged to have been marginally onside before being taken out by Chelsea keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Kane tucked away the penalty with his usual aplomb to move fourth, above Cliff Jones, on Tottenham’s all-time list of goalscorers.
Chelsea, who were far better than in their 3-1 Premier League defeat to Tottenham in November, could count themselves unlucky though as they twice hit the woodwork before the break and completely dominated the second half.
Tottenham had to defend desperately at times and keeper Paulo Gazzaniga was forced into making several sharp saves.
The second leg will take place at Stamford Bridge on Jan. 24.
Tottenham are looking to win their first silverware under manager Mauricio Pochettino and their first trophy since beating Chelsea in the 2008 League Cup final.
Holders Manchester City face Burton Albion in the first leg of their semi-final on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)