THE EMIRATES FA CUP
SUNDAY 7TH JANUARY, 2018
(3pm - at Wembley)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3(0) AFC WIMBLEDON 0(0)
Kane, 63, 65
Referee:- David Coote
Assistants:- Adam Nunn & Daniel Leach
Fourth official:- Andre Marriner
Spurs (4-4-2):- Vorm; Trippier, Foyth, Vertonghen, Walker-Peters; Sissoko (sub Dele, 65), Wanyama, Dembele, Lamela; Llorente (sub Son, 59), Kane (Capt.) (sub Nkoudou, 79) (Armband to Vertonghen)
Subs not used:- Lloris; Dier, Davies; Eriksen
Booked:- Wanyama (foul on Charles)
Wimbledon (4-5-1):- Long; Fuller (Capt.), Oshilaja, Charles, Meades; Francomb, Soares (sub Hartigan, 79), Trotter, Abdou (sub McDonald, 70); Barcham (sub Forrester, 69); Taylor
Subs not used:- McDonnell; Nightingale, Kennedy, Kaja
Kane bursts Wimbledon's bubble!
It took over an hour, but once Harry Kane pierced Wimbledon's defensive bubble, a second goal quickly followed, and it wasn't long before Spurs were cruising to a 3-0 win over the determined League One side, who should take great credit for their performance over the first hour.
Mauricio Pochettino rang the changes in the line-up and formation, with his team set up in a 4-4-2, although I made it more of a 4-2-1-3 with Sissoko in front of Wanyama and Dembele, and Lamela, Llorente and Kane forming a front three.
However, things did not go smoothly for Spurs, as they struggled once again to find ways through a 10 man defensive wall, whilst Wimbledon seemed to find more space in the Spurs half on the rare occasions they made a break. In fact Spurs goalkeeper Michel Vorm had the toughest save to make in the first half when he pushed Abdou's shot onto the bar, and then held Trotter's follow-up which was fired straight at the Spurs keeper.
There was no Dean Parrett in the Wimbledon squad, but former Spur Andy Barcham played on the left flank, and gave Trippier and Foyth one or two uncomfortable moments in he second half. Wimbledon did have a vocal 7,700 fans, who occupied the lower tier in the north-east corner from half-way line almost as far as the goal. They had a good day, and for an hour dreamt of snatching something out of the game.
Spurs had over 80% possession over the course of the game, but in the first half particularly they too often failed to penetrate the wall, or try enough shots on goal. Spurs did enjoy the early pressure with Harry Kane and Erik Lamela showing strongly.
After 3 minutes, Victor Wanyama, making a welcome first start since August, hit a ball out to Trippier whose cross from the right was cleared as far as Wanyama, but Victor's effort was well wide.
Five minutes later, Vorm had to race out of his area and head clear from Wimbledon top scorer Lyle Taylor, as he raced between Jan Vertonghen and Juan Foyth to try and reach a long ball out of the Wimbledon half.
Lamela crossed from the right for Harry Kane, whose effort was put out for a corner by a defender. Lamela, Llorente and Sissoko were all involved in a move which ended with Kane's shot and attempted follow-up being blocked. A Llorente cross from the right was just too high for Kane. There was a degree of unfamiliarity within the Spurs team, and definitely a lack of creativity with Eriksen and Dele Alli on the bench, and not starting.
Lamela had a shot saved by goalkeeper George Long after a touch by Llorente which followed Sissoko's cross from the right. Kyle Walker-Peters got well forward for Sissoko but hit a cross/shot into the side netting, although it did take a deflection and won a corner.
Sissoko fed Trippier on the right and for once he hit a quick cross which was headed on by Llorente for Kane, whose shot was wide and too high anyway. Both Dembele and Kane had shots blocked mid-way through the half.
Wimbledon exerted a little pressure, winning two corners, and that was relieved after the second kick, when referee David Coote blew for a foul in Spurs' favour. Then came that shot by Abdou pushed onto the bar by Vorm, who held Trotter's follow-up.
After half an hour, Dembele pushed a good ball through to Kane, but his effort was always going the wrong side of Long's left post. Kane had another shot after a Trippier cross, and a touch by Llorente, but Long saved and all we got was a corner. Sissoko took the ball forward on a run, passing inside to Kane, who touched it to Llorente, whose shot was also saved at the expense of a corner. Llorente had another effort on goal after a great ball by the ever-reliable Jan Vertonghen, but it was a poor attempt.
There was a degree of panic for Spurs early in the second half when Andy Barcham got the better of Foyth, but hit his cross past the goalmouth and out of danger for Spurs. Foyth looked a bit uncertain at times against the League One attacking players. After a free kick by Francomb, Michel Vorm was forced to tip over a header by Jonathan Meades.
I had been urging Mousa Dembele all game to have a shot and after 51 minutes he did hit a shot which rebounded off Long's right-hand post into the goalkeeper's grateful arms. Trippier fed a ball to Harry Kane but his shot was well off target, as Harry continued his search for his first goal of 2018.
He didn't have too long to wait. First though, Son Heung-min replaced Llorente, and Son challenged the goalkeeper for a ball to the back post by Lamela. Son took a knock as Long came out, and the ball ran out for a goal kick.
At last, Spurs broke the deadlock and it was Kane who scored. Trippier passed inside to Sissoko, who got virtually to the bye-line crossing hard and low for Harry to bundle the ball in from close range.Within two minutes it was 2-0 and two goals to Kane to take him above Teddy Sheringham in our all-time list of goalscorers. Once again Sissoko was involved. Spurs had a free kick deep in their half, taken quickly by Trippier, giving Sissoko a powerful run deep into the Wimbledon half. Sissoko switched the play to Kyle Walker-Peters on the left. His attempted shot took a deflection and ran to Kane, who made no mistake for goal number two.
Sissoko was immediately replaced by Dele Alli, who was heartily booed by the Wimbledon fans not only on his entrance but on every touch, all because of his MK Dons connection. Dele probably enjoyed it all, and was immediately involved in an attack with Kane, which ended with a cross/shot by Son passing across the goalmouth.
In the 71st minute Jan Vertonghen completed the scoring with his first club goal in over four years. He received the ball a good distance out and hit a good shot which took a deflection to beat Long, hitting the net to his left. Jan was mobbed by he team-mates who clearly knew how long he had waited for a goal.
Kane took a ball down the left channel and hit a left footed shot which Long put out for a corner. Lamela then had a shot which he curled a little, but the keeper was equal to that.
Kane was replaced by Nkoudou, who is rumoured to be going out on loan to allow a place for Lamela in our Champions League squad. Son, Dele and Trippier combined before Son had a shot from Trippier's ball, only to see that rebound off the post into Long's arms, as had that shot by Dembele earlier in the half.
Son had looked lively, but this was his best chance. There were also penalty shouts for Dele and Nkoudou, who both got nudges in the back, but no sympathy from referee David Coote. No matter, the game was done and dusted, and Spurs are through to the fourth round, unlike Arsenal who took a 4-2 beating, which of course caused much merriment on the way home!
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