Jan Vertonghen: Tottenham have an FA Cup semi-final advantage at Wembley
Tottenham have lost only once in the Premier League at Wembley this season.
Jan Vertonghen admits Tottenham have an FA Cup advantage with the semi-finals being staged at their temporary Wembley home.
Spurs cruised into the last four of the competition for the second successive season by winning 3-0 at Swansea on Saturday.
“It definitely helps us because we have played well there,” Vertonghen said, knowing that Spurs will be in familiar semi-final and possible final surroundings in trying to win their first silverware since the 2008 League Cup.
“We’ve beaten some big teams there and had some very good games, apart from the start of the season when it was a bit difficult for us.
“Juventus wasn’t great, but Wembley suits us and we’ve had a good season there.
“We really feel at home there.”
Spurs moved into Wembley at the start of the season as their new 62,000-capacity stadium at White Hart Lane was being built.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side have not lost there in the Premier League since August when Chelsea repeated last season’s FA Cup semi-final success.
And other than a Carabao Cup defeat to West Ham in October, the only other time Spurs have lost at Wembley this term was the recent Champions League defeat to Juventus.
But Belgium defender Vertonghen does not believe Tottenham’s FA Cup rivals should complain about their Wembley advantage.
“Everyone agreed that we had to play at Wembley, so I don’t think teams would see it that way,” Vertonghen said.
“At the beginning of the season everyone was talking about it (Spurs’ poor Wembley form) – after the Chelsea, Burnley and West Brom games.
“There were a couple of games which we should have won and we didn’t.
“But after the Champions League games things turned around and we felt we could beat everyone there. I like playing at Wembley now.”
Tottenham’s progress was never in doubt, despite the absence of injured 35-goal talisman Harry Kane and Pochettino deciding to rest several other regulars.
The outstanding Christian Eriksen struck twice to make it eight goals in 10 games against Swansea, while Erik Lamela claimed his second of the season just before half-time to give Spurs a 2-0 lead.
“Christian is a special player and when he drops into that role he is different class,” Vertonghen said.
“He has taken his game to the next level and he’s up there with the best midfielders.”
Swansea had not graced an FA Cup quarter-final for 54 years, but what should have been a memorable occasion turned into a damp squib for the Premier League strugglers.
“The early goal knocked the stuffing out of us and we needed to keep it tight at the back going into the second half,” skipper Kyle Bartley told www.swanseacity.com.
“But these things happen when you play against the bigger teams.
“We were a little off the pace and they were at the top of their game.”