Spurs bound for Boro in FA Cup

Tottenham will travel to Middlesbrough in the fifth round of the cup after two goals from Harry Kane helps overcome Brighton 3-1

Sunday, 6th February — By Dan Carrier at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Spurs stock photo pixabay

FA Cup Fourth Round

TOTTENHAN 3 (Kane 13, 66, March 24 og)
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION 1 (Bissouma 63)

TOTTENHAM will travel to Middlesbrough in the fifth round of the FA Cup after seeing off a spirited Brighton challenge courtesy two Harry Kane goals and a bizarre deflected own-goal.

Speaking after the 3-1 victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Antonio Conte said he believed his team were taking on board his philosophy.

The Spurs boss added: “The players know very well we want to bring high intensity. Especially in the first half, we brought an important intensity during the game.

“We know very well that this trophy is important. It’s a great competition, a great trophy – a historical trophy in England.”

Conte’s starting line-up showed how much he wants to win the FA Cup. Spurs welcomed back Cristian Romero after two months sidelined through injury – and the defender brought tenacity and intelligence at the back.

After both sides had measured each other up, Tottenham landed the first blow after 13 minutes in somewhat comical fashion. Brighton, who started confidently, got themselves in a wholly self-inflicted twist.

During a one-minute meltdown, the bright Tariq Lamptey was loose in possession and Sergio Reguilon and Heung-Min Son nearly picked his pocket as he dwelt on the ball.

Referee Stuart Attwell spotted a foul and gave Lamptey a free-kick – which instead of calming a moment of jitters saw the experienced Lewis Dunk inexplicably play a sloppy ball across the face of the goal.

Kane was lurking, and Brighton were fortunate his interception wasn’t clean enough to steer the ball past Seagulls keeper Robert Sanchez. But Brighton’s wobbly moment was not yet over.

After Sanchez had rolled the ball out to the right, poor communication allowed Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg to snap up possession. Kane took over, and with all the time in the world to steady himself, curled the ball into the top corner to give Spurs the lead.

Brighton set about their task to get back into the tie with unflustered and patient football – but on 24 minutes their game plan took another knock in unfortunate circumstances.

Spurs soaked up an attack and Harry Winks, deep in his own half, spotted space in front of Royal Emerson. The leggy wing-back opened up his stride and sped away, before seeing his cross loop in via a deflection off Solly March.

On 63 minutes, with Spurs looking comfortable, Brighton’s powerful midfielder Yves Bissouma managed to work space on the edge of the box and fired a shot through a thicket of players. The effort struck Hojbjerg’s back and wrong-footed Hugo Lloris.

At 2-1, the travelling fans sensed it was definitely game on – but Spurs had other ideas. Just three minutes after the restart, a direct run by Son carried him half the length of the pitch and into the Brighton six-yard box. As defenders finally tangled with the Tottenham forward, the ball squirted out for Kane who bundled home from close range.

The victory also included two home debuts for January signings Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur. Both players came on midway through the second half, and their assured contributions bodes well.

Conte welcomed the first signings of his tenure and said they had a lot to offer. He added: “It was important to breathe the atmosphere for the two new signings. They are two good players, two young players with talent.

“They can help us. Rodrigo, despite his age, only 24-years-old, has a lot of experience because he played 120 games for Juventus. Kulusevski, the same.”

Tottenham: Lloris, Sanchez, Romero (Rodon, 77), Davies, Royal (Doherty, 87), Winks (Bentancur, 77), Hojbjerg, Reguilon, Moura (Kulusevski, 68), Son (Bergwijn, 69), Kane
Substitutes not used: Gollini, Sessegnon, White, Scarlett

Brighton: Sanchez, Webster, Dunk, Cucurella, Lamptey (Welbeck, 70), Bissouma, Gross, Lallana (Veltman, 45), Moder (Ferguson, 79), March (Caicedo, 60), Maupay
Substitutes not used: Steele, McGill, Alzate, Duffy, Offiah

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