Crucial substitutions by Tottenham Hotspur saw them use a second half explosion to dispatch Morecambe by the final score of 3-1.
Spurs played a heavily rotated side against Morecambe, as expected, due to the busy January schedule. Players such as Joe Rodon, Ryan Sessegnon, Giovani Lo Celso and Bryan Gil all found themselves starting. With the January window open, a match like this gives Antonio Conte the opportunity to see what the depth is like and who he believes can contribute and where he needs to bring players in.
2’ - Close! Ben Davies gets on the end of a corner and puts it just over the crossbar. Good start so far.
6’ - Morecambe get into the attacking mood as a shot from distance is saved easily by Gollini.
8’ - Rough challenge by O’Connor on Bryan Gil. He avoids a booking but it gives Spurs a chance from 25 yards out. Lo Celso takes the kick and goes for goal, resulting in an easy save.
20’ - Another chance on a set piece for Spurs. Matt Doherty heads one that could have snuck in, but he finds the post instead.
28’ - Sessegnon with a great bit of skill as he dribbles through half the Morecambe defense before laying the ball off for Gil. The shot is blocked and Spurs regain possession after. It’s been one-way traffic with very few exceptions.
33’ - Goal Morecambe (O’Connor, 0-1): What a stupid chain of events that was. Rodon thinks Gollini is coming up for an easy gather but he’s nowhere to be seen, forcing Rodon to blast it out for a corner kick. Morecambe run a simple set piece and O’Connor gets lost in the mix, one-timing a shot past Gollini. Dumb dumb dumb.
37’ - Spurs look like they suddenly have a fire lit under them, but the result of their possession is a 30 yard shot from Lo Celso that’s easily saved. It was going wide anyway.
42’ - Morecambe get a half-chance on a cross into the penalty area from O’Connor, but the headed effort is well wide of the net.
44’ - Diagouraga goes into the book for Morecambe after a rather cynical foul on Dele.
45’ - Not exactly an inspiring set piece. Lo Celso sends the free kick into the wall. Sessegnon gathers it and crosses immediately into the box for a weak Doherty header. The Morecambe fans give a big cheer as we approach half-time.
HALF-TIME: Morecambe lead Spurs, 1-0. If you hear any screams from the tunnel, it’s probably Antonio Conte. He cannot be happy with the effort.
46’ - No changes for either side as we kick off the second half.
49’ - Ndombele takes a shot from distance that’s deflected. Spurs immediately call for a hand ball but the replay shows that was wishful thinking.
50’ - Morecambe take it into the attacking third and fire a dangerous ball into the penalty area, but nobody is there to get a shot.
51’ - Stockton posts up Davies for a turn-and-fire, but the shot is well high and wide. Still not great to allow chances like this but at least it wasn’t threatening in the end.
54’ - CLOSE! Lovely flick by Dele on a corner kick that looked ambitious at best, but it forces an acrobatic save to keep it out of the net.
62’ - Big chance for Spurs again as Dele is taken down just outside the penalty area, but he leaves the ball for Sess, who takes a touch and fires just wide of the net.
66’ - Looks like Conte’s seen enough as Lucas and Kane are both preparing to come in.
67’ - This is as good a time as any to remind you that Morecambe have the worst defensive record in League One. They’ve conceded 49 goals in 21 matches, yet look like a solid brick wall in this match.
69’ - Triple Substitution for Spurs: Harry Kane, Lucas Moura and Oliver Skipp come on for Dele, Tanguy Ndombele and Bryan Gil.
70’ - An observation from Dan Kilpatrick as Ndombele was loudly booed off the pitch:
#thfc Loud boos around the stadium as Ndombele walks off very, very slowly after being replaced by Kane. He went straight down the tunnel. That felt..terminal...— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) January 9, 2022
73’ - The triple sub has injected some life in the attack though Lucas’ first attempt is plenty wide of the net.
74’ - GOAL TOTTENHAM! (Winks, 1-1): I guess Winksy got sick of set pieces requiring another touch and decides to just go for it on his own. It’s not quite an olympico but close enough as his free kick is blasted into the goal with no chance to stop it.
76’ - Big chance as Kane tries to make it 2-1 but somehow doesn’t find the back of the net. Spurs pushing hard now after the equalizer.
79’ - Winks gets a chance from 25 yards and it’s not far from a brace. It’s over the crossbar but close enough where everyone in the stadium held their breath.
81’ - Gio gets into the act as he gets a great shot just outside the penalty area, forcing Carson into a big save. Somehow this match is still level with the recent onslaught by Spurs.
86’ - GOAL TOTTENHAM! (Lucas, 2-1): Spurs make Morecambe pay for being too loose with the ball. Lucas picks the pocket of McLaughlin and is on net with Kane running down the right side. A little shimmy sends Carson diving, leaving Lucas free to tap it in.
88’ - GOAL TOTTENHAM! (Kane, 3-1): And there’s the dagger from Kane. Excellent ball in by Lo Celso and Kane does the rest. A simple touch and low shot past a diving Carson ends any hope for Morecambe. Spurs will advance to the fourth round.
89’ - Substitution for Spurs. Emerson comes on for Ryan Sessegnon.
90’ - Substitution for Spurs. Dane Scarlett comes on for Giovani Lo Celso.
90’+3’ - Ambitious attempt for a goal by Stockton. It ends up about 25 yards wide of the net.
FULL TIME: Spurs 3-1 Morecambe. A lot to talk about in this match but, ultimately, the subs are the difference in the match.
Thoughts on the Match:
- Just like we drew it up right? RIGHT? ....alright so that wasn’t great, but a result is a result.
- That first half was ugly. There was a lot of tentative passing and miscommunication. A part of that can be attributed to players who haven’t played in a match together, but to the degree we saw was inexcusable.
- If I were in charge of the club, I’d put Gollini on the next flight back to Italy. He’s been bad since joining Spurs and the first half goal is a result of him being asleep at the wheel. Yes, Tanganga deserves some blame for losing his man on the set piece, but the set piece should have never happened. Terminate the loan and let’s put someone in the GK2 spot who we can either develop or play when Hugo needs a blow.
- Tanguy was not good, but today felt worse than other performances and I think I’m done with him. When he’s fit and interested, he’s one of the most creative midfielders out there. The problem is we haven’t seen that much and lately he just seems disinterested in being a footballer. Conte didn’t even look at him when he came off and Ndombele heading right down the tunnel feels like this may be the end.
- I thought Dele was decent (that flick attempt would have been a fantastic goal) and Gil ran his ass off to press and try to force turnovers. Gil especially needs more minutes so we can see what he can do.
- Gio was pretty good, outside of his set piece efforts. He had good progression and passes, but we need to see more of that. Unlike Tanguy, that bridge hasn’t burned and I think he can contribute.
- It goes without saying that the substitutes changed this match. Lucas injected pace that clearly shook up the Morecambe back line. Once Winks got his goal, it seemed inevitable that Morecambe would crumble.
- Spurs will find out who they draw in the fourth round in under an hour (11:50 AM ET) but for now, the focus shifts to the second leg of the Carabao Cup against Chelsea.