Tottenham Hotspur are one game from ending a 13-year trophy drought as they booked their place in the League Cup final with a 2-0 win over Championship side Brentford.
Jose Mourinho’s exceptional managerial record in the League Cup continued as he reached his fifth final – promisingly for Spurs he has won his previous four.
But they will have to wait 110 days – until April 25 at Wembley Stadium – before they contest the final against either of the Manchester clubs, with United hosting City in the other semi-final on Wednesday.
Moussa Sissoko’s goal on 12 minutes and a Son Heung-min strike on 70 minutes got the job done as the hosts ended a run of three successive domestic semi-final defeats.
Brentford thought they had drawn level just after the hour when Spurs failed to clear a corner and Toney headed home from close range, only for VAR to rule him offside.
“This is a game that takes us to a final. I hope not, but probably an empty Wembley final, but a final still. Of course we are very, very happy with this,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.
“We are going to try (to win). We don’t hide that the next match is always the one we want to win but now we have this final in our pocket for three months.
“We have to forget it, we have to focus on the FA Cup, the Premier League, the Europa League but we have a final in our pocket and on April 25 we have to be ready to fight for the trophy.”
Brentford had beaten four Premier League teams to reach their first major semi-final and things might have been different had Ivan Toney’s equaliser not been ruled out for a marginal offside as they ended the night with 10 men after Josh Dasilva’s red card.
“We played with top attitude, we were brave and it’s massive to come here to Tottenham’s stadium and compete against a world-class team,” Brentford manager Thomas Frank told Sky Sports.
“I’m so proud of the players. But if you want to win a game like this you need the margins and we didn’t have the margins.”
Mourinho does not lose semi-finals in this competition and his team selection showed that he was not prepared to risk it here as a strong spine of a team was spearheaded by Harry Kane and Son in attack.
Brentford’s night ended on a sour note as they were reduced to 10 men in the final 10 minutes as Dasilva was walked for a challenge on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who left the pitch with a nasty gash on his shin.
Tottenham’s last silverware came in the League Cup in 2008.