Match Report: Spurs vs Rochdale
Tottenham Hotspur lashed Rochdale at Wembley this week, putting six past the League One outfit, to sail into the quarter-finals of the F.A. Cup. The game provided all the bells and whistles so to speak: among the seven goals – three of which came from the surprisingly in-form Fernando Llorente – there were torrential weather conditions and a string of questionable VAR decisions.
Spurs had the ball in the back on the next after just five minutes of play. Son had a shot on goal from an unfavourable angle, and after Josh Lillis parried his effort back into the centre, Lamela scored with a tap-in. And so the controversy begins. After a not so brief consultation with the VAR (Video Assistant Referee), Fernando Llorente had been deemed, erroneously, to have tugged the shirt of the Rochdale centre-back leading the referee to disallow the goal.
Son eventually opened the scoring in the 22nd minute. Lamela made himself some space in the final third and passed the ball on to Son down the left. With a sizeable pocket of space within the Rochdale penalty area, Son positioned himself and fired with power to the right side of the keeper.
Que the second controversy. Kieran Trippier had been brought down in the area and Spurs were awarded a penalty in the 26th minute, although the contact began outside of the area. On his run-up to take his penalty, Son stuttered and eventually came to a complete stop before converting. As a result, Son was brandished with a yellow card and was forbidden from retaking the penalty. 2 disallowed goals for Spurs.
Humphreys levelled for Rochdale in the 30th minute. The Rochdale striker outstretched his boot with incredible skill to bring down and control a lofted pass forward. It was one-on-one from there, and Vorm was comfortably beaten between the sticks. Spurs fans had their hearts in their mouths on the stroke of half-time as McNulty struck the post almost seizing the lead.
The second Spurs goal came in the 46th minute. Lucas Moura played a delightful ball through to Fernando Llorente, who was able to lift his shot over the charging Josh Lillis. Llorente’s second came 8 minutes later after another assist from Moura. A simple square into the box and Llorente converted from close range. Llorente bagged his hat-trick in the 58th minute with a header from close range. Great build-up play again from Spurs and it was Son who ran into the area and chipped the ball into the towering Fernando.
Lucas Moura was in electric form and pulled the strings throughout the majority of the match. After a splitting through ball to Lamela in the 64th minute, Lamela crossed the ball into Son, who put it into the open net to make it five. Lamela hit the post from a free kick in the 73rd minute from a fantastic effort. Substitute Kyle Walker-Peters finished the scoring in stoppage time after converting a lovely through ball from Dele Alli. On a frosty night at Wembley, Spurs pulled the trigger to kill the hopes of a Rochdale cup run.
Spurs vs Rochdale Attendance
Wembley Stadium: 24,627
Starting Line-ups: Spurs v Rochdale
Tottenham Hotspur: Vorm, Trippier, Foyth, Dier, Rose, Sissoko, Winks, Lucas Moura, Lamela, Son, Llorente
Rochdale: Lillis, Rafferty, McGahey, McNulty, Delaney, Done, Cannon, Camps, Kitching, Humphrys, Henderson