Tottenham run rampant in Rochdale replay despite VAR controversy
FA Cup fifth-round replay, Wembley Stadium: Tottenham Hotspur 6 (Son 23, 65, Llorente 47, 54, 59, Walker-Peters 90+3) Rochdale 1 (Humphrys 31)
Son Heung-min of Tottenham celebrates with team mates after scoring his team's fifth goal of the game during The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round Replay match between Tottenham Hotspur and Rochdale on February 28, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.
Yet another VAR mess of nonsense oughtn't to detract from another terrific cup-tie. Though it wasn't close in the end, Rochdale made Spurs fight hard for their quarter-final trip to Swansea, and should return to their League 1 relegation battle in good heart.
The first half was an absolute thriller, played in swirling snow; Dale gave as good as they got and took advantage of Spurs' nervousness at the back. But it took the home side just six minutes to take the lead, only for Erik Lamela's goal to be ruled out on the basis of specious video evidence.
Eric Lamela of Tottenham Hotspur holds off Harrison McGahey of Rochdale during the Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round Replay match between Tottenham Hotspur and Rochdale on February 28, 2018 in London, United Kingdom
But Son Heung-min soon gave them the lead before having a penalty, awarded by VAR, ruled out by VAR after he stopped in his run-up; neither this decision, nor the previous one, were quickly made.
Then, after 31 minutes, Stephen Humphrys scored a lovely equaliser, and Dale were the better side in what was left of the half, Andy Cannon inches away from giving them the lead in driving against the post.
But Spurs eased clear after the break, scoring four times in 18 minutes. Fernando Llorente helped himself to a perfect right foot, left foot, header hat-trick before Son scored again too.
The hosts then declared before, in the final seconds of the final minute of injury-time, Kyle Walker-Peters, on as sub, scored his first goal for his boyhood club. After plenty of scares, they were through to the last eight, and will now fancy their chances of winning their first silverware in a decade.
Kyle Walker-Peters scores
Image credit: Reuters
What to do with Lucas Moura? Moura played well tonight, and his pace and trickery is something Spurs have been missing. But will Mauricio Pochettino drop any of his first-teamers who add that dimension to his side, or will he be used mainly as a sub?
MAN OF THE MATCH
Fernando Llorente (Spurs) Finished well and generally looked lively. Can he go on from here?
Fernando Llorente celebrates in the snow
Image credit: Reuters
Tottenham Hotspur: Vorm 6, Trippier 6, Dier 5, Foyth 5, Rose 6, Moura 7, Winks 5, Lamela 7, Sissoko 5, Son 7, Llorente 8. Subs: Dembele 6, Alli 6, Walker-Peters 7.
6’ - GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Rochdale (Lamela) Son gets the ball on the right of the box and drags it down the side of McNutty, easily beating him for pace before screwing a hard, low cross that Lillis dives to palm out. Llorente manages to shepherd the loose ball away from Rafferty and McGahey, who pulls him back and lands a kick to his knee before Lamela taps in ...AND THEY GO TO VAR! AFTER MANY MINUTES, VAR DISALLOWS THE GOAL! I'VE NO IDEA WHY, LLORENTE WAS FOULED, AND EITHER WAY THE ERROR IS NEITHER "CLEAR" NOR "OBVIOUS"! THAT IS A NONSENSE!
24’ - GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Rochdale (Son) Foyth finds Trippier on the right and he slides hard infield for Lamela, who moves it one more for Son. On the left of the box, he could try to bend one but instead comes back inside, shifting it across the face of goal and past Rafferty and McGahey before despatching a fine low finish into the far corner.
25’ - A long ball towards Trippier sees him get ahead of Done, who drags him back just outside the box. The foul does continue into it, so the ref has another check to see whether or not it's a penalty….
27’ - PENALTY TO SPURS! THE FOUL CONTINUED INSIDE THE BOX!
28’ - What is going on?! Son stops in his run, slips the ball home, and is booked. What a hero this referee is! Not only is the goal disallowed, the penalty isn't going to be retaken! HURRAH FOR VAR!
31’ - GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Rochdale (Humphreys) This is a lovely goal! McNutty lofts a lovely pass down the right and Cannon lofts into the middle, where Humphreys takes a gorgeous touch, killing and transferring it into stride. That opens the angle for him to slot home regardless of where Vorm is and he does, with some panache. This is now exceedingly hilarious.
45+3’ - Rochdale are loving this! Vorm whacks a kick against Humphreys and Camps wins the loose ball; it goes to Humphreys who slides in Cannon down the right of the box ... and he whams a low shot against the base of the far post! This is fantastic from Dale!
47’ - GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Rochdale (Llorente) This is a lovely finish. Dier wins a big header at the back and Lamela touches back to Moura, who moves with the ball then slides through to Llorente, and as Lillis charges out, he clips over his dive for his first FA Cup goal!
Tottenham-Profi Llorente trifft im FA Cup gegen Rochdale
Image credit: Getty Images
53’ - GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 Rochdale (Llorente) Winks finds Lamela, who finds Son just outside the box, and he slides a pass between centre-back and wing-back for Moura, whose cross is easily stabbed home. It's been a fine fight from Dale, but you have to think they're now done.
59’ - GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 Rochdale (Llorente) It's a perfect hat-trick for Llorente! Trippier moves down the right, waits, and slides a pass for Sissoko, overlapping. He slides back for Son, who wriggles around the outside, stands up a cross, and Llorente nods home from close range.
65’ - GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Rochdale (Son) Moura tries a trick in the centre-circle, the ball hits a defender, and comes back to him. So he sends Llorente away at inside-left, and a measured low cross is run in by Son at the far post. I think Spurs are going through.
90+4 - GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 6-1 Rochdale (Walker-Peters) Walker-Peters wriggles by a couple of challenges on the left, feeds Alli who slips a clever no-look pass between a couple of defenders back into his path, and he clips a calm finish into the far corner, celebrating his first goal for his boyhood club in the proper manner.
Fernando Llorente scored more goals tonight than in his previous 26 games.
Stephen Humphrys' goal ended Spurs' run of 500 minutes played at Wembley without conceding a goal.