Following a crazy first half, Mauricio Pochettino’s side runout with a comprehensive win to book their place in the last eight.
A controversy-filled half saw the home side take the lead within five minutes – or so the home faithful thought until the by goal- scored by Erik Lamela was scratched off for an alleged foul in the build-up. This was one of the two decisions which went against Spurs, the latter, we come onto a little later on.
23 minutes into the game, the Lilywhites did eventually take the lead through Son Heung-min. A fantastic ball from Lamela found the South Korean who wriggled his way past the Rochdale defence to rightfully put his side in the lead.
Shortly after, Tottenham Hotspur were awarded a penalty when Matthew Done was alleged to have fouled Kieran Trippier in the area. The actual foul happened outside the area but then continued inside the box. Nevertheless, Son stepped up to knock in his penalty to double the lead – or so he thought… His penalty was disallowed for hesitating, which he subsequently got booked for.
15 minutes before the break, if the Tottenham support didn’t feel incensed already, they were about to as Rochdale levelled through Stephen Humphrys. Andrew Cannon found the 20-year-old who controlled well to slot past Michel Vorm.
Going into stoppage time, The Dale could’ve taken the lead through Cannon, following an assist from Humphrys, but the former smacked the woodwork!
The hosts begun the second half in similar fashion as the first. A legitimate goal from Fernando Llorente doubled the lead. A well fed through ball from Lucas Moura found the Spaniard who dinked his effort over a hapless Joshua Lillis.
Not long after scoring his first of the evening, Llorente bagged his second. Great build-up play from Son and Moura who saw Llorente not far off who finished off the play to really turn on the style!
With just over half an hour to go, Llorente completed his “perfect hat-trick” with a header to put a luckless Rochdale side to the sword. A brilliant run from Son crossed to Llorente at the near post with the latter scoring from close range. Despite the game being out of reach for the visitors, they were determined to not throw in the towel.
The Tottenham Hotspur support were enjoying what they were seeing and had another reason to cheer when Son scored his second to put his side 5-1 ahead. Moura skipped past the defence to find Lamela, who then found Son who scored with an easy tap-in.
The score could’ve been 6-1 with just under 20 minutes to go, had Lamela not struck the woodwork with a curling free-kick.
Substitute Kyle Walker-Peters got in on the act deep into stoppage time with a first goal for the club. A short one-two between him and Dele Alli worked well to complete the goal.
Pochettino’s side win comprehensively to see them through to the next round. As for Rochdale, their attention now solely turns to survival.
Thoughts on the game
The first half was pretty crazy, right? Firstly, Erik Lamela’s goal. I don’t know about you, but I felt the goal should’ve stood as there was very little in that to suggest the goal shouldn’t have been given.
Secondly, Son Heung-min’s penalty. I reckon the goal was right to be scratched off given the rule about not hesitating.
Finally, I’ve got to have a say on Rochdale. Though they were soundly beaten, they staked a claim in this match, especially with the chance towards the end on the first half.
Its back to league action for both sides as Tottenham Hotspur host Huddersfield Town (Saturday 3pm), whilst Rochdale continue their quest for survival when they take on Plymouth Argyle at home on the same day (also 3pm).