Tottenham Hotspur moved into the fourth round of the FA Cup with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Aston Villa at White Hart Lane.
Mauricio Pochettino made nine changes following Spurs’ impressive 2-0 victory over Chelsea in midweek, with Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier the only players to remain in the side. For Villa, Steve Bruce made four changes off the back of a 1-0 defeat to Cardiff with on loan Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone making his debut for the club.
I think it would be fair to say that the opening stages of the game were not the most exhilarating of this years FA Cup with Spurs finding it difficult to break down what seemed like a back six for Villa at times. It took until 30 minutes into the game for either side to register a shot on target with Bacuna’s long range strike failing to trouble Tottenham goalkeeping undertsudy Michel Vorm. The only real standout from the first half was the performace of Harry Winks who seems to be getting better every time he steps out onto the pitch. It’s fair to say the work of Steve Bruce was evident in the first half with Villa’s rigid defensive display keeping Spurs firmly at bay. A truly terrible first half of football, with Spurs managing their least amount of shots on target at home in a game for five and a half years.
The second half immediatley saw more attacking football than the first combined as, Trippier whipped in a fierce cross to the back post to Son, who scuffs his effort along the face of the goal. A good chance for someone whose already scored seven goals this season. With 60 minutes gone, Pochettino called for in form man Dele Alli to replace Janssen who had an uneventful afternoon in front of goal, and it immediatley sparked some intent into the Spurs attack. Son managed to wriggle away from Baker, and if not for a great save from Johnstone would have got his eighth goal of the campaign. Almost straight after, Villa had a chance to take an unlikely lead in the game. Grealish’s free kick found its way to Baker and if not for a brilliant block by Cameron Carter – Vickers and then Toby Alderweireld as the rebound fell to Agbonlahor, Villa would have been ahead. However, Spurs soon made the breakthrough as Georges-Kevin N’koudou’s cross was brilliantly headed in from Ben Davies for his first goal for Spurs. A deserved lead for Spurs who had picked up their game since the break. Less than ten minutes later, it was two as Moussa Sissoko’s cutback found Heung Min Son who clincially fired past Johnstone. That secured Spurs’ place in the fourth round who ensured their sixth consecutive victory in all competitions. Villa offered very little in the game however managed to stay in it for 70 minutes. All in all, a comfortable win for Spurs.