Christian Eriksen struck late as Tottenham set up an all-London Capital One Cup final against Chelsea by surviving a dramatic late fightback from Sheffield United, to the relief of coach Mauricio Pochettino.
Eriksen fired his second of a pulsating semi-final second leg at Bramall Lane just two minutes from time, levelling the scores at 2-2 on the night and sending Spurs through 3-2 on aggregate.
It came as a great relief for the Premier League side after Blades teenager Che Adams came off the bench to score twice in quick succession and turn the tie on its head.
Spurs had appeared to be cruising after Eriksen opened the scoring with a sublime free-kick in the 28th minute but 18-year-old Adams entered the fray after 74 minutes and quickly levelled the match, turning in a low cross from Ryan Flynn at the back post.
Just two minutes later he had another, putting the League One side level on aggregate with the aid of a deflection off Eric Dier.
Another teenage substitute, Louis Reed, burst through only to shoot narrowly over following a good run. Extra time began to look likely but Eriksen had the final say.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino said: "I think that if we analyse the two games, the first and the second leg, I think we deserve to be in the final.
"But in football you need to kill - this is a lesson for us. When you create a lot of chances you need to kill.
"In football you need to know that sometimes it happens and it is a good lesson for us. We need to learn."
Pochettino tried to play down talk of the final in his post-match press conference, stressing the importance of Saturday's Barclays Premier League trip to West Brom.
Spurs also have games against Arsenal, Liverpool and West Ham, as well as the resumption of their Europa League campaign, before the March 1 showpiece with Chelsea.
But the Argentinian admitted he is already looking forward to the tie, having already beaten the Premier League leaders once this season.
He said: "I think it is one of the best teams in the world, Chelsea, but the final is only one game. All (things) can happen."
Blades boss Nigel Clough was proud of his players but frustrated having pushed their more revered opponents so close.
Sheffield United 2 Tottenham 2 player ratings
Sheffield United 2 Tottenham 2 player ratings
1/12 Michel Vorm
Fumbled ball into the path of Jamie Murphy early in the game and was lucky the striker didn’t punish him. Well beaten by a fantastic Che Adams finish from a tight angle for Sheffield United’s first goal but could do nothing when Adams’ effort to level the tie at 2-2 deflected off Jan Vertonghen. 6/10
2/12 Kyle Walker
Cleared off the line after Jamie Murphy’s effort inside the first ten minutes of the match. Utilised his pace very well against Ben Harris, the Blades full-back, who had a torrid time against the England international. 7
3/12 Eric Dier
The young centre-back put in another strong performance alongside Jan Vertonghen. He is still learning but these are the types of games that will help him mature. 6
4/12 Jan Vertonghen
Very steady as he usually is. The role of captain suited him tonight. He was able to motivate his teammates when reaching the final looked a little uncertain after Sheffield United pulled two goals back to level the tie. 7
5/12 Ben Davies
Had a much stronger game than he did in the first leg. He handled Jamal Campbell-Ryce much better and frequently looked to supply Ryan Mason and Christian Eriksen. 6
6/12 Benjamin Stambouli
He didn’t do anything particularly extravagant but what he did do was prevent Jose Baxter getting forward enough to be a threat. Calm and assured. 7
7/12 Ryan Mason
Tenacious in midfield and never stopped running. Another excellent performance from him as his understanding with Benjamin Stambouli grows even stronger. 7
8/12 Moussa Dembele
He fed Harry Kane in attack well before being replaced by Paulinho after he was clipped by Sheffield United captain Michael Doyle. 6
9/12 Erik Lamela
Replaced by Andros Townsend after an indifferent performance. He hasn’t convinced many at White Hart Lane this season and on tonight’s showing his hasn’t done himself any favours either. Too pedestrian and too lightweight when going up against Jamie Murphy. 5
10/12 Christian Eriksen
Beautiful free-kick to take the lead in the first half. He was superb throughout and it was no surprise when he won the game with a clinical left-footed finish past Mark Howard in the closing stages. 8
11/12 Harry Kane
He worked incredibly hard to get into space on his own up front. Never stopped putting defender Jay McEveley under pressure either. 7
12/12 From the bench: Andros Townsend
He failed to make too much of an impact when he came on with 16 minutes remaining. He didn’t impose himself enough on the Sheffield United defence to cause any major problems. 5
Clough rued Reed's missed chance and another spurned opportunity early on when Kyle Walker cleared off the line from Murphy.
Clough said: "They are the two crucial ones. The first one changes the complexion of the game totally, if we get a goal after 10 minutes.
"Then the chance when we had them rocking at 2-1, if Louis Reed hits the target I think 3-1 might have done. But we gave it a go, we gave them a run for their money.
"It is disappointment first and foremost but underneath that is a lot of pride for how the players have gone about their task."
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