OPPONENTS Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park
DATE Friday 4th January 2019
PREVIEW No preview produced.
PREDICTION Tranmere Rovers    0        Tottenham Hotspur    3
FA Cup Third Round Kick off 19:45
Tranmere Rovers  0 (0)  
Tottenham Hotspur  7 (seven)  (1)




Aurier  39m 38s
Llorente  47m 38s
Aurier  54m 26s
Son  56m 04s
Llorente  70m 05s
Llorente  71m 11s
Kane  81m 20s

Crowd :   12,553 Weather :  Chilly
Referee :  Andre Marriner (West Midlands) Assistant Referees :  Mr. E. Smart; Mr. M. Perry
Fourth Official :  Paul Tierney  
Spurs kicked off and played towards the Kop end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 4 minutes.
Banks (foul on Skipp)  81 




Tranmere Rovers : kit Tottenham Hotspur : kit
  1  Scott DAVIES

16  Mark ELLIS
  5  Steve McNULTY  (c)
  Emmanuel MONTHE

14  Jake CAPRICE
22  Harvey GILMOUR
  8  Jay HARRIS  (28  Oliver BANKS  58     )

11  Connor JENNINGS  (  9  Paul MULLIN  83)

Unused subs: 
32  Bailey PASSANT
  2  Adam BUXTON
  Ritchie SUTTON
24  Zoumana BAKAYOGO

  22  Paulo GAZZANIGA

  6  Davinson SANCHEZ  (53  TJ EYOMA  79)
1  Juan FOYTH
33  Ben DAVIES

24  Serge AURIER   
52  Oliver SKIPP
20  DELE Alli  (c)

27  Lucas MOURA
  7  Heung-Min SON    (47  George MARSH  65)

18  Fernando LLORENTE        (10  Harry KANE      75)

Unused subs: 
13  Michel VORM

Christian ERIKSEN
7  Moussa SISSOKO

Manager :  Micky Mellon Manager :  Mauricio Pochettino
Sponsor :   B & M Waste Services Shirt sponsor :  AIA
Kit Supplier :  Puma Kit Supplier :   Nike
Match report

A seven goal haul was nothing less than a fair reflection of the FA Cup Third Round tie at Tranmere Rovers, who neither put up a solid defence (espceially after the 40th minute) nor went for it, rarely troubling Paulo Gazzaniga in the Spurs goal.

The start of the game saw Tranmere putting in a lot of effort to close Spurs down, but an early corner won by Kyle Walker-Peters almost dropped for Lucas Moura, but he couldn’t bring the ball down. A loose pass by Rovers captain Steve McNulty saw Llorente intercept and Son was away, but with a straight run on goal through the middle, he shot low and the keeper stopped the ball with his legs. It was a chance Sonny should have taken, as he has done so often recently from more difficult angles. That was after six minutes and six minutes later, Juan Foyth won the ball with a tackle pressing high into the Tranmere half, playing it to Son, just inside him on the right touchline. The Korean picked out an unmarked Moura around the penalty spot, but he hit a weak shot straight into the keeper from close range.

Tottenham’s pressing was putting the home side under pressure and a push on Son won a free-kick that Davies swung in, but Llorente couldn’t reach as McNulty dragged him down by pulling his shirt.  The Rovers captain cleared it and when it dropped to Ben Davies again, he teed himself up for a hip high volley and his 25- yard effort was well saved by the keeper with a low dive.  Tranmere eventually got a hold on the ball for a while and then forged forward, Skipp half-cleared, Foyth  headed it out, but Connor Jennings was underneath it and hit a shot that was blocked. That was after 25 minutes and then Norwood was released into the left hand side of the box, but he chose to try and shoot for the near post instead of picking out a man in the middle, firing it behind the goal in the process.

Just before the half hour Ellis made a good challenge as Moura looked to break into the box and when Davies swung the ball into the middle of the box, Llorente met it on the turn and his volley flew a couple of feet over the crossbar. Foyth hit a low grubber of a shot long the ground, before Aurier gave away a corner in the 34th minute. The big men came forward for Tranmere and when the ball came in, it was headed out for another corner. This time it found Monte after Aurier slipped and his free header was grabbed above his head by Gazzaniga.

Spurs worked the ball down the left wing and when it went into the box, a poor clearance did find Norwood outside his own box, but Aurier won it, the ball came back to him off Foyth and from 25 yards out his shot from the middle of the pitch swerved away from Scott Davies, possibly with a deflection off Monthe. A goal five minutes before half time was probably earned on the balance of play, but Tranmere had been blocking their way by getting a lot of players back behind the ball.
In added time, a Tranmere corner cleared everyone and Spurs looked to break, but KWP was brought down as he looked to go further forward. It was the last thing before the half-time whistle blew and the teams trooped off in front of a mainly quiet crowd.

The second half started with Spurs on the front foot, but when Foyth slipped, his pitch level header while on the floor, set Dele away and he freed Son on the right.  Beating his man, he pulled the ball back low to the far post and Fernando Llorente was there to shoot into an empty net for 2-0. It was intelligent play by Son, who took out three players with his cross.

Tranmere tried to hit back and won some throw-ins and corners. Monthe won one header from a throw and it dropped in the middle of the goal for Gilmour, whose shot was deflected over the bar off Aurier. However, Spurs broke from a throw when Gazzaniga took the ball above Monthe and his kick freed Moura. His touch took him round the sizeable figure of McNulty and went to round Davies but the keeper just got a touch on the ball, with a rash challenge felling Moura.  It mattered little, because Son was put in through the middle, but waited for Aurier to get into space outside him and from inside the box, he drove the ball past the goalie and Ellis on the line couldn’t sort his feet out to keep the ball out on the line.

It was 4-0 shortly afterwards when Son received the ball five yards inside his own half and ran at the retreating defenders into their box before slipping a left foot shot across the keeper to make the game more or less safe with 56 minutes gone.

Rovers hoped to get something out of the game, with Gilmour unable to control the ball on the edge of the Spurs box, but substitute Banks struck a 25 yarder on the  follow-up straight at Gazzaniga.  Caprice got free on the right wing, but when he reached the box, the defender hit a shot that went across Paulo, but went well wide.  Poch took the opportunity to rest Son and bring on George Marsh for his debut. However, it was the other youngster Oliver Skipp who produced a peach of a pass straight through the middle of the pitch to Llorente, who took the ball with his left foot and then shot across the keeper to score his second goal of the night. That became a hat-trick just 66 seconds later, finding a prod home at the near post to Lucas’ low left wing cross. It is a competition that Fernando seems to enjoy !!

Llorente and Dele played passes between them from halfway to the edge of the box, where Dele fired a shot over, when he should have worked the keeper. It was Llorente’s chance to leave the pitch to an ovation for his hat-trick when Harry Kane came on. He was joined by TJ Eyoma – another debutant – with 11 minutes to go, as Davinson was taken off.  It didn’t take long for Harry to get on the score-sheet. Dele had been seeing a lot of the ball and on the left-hand side, he played the ball into the box and Kane let it run while he sorted his feet out to flick it over Davies as he came out with his right boot.

When Tranmere tried to go up the pitch, their passing was poor and they had been given the run-around by Spurs, who used the ball well and tried to set up Aurier for his hat-trick goal. However, when Kane laid it into his path struck it wildly wide with his left foot. He did better with his right foot, but a white shirt got in the way.    Banks was trying to show he can show his skills, but when he stamped down on Skipp’s shin he was lucky to get away with a yellow card. Moura fired a shot over from just outside the box and the referee mercifully added only one minute of added time to let Tranmere escape any further punishment.

It was a totally professional performance that included some clinical finishing and it came with no injuries, which can easily happen in matches like this. The control exercised over the opposition, even during the first half, when Tranmere were quite dogged in their defending, was impressive and the side showed patience in creating their chances, rather than just shooting without any thought for who was around them. The introduction of Marsh and Eyoma to join Skipp on the pitch gives them great encouragement that if they work hard, then they will get their chance in the first team.

Putting Tranmere to the sword will mean little in the long run other than an entry in the Tottenham Hotspur record books as the biggest ever away win, but the important thing will be who Spurs draw in the Fourth Round and where.  Maybe the new White Hart Lane ?

Peter Ashingdon

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What you thought
Stan Chun Ian Darke commentating for BT Sport seemed to have it in for Spurs.  When Llorente was spun round after McNulty pulled his shirt in the box at a corner, Darke tried to compare six of one and half a dozen of the other when Sanchez and a defender had hold of each others' shirts.  Then, after Banks had been booked for raking his studs down Skippy's shin, he said it could have been a red and then thought the same when a Tranmere player kicked the bottom of Sanchez's boot as they both went for a bouncing ball.

It became perfectly clear that the underdog was going to get all the bias, but as the game went on, the commentator found it hard to go against the 7-0 score-line.

Compared to Darke, even Robbie Savage seemed to provide sensible comment.

Gavin Martindale Don't know if you saw this in the Telegraph by Tranmere Rovers captain Steve McNulty about Harry Kane ...

“I hope he plays.  You want to play their best team. All the lads will want to play against the internationals. Whoever they play it will be tough.   They are the elite. We have young lads here aspiring to play at higher levels who want to show what they can do. Whether they can get to that level - it is tough to do it - you can’t worry who you are against. You don’t want to go out there and get smashed 7-0, but funny things happen. Look at Lincoln last year."




Other scores in this round :
Accrington Stanley 1 Ipswich Town 0 Saturday
Aston Villa 0 Swansea City 3 Saturday
Blackpool 0 Arsenal 3 Saturday
Bolton Wanderers 5 Walsall 2 Saturday
Bournemouth 1 Brighton & Hove Albion 3 Saturday
Brentford 1 Oxford United 0 Saturday
Bristol City 1 Huddersfield Town 0 Saturday
Burnley 1 Barnsley 0 Saturday
Chelsea 2 Nottingham Forest 0 Saturday
Crystal Palace 1 Grimsby Town 0 Saturday
Derby County 2 Southampton 2 Saturday
Everton 2 Lincoln City 1 Saturday
Fleetwood Town 2 AFC WImbledon 3 Saturday
Gillingham 1 Cardiff City 0 Saturday
Manchester United 2 Reading 0 Saturday
Middlesbrough 5 Peterborough United 0 Saturday
Newcastle United 1 Blackburn Rovers 1 Saturday
Norwich City 0 Portsmouth 1 Saturday
Sheffield Wednesday 0 Luton Town 0 Saturday
Shrewsbury Town 1 Stoke City 1 Saturday
West Bromwich Albion 1 Wigan Athletic 0 Saturday
West Ham United London 2 Birmingham City 0 Saturday
Woking 0 Watford 2 Sunday
Fulham 1 Oldham Athletic - Saturday
Newport County 2 Leicester City 1 Sunday
Sheffield United 0 Barnet 1 Sunday
Millwall 2 Hull City 1 Sunday
QPR 2 Leeds United 1 Sunday
Manchester City 7 Rotherham United 0 Sunday
Wolverhampton Wanderers - - - -day
Liverpool - - - -day


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