The Fouth Round of the FA Cup awaits for Tottenham Hotspur following a hard fought victory over Championship side Aston Villa at White Hart Lane.
Mauricio Pochettino called upon his fringe players as he made wholesale changes from the side that beat Chelsea 2-0 in midweek. Only Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier remained from the starting XI of the team that beat the League leaders, the latter of whom donned the captains armband.
However Steve Bruce’s Villains came to the Lane with a clear game-plan. Mile Jedinak and Aaron Tshibola marshalled in front of a stern defence, while Jack Grealish represented the West Midlands side’s sole creative input.
It made for a dour first 45 minutes of football, as Vincent Janssen struggled to make his mark in the absence of Harry Kane.
The first half finished goalless with barely a highlight to muster.
The second 45 brought fresh impetus. Harry Winks had been Spurs’ sole provider of creativity in attack, however the Kieran Trippier who was grabbed everyone’s attention with a two-assist display against Watford last weekend began to make himself known:
And it was the man on the end of his cross, Heung Min Son, who forced debutant Villa ‘keeper Sam Johnstone into his first save of the game, too:
But it was Pochettino’s substitutions which made the ultimate difference.
First of all came Dele Alli, the headline-maker who’s 7 goals in his last 4 games broke a record for a Premier League midfielder. However it wasn’t Alli who was to be the difference.
Summer signing Georges-Kevin N’Koudou will have felt aggrieved not to have started the game, but it didn’t take him long to make up for it upon his introduction in place of Toby Alderweireld as Spurs moved to 4-2-3-1.
“GK” took just 51 seconds to pick out the most unlikely of goalscorers…
Davies’ first goal in nearly 1,200 days was his first in Spurs colours, but an impressively directed header nonetheless.
And the win was secured just minutes later as another Summer signing turned provider to hand Heung Min Son his 8th goal of the season on a plate. £30M-man Moussa Sissoko motored his way down the right flank and picked out the perfect pass:
It was a game that was hardly strewn with highlights, but we can’t expect scenes like that from Wednesday’s win every week.
Fringe players Kevin Wimmer, Kieran Trippier and Moussa Sissoko all got good run-outs, while youngsters Cameron Carter-Vickers, Harry Winks and Josh Onomah all racked up their appearance counts.
Spurs will now be in the pot for the FA Cup Fourth Round draw, which will take place at 7:10 tomorrow evening before Leeds United take on Cambridge. We will be ball No.26.
You can catch all these highlights LIVE during the game over on @JMcCarthyLIVE!
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