League Two Colchester United produced a huge upset as they beat Premier League Tottenham on penalties to reach the Carabao Cup fourth round.
The Essex side – the lowest-ranked team left in the competition – frustrated last year’s semi-finalists throughout the 90 minutes and won a dramatic shootout after Christian Eriksen and Lucas Moura missed from the spot.
After Eriksen’s first kick of the shootout was saved by Dean Gerken, the hosts looked to have wasted their advantage when Jevani Brown tried an audacious ‘Panenka’ effort, which was so weak that Paulo Gazzaniga was able to abort his dive, stand up and punch the ball to safety.
But when Moura smashed Tottenham’s fifth effort against the bar, Tom Lapslie stepped up to send Colchester into the last 16 for the first time in 44 years.
The biggest upset of Pochettino’s career
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has yet to win a major trophy during his managerial career, despite an encouraging season in 2018-19 which featured an appearance in the Champions League final and making the last four of this competition.
But his wait for a trophy will go on after the biggest shock he has experienced as a manager.
The Argentine had taken charge of 18 domestic cup ties against lower-ranked opponents since arriving in England with Southampton in 2013 and had never lost.
Spurs are on a gruelling run of seven games in 21 days but they could hardly blame tiredness for this result, with Pochettino making 10 changes from their defeat at Leicester – only keeper Paulo Gazzaniga kept his place.
There was a first outing of the season for out-of-favour Eric Dier, a return from injury for Dele Alli and debuts for 20-year-old centre-back Japhet Tanganga and 17-year-old forward Troy Parrott, but none pressed their claims to break into their manager’s first-choice XI.
This defeat will only add to the sense of uncertainty around the club – BBC Radio 5 Live summariser Don Hutchison said before the game there was an “undercurrent of frustration” surrounding Pochettino and that it was hard to “see where the club is going”.
Four defeats in their past 17 matches suggests something is not quite right.
And what is going on with their away form? They have had five games on the road this season, conceding two goals on four occasions and – most worryingly – now suffering an embarrassing exit from the EFL Cup.
More to follow.