Tottenham Hotspur comfortably defeated eighth-tier side Marine AFC by the final score of 5-0 in Crosby on Sunday night.
As expected, Jose Mourinho rotated heavily for this match. Harry Kane and Hugo Lloris didn’t even make the matchday squad while Dele, Gedson, Harvey White and Joe Rodon were included in the Starting XI. The bench included the likes of Heung-Min Son, Tanguy Ndombele and Sergio Reguilon just in case things went sideways against the eighth-tier side.
As expected, Spurs dictated the pace of the match and rarely conceded possession in the first ten minutes. The first chance of the match went to Spurs after Gedson drew a foul about 25 yards out from goal. White was given the opportunity to take the free kick and put a good strike on the ball, but it wasn’t high enough to get over the wall. Lucas made a fantastic run with the ball to get another chance on goal not long after, but skied it into the stands behind the net, almost hitting Jamie Carragher in the process.
Marine almost got on the scoresheet in a spectacular way as Neil Kengi made a run through the midfield and ripped a shot from about 30 yards out. Joe Hart thought it was well over the crossbar but the shot dipped enough where it hit off the crossbar and out to touch.
While the home side fought hard for the first twenty minutes and had a couple of chances, Spurs were the first to break through. Dele played a wonderful ball into the penalty area to find Carlos Vinicius on the far side. While the striker almost missed it, he managed to gather the ball and round the keeper before emphatically burying the shot into the net practically on the goal line, giving Spurs a 1-0 lead.
Spurs were in the mood at that point. Dele played a gorgeous ball into Doherty on a strong run into the penalty area, allowing the fullback to play it back across the goal for Carlos just a few yards out. A low blast from the Benfica loanee later gave him his brace. As I was finishing that last sentence, Lucas stepped up to a free kick from 25 yards out and ripped a curler into the top corner for a 3-0 lead. Spurs were out of sight thirty minutes in.
Not wanting to be outdone by his Brazilian teammate, Vinicius finished off his hat trick with a beauty of a goal. After White tried to feed Dele on a run into the penalty area, a deflected ball found its way to Carlos. He flipped the ball up to control it and volleyed it into the net past the keeper.
Mourinho made one change at half, bringing on Alfie Devine and Japhet Tanganga for Moussa Sissoko and Toby Alderweireld. Marine made no changes to their lineup but tried to squeeze the midfield a bit more, leading to a chance on a turnover in the 52nd minute, though the shot was scuffed from well outside the penalty area to allow Hart to fall on it with no threat.
Spurs weren’t done scoring at all as they pushed hard into the attacking third in the 60th minute. Devine gathered the ball in the corner of the penalty area and made two great touches before firing a shot on target. His strike was true and kissed off the inside of the post to make it 5-0, becoming the youngest ever goal scorer in the history of Tottenham Hotspur.
Mourinho changed the squad up again, bringing on Gareth Bale for Dele while Lucas made way for Jack Clarke. Bale got a chance at a free kick in the 69th minute, firing a dipping knuckleball that was saved, though Bayleigh Passant almost lost it as it bounced right in front of him before the parry. Not long after, Sergio Reguilon came on for Ben Davies as the final substitute for Spurs, possibly for precautionary reasons as he may have picked up a knock.
Spurs were content with playing out the rest of the match with possession and taking the occasional chance into the penalty area. Marine only had a couple half-chances but were basically spent in the second half, as one would expect. Michael Oliver brought the match to an end after one last chance by Vinicius in stoppage time, moving Spurs onto the fourth round proper.
Thoughts on the Match
- It was great for Spurs to put this match away before half-time. Carlos played brilliantly and made the most of his chances early.
- Alfie Devine is never going to forget this match. What a debut for him!
- Dele was fantastic for his 60+ minutes, leading the attack and finding multiple chances for Spurs.
- On a personal note, I watched this match basically smiling every time I saw the logo on the shorts.
- The fourth round proper draw will be tomorrow night at 7:10 PM GMT. There are still a lot of lower league sides in this competition, too!