OPPONENTS Middlesbrough
COMPETITION FA Cup Third Round Replay
DATE Tuesday 14th January 2020
PREVIEW The first meeting saw Middlesbrough set up to stop Spurs playing and went ahead with a breakaway goal, but Lucas Moura's fine header to Serge Aurier's excellent cross salvaged a draw and we are back at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to see who goes through to meet Southampton at St. Mary's.

Will the game be the same as last Saturday's ?  It probably won't be too dissimilar, as Boro won't want to be too open, as they might get picked apart, but they might fancy their chances a bit more, even though they will be missing their top goal-scorer Britt Assombalonga again.  They will remain solid and for Tottenham the challenge is to get around the men that Woodgate's side will get behind the ball.  Using the width of the pitch can stretch the Boro rearguard, but Spurs only tend to do that on one side now, with Aurier the main wide attacking player.  Sessegnon should be given the chance to be let off the reins and to attack with pace.  We know he can do it and has a good final ball and can finish.  He may not be used to the Premier League (even though he had a season with Fulham when they got relegated), but against a Championship side, he will fancy his chances.

Boro have a number of promising youngsters and some older heads in the side to add some know-how in the way to play these games.   Lewis Wing, Djed Spence, Marcus Tavernier and Dael Fry are teamed up with Jonny Howson, Adam Clayton and Paddy McNair to give a good mix, who have gelled to start getting results for Jonathan Woodgate, in his first managerial post.  It has taken a while and suffering a few injuries, things are still not easy for the former Spurs defender, but he will relish a chance to get one over his old club for his hometown club.

Spurs will need to be wary of the strength of Ashley Fletcher and Rudy Gestede up front, added to by Patrick Roberts ability to run at players with the ball having quick feet.  Dead balls will provide Boro with good opportunities to test the Tottenham defence likely to be missing Toby Alderweireld, so the Spurs players need to be alert to the fact that they should not concede cheap free-kicks.

Mourinho will put out a strong team again, with this our only real trophy to have a chance of winning, but we will need to up our game and the inclusion of Lamela and Lo Celso from the start might give them the impetus to start at a good tempo and to keep the visitors pushed back.  A narrow victory could give Spurs a quick return to St. Mary's to see if they can turn around New Year's Day's result.

PREDICTION Tottenham Hotspur    2        Middlesbrough   1
Spurs go into this Third Round FA Cup replay without Hugo Lloris (elbow), Harry Kane (hamstring), Ben Davies (ankle), Moussa Sissoko (knee) and Tanguy Ndombele (hip).  Toby Alderweireld will be rested for the match.
Travelling South for this FA Cup replay, Boro will be missing Daniel Ayala, Britt Assombalonga, Anfernee Dijksteel, Ryan Shotton and George Friend, although his performance in the first game might see goalkeeper Tomas Meijas might be recalled.

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FA Cup Third Round Replay Kick off 20.05
Tottenham Hotspur  2 (2) Middlesbrough  1 (0)


Lo Celso  1m 55s
Lamela 15m 01s


Saville  82m 22s





Crowd :   49,202 Weather :  Rain on and off throughout; Mild; Windy
Referee :  Craig Pawson (Sheffield) Assistant Referees :  Mr. Nick Hopton; Mr. Adam Nunn
Fourth Official :  Gavin Ward -
Video Assistant Referee :  David Coote Video Assistant Referee Assistant :  Constantine Hatzidakis
Spurs kicked off and played towards the Park Lane end in the first half.
Game time : -  90 + 6 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur : kit Middlesbrough : kit

  5  Jan VERTONGHEN (c)
  6  Davinson SANCHEZ
16  Japhet TANGANGA

  8  Harry WINKS
Eric DIER  (20  DELE Alli  85)

18  Giovani LO CELSO 
11  Erik LAMELA 
Christian ERIKSEN

27  Lucas MOURA  (  7  Heung-Min SON  61)

Unused subs: 
12  Michel VORM

1  Juan FOYTH
24  Serge AURIER
  Oliver SKIPP

  Dennis CIRKIN

    1  Tomas MEJIAS

29  Djed SPENCE  (  7  Marcus TAVERNIER  74)
17  Paddy McNAIR
6  Dael FRY
16  Jonny HOWSON
21  Marvin JOHNSON

26  Lewis WING
  8  Adam CLAYTON
37  Ben LIDDLE  (22  George SAVILLE  57  )

20  Lukas NMECHA  (14  Rudy GESTEDE  78)
11  Ashley FLETCHER

Unused subs: 
43  Solomon BRYNN
25  Nathan WOOD
19  Patrick ROBERTS
34  Connor MALLEY


Manager :  Jose Mourinho Manager :  Jonathan Woodgate
Sponsor :   AIA Shirt sponsor :  32 Red
Kit Supplier :  Nike Kit Supplier :   Hummel
Match report

Tottenham's fast start was enough to see off Middlesbrough in a 2-1 win, with the last ten minutes of the match being a bit nervy after the visitors scored a late goal.  By that time Spurs should have been out of sight, having gone two up in fifteen minutes, but a failure to find the killer instinct almost let Boro back into it.

With Lo Celso and Lamela in midfield, the tempo was always going to be higher and having kicked off, Tottenham controlled possession and when Dier played a ball down the right looking for Sessegnon, a defender played the ball back to Meijas. Not under a great deal of pressure from our signing from Fulham, the keeper looked to play the ball to his left back Marvin Johnson, but Giovani Lo Celso had read it and intercepted the ball with the outside of his left boot on the edge of the penalty area. He lost his balance, but quickly recovered to take the ball towards the penalty spot from where he passed the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the keeper’s net with one minute and fifty five seconds on the clock ! To say it was the perfect start for Spurs also meant it was the nightmare start for the visitors.

When Boro had the ball they were quite often conceding possession with loose passes, so Spurs just had to wait until they were handed it back when they had lost it. Mind you, Eriksen’s passing wasn’t that great, with the simple balls hitting red shirts in the early stages. The movement off the ball by Spurs was better and that allowed them to play little triangles of passes and to find space to move the ball up-field.

Davinson Sanchez was having trouble with the wind, misjudging the flight of high balls as the wind was swirling under the stadium roof and he nearly headed the ball past Gazzaniga, when he put the ball back to the keeper, who had come to the edge of the penalty area and was fortunate it ended  up in his arms.  It didn’t help when he played a ball out of Vertonghen’s reach and Boro broke on goal, with Nmecha turning Tanganga before poking a low shot at goal that Paulo had to save low down to his right in the twelfth minute. As the ball was cleared, Winks and Lo Celso left it for each other, but luckily Boro couldn’t make anything from it. Japhet was getting up the right wing and that attacking play was to be a feature throughout the match.

When Sanchez won a header from Meijas’ clearance and Eriksen touched it on with his head, there looked little danger to the Middlesbrough goal. Howson was where the ball dropped, but was easily dispossessed by Erik Lamela, who turned towards goal running with the ball. Lucas Moura crossed his path but left the ball and the Argentinian took it into the box, leaving Fry in his wake to slide it past Meijas with the outside of his left foot, as he ran to his right. It was a very good individual goal, with Erik drifting past defenders like they weren’t there, but the Boro defending was shocking and the keeper was left exposed when the defence didn’t make a meaningful challenge on Lamela.

Lamela nearly scored with a half-chance when Lo Celso’s ball came off a Boro player and went to Erik with his back to goal, just inside the area. He turned quickly and let go a powerful shot but it was a foot over the bar, which was closer than Dier’s 20 yard effort that ended halfway up the South Stand !

Sessegnon burst into life when he exchanged passes with Lamela and ran into the left side of the box, hitting a low shot that the keeper pushed aside for a corner. It is more of that which Spurs fans want to see to add an attacking dimension on the left side of the team. Tanganga was adding that on the right and when Lo Celso played him into the box, he struck a low right foot shot that zipped  past the foot of the far post by about a foot. He then burst forward with the ball and played it for Lo Celso, before the loanee was crowded out by three red shirts. Gio went down theatrically, causing a VAR review, which was deemed not a penalty, but he had taken a shoulder on his nose, which was the result of a “coming together”. Spurs soon had a free-kick right on the edge of the area, when Wing held back Eriksen after Tanganga had been taken late by Clayton and the ref let play continue. From it, Eriksen went low under the wall, but Meijas fell on the ball to his right to save.  When Fry tried to play the ball back to his keeper from their left hand touchline near halfway, it was picked off by Lucas, who kept the ball in and played a low ball across the face of goal, just in front of Eriksen, but it was recycled by Lamela, who fizzed it back in to Eriksen, but he was beaten to it by McNair. When Middlesbrough broke forward into the Spurs box, captain Jan Vertonghen made a fine tackle. The corner was cleared but Howson moved the ball well in the D and picked a pass to McNair on his left, but the former Manchester United man skied the shot way up into the North Stand. He was offside anyway, so if he had scored, it would have been ruled out.

From a Boro throw 18 yards from our goal, Winks cleared the ball, Howson mis-controlled the ball 10 yards inside the Spurs half and Spurs were away. Lucas dragged the ball between his legs for Lamela to run it up the pitch, playing it back to the Brazilian. Although the pass was slightly behind him, he gathered it in, ran at three Middlesbrough defenders and hit a shot that just missed the goal to the keeper’s right. Things were going so well for Spurs that Eric Dier pulled out a back-heel and a nutmeg !  Just before half-time, Dier did enough to put off Fletcher, whose header from a free-kick near the corner flag drifted gently past the near post.

The half-time break went quickly, despite there being no guest interview and the first five minutes of the second half were spent with both sides moving forward before losing the ball. Dier started a Spurs move with a very high pass to Lo Celso on the right, which had a lot of side-spin on it to keep it in play and as the move developed, Tanganga burst past Johnson to deliver a great low ball to the far post, where Ryan Sessegnon lifted his stretching shot over the bar from a yard out. He was saved by the linesman’s flag as he was well offside. Boro tested Gazzaniga when Lewis Wing’s free-kick – given against Tanganga for handball to the left of the D – was curled over Boro players to the side of the wall who ducked, but Paulo dived left to palm the shot away for a corner. It was a very good save and one in which he was well aware of what might happen with the visitors in the wall.

Boro had a couple of corners that produced nothing and Spurs attacked, but without troubling the visitors’ goal any more. Son came on and played the ball through to Eriksen in the box, but he tried to square it to Lo Celso rather than turning and getting a shot off. Nmecha attacked a corner with 20 minutes left, but it came off the back of his head and went over. Winks pulled out a fine pass to send Eriksen in on goal, but as he got into the box a very good tackle by Fry pushed him wide and his cross was gobbled up by Meijas.

Substitute George Saville took a cross-field ball from the other sub Tavernier and struck a shot that flicked off Lo Celso’s sliding challenge and went just over the bar. Woodgate chose to replace Nmecha with Gestede before the corner was taken and it was a wasted chance, with the ball played in straight into Gazzaniga’s hands, who started a break that saw Spurs have a 4 on 3 advantage, but Lo Celso pushed Lamela wide and when the ball came back into the danger area, Son drove a shot from the edge of the box wide off a Boro deflection. From the corner, the ball dropped to Son at the near post and he played it back out to Eriksen, who played a low cross into the goalmouth. The ball evaded everyone and only a dive by Meijas kept the ball out, with Lamela coming in behind him.

When it looked as though Spurs might keep a clean sheet, a long ball was won by Gestede on to Saville and he came inside Tanganga to put a right foot shot inside Gazzaniga’s right hand post. To concede was bad enough, but to let one in with eight minutes left meant a backs to the wall effort to go through.  Mourinho immediately brought on Alli for Dier to try and push things away from the Spurs goal and when Spurs broke with Son running at the Middlesbrough defence, McNair tried to clip his heels but he wasn’t good enough to do that, leaving Howson to block his way with a crude obstruction. As the ball ran free Clayton twisted his knee, but a free-kick had already been awarded and all three Boro subs were on the pitch. When the 25 yard free-kick was eventually taken, Eriksen fired it way too high.

In the 90th minute, Son was pulled back by Saville, but shrugged him off to set up Lo Celso inside the area on the right, but instead of taking on the shot, he looked to dink a cross into the middle for Dele, but it was headed out and Lamela’s follow-up shot was blocked. Japhet made a great run down the right before putting in a near post ball for Dele that saw Meijas take out Howson and it ran through to the far post, but Son couldn’t get there with the keeper out of position.  Lo Celso looked as though he had been pulled down, but play went on and the cross in from the left was headed goal-wards by Fletcher as he moved away from goal, but his header went well wide. There was just time for Spurs to have one last attack, with Dele being sent through by a good pass from Son’s backheel, but as he tried to turn McNair, he forgot the ball, but skewed it across goal, where it was too far ahead of Lamela.

With the two early goals it looked as though Spurs might go on to produce a result like the home game against Burnley, but off target finishing and some sloppy defending made the result closer than the balance of the game reflected.  Tanganga is becoming the star after just two games and while his Spurs career is on the rise, Eriksen seems on the wane. He is playing most games like a shadow of his former self and prospective employers might be seeking to bag themselves a bargain off the back of that.  If he does go, it looks as though Giovani Lo Celso is a ready made replacement as he has suddenly clicked into action, showing that he can get close to the highs that Christian has produced over the last few years.

Southampton await in the next round and Spurs will have to play better to overturn the result of New Year's Day and to progress in the competition.

Steve Bush

Match facts


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How the players did
Paulo Gazzaniga Decent game and again, not a lot of chance with the goal. Made a good first half save when we were 1-0 up and another from Wing's second half free-kick.
Japhet Tanganga Outstanding performance.  Strong in defence, although got turned a couple of times.  Showed a new attacking side to his game and was unlucky when he shot just wide.
Davinson Sanchez A dodgy night, with the wind causing him problems with high balls, especially in the first half.  Stuck at it and did OK for the remainder of the game.
Jan Vertonghen Solid enough game, getting a foot in when it looked as if Nmecha might get past him in the box.
Eric Dier Good game, but subbed late on when Boro got a goal back.  Used the ball well and kept it moving to keep possession.  Put in a couple of tricks, but fired high over the bar when h e had a shot.
Harry Winks Another good performance, covering a lot of ground and running the ball forward.  Won a lot of ball in midfield.
Giovani Lo Celso Very good game by Gio.  Good passing, ran well with the ball, good movement, won the ball in midfield and took his goal very well.  Starting to look the part.
Christian Eriksen Unfortunately, Christian's performances have generally tailed off and he failed to produce anything near his previous standards.  Free-kick skied over the top and passes not find their targets.  A move might be best for all parties.
Ryan Sessegnon Showed a bit more going forward and looked to get involved.  Hopefully more playing time will increase his assimilation into the team.
Erik Lamela Fine game, with some dangerous runs at the Boro defence, including a very well taken goal.  Looks like he could be useful in breaking teams down now he is fit again.
Lucas Moura Showed lots of energy as the lone forward, also closing players down to force errors.  Played a good 1-2 with Lamela to break through and shot just wide.
Heung-Min Son Had a couple of chances that didn't hit the target and set up Eriksen for a chance.
Dele Alli Good run at the death when he was pushed wide, but almost set up Lamela.
Michel Vorm Unused.
Serge Aurier Unused.
Dennis Cirkin Unused.
Oliver Skipp Unused.
Juan Foyth Unused.


What you thought
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Other replay scores this round :
Blackpool 0 Reading 2 Tuesday
Coventry City 3 Bristol Rovers 0 Tuesday
Shrewsbury Town 1 Bristol City 0 Tuesday
Carlisle United 3 Cardiff City 4 Wednesday
Manchester United 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 Wednesday
Newcastle United 4 Rochdale 1 Tuesday
Tranmere Rovers P Watford P -Tuesday


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