Newport County gave Tottenham Hotspur quite the challenge when the two teams met in Wales just over a week ago. Initially, it looked like it might have been a similar story on Wednesday night at Wembley, but this time Spurs showed their superiority.
Tottenham booked their place in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup with a comfortable 2-0 win in their replay with the League Two side.
Spurs lineup was a strong one that featured the long-awaited returns of Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose, and Harry Winks from various injuries. Alderweireld hadn’t played since the Champions League match against Real Madrid on November 1st, while Rose and Winks hadn’t made an appearance since Boxing Day. Michel Vorm got the start in goal, and Fernando Llorente got the start at striker with Harry Kane on the bench.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side got off to a poor start in what was his 200th game in charge of Tottenham Hotspur. Newport were pressing high, and they almost took advantage of some sloppy passing at the back. Victor Wanyama had to take a yellow card to stop a break that was created after a giveaway from Juan Foyth.
Spurs didn’t really improve until they got a slice of luck that resulted in the opening goal. Llorente ignored a run from Serge Aurier, but instead played a ball out wide to Moussa Sissoko. Sissoko’s cross deflected off Dan Butler and wrong-footed Joe Day in the County net for an own goal.
It took longer than expected, but after the OG the home side took control.
Day kept the scoreline at 1-0 when he made a couple of impressive stops to deny Erik Lamela and Son Heung-min in the 31st minute. But the keeper couldn’t hold Spurs at bay for long.
Son, who had an impressive first half, drove into the box and poked a ball centrally to Lamela. The Argentinian cushioned the pass with a nice first touch, and slid the ball past the keeper with his trusty left foot. Lamela peeled away with a smile on his face to celebrate what was his first goal for Tottenham since a League Cup match with Gillingham on September 21, 2016.
Day prevented further damage in the second half when he stayed big to deny Lamela who was through on goal in the 65th minute.
Tottenham were in cruise control for the rest of the match. As if things weren’t difficult enough for Newport, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli came on in the second half. They dominated possession and missed a few chances to add to their 2-0 lead. Llorente put a couple shots just wide of goal, and Dele hit the crossbar in the last few minutes.
It wasn’t the most cohesive performance, but Spurs did their job. To the victor go the spoils, and in this case the spoils are a trip to Rochdale in the next round.
The Dale will be another lower league opponent for Pochettino and company. They currently sit in 23rd place in League One, but have put together a nice run in the cup. Their pitch is also really awful, so this could be another tricky away tie as Spurs look to push on to the quarterfinals of the competition.