The Independent London Newspaper
14th December 2017

Spurs survive cup scare against bottom league Wycombe in White Hart Lane thriller

    Published: 28 January, 2017
    By DAN CARRIER at WHITE HART LANE

    FA Cup Fourth Round
    TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 4 WYCOMBE WANDERERS 3

    TOTTENHAM staggered into the draw for the fifth round of the FA Cup tonight after snatching a late, late winner in a hammer-and-tongs cup classic against League Two's Wycombe Wanderers.

    The lower league opposition can go home with their heads held high after giving Mauricio Pochettino's players a real scare – they lead the Premiership high flyers by two goals for nearly an hour, and then looked like they had won it when they scored a third after Spurs had fought back with just six minutes remaining.

    But a last gasp equaliser by substitute Dele Alli and a 97th minute winner from Heung-Min Son means Spurs are still on their way to Wembley.

    Speaking after the game, Pochettino said: “They were much better than us in the first half – full credit to them.

    “In the second half we increased our level, improved our performance and we deserved to win at the end – with a little bit of luck.”

    He added that he had calmly discussed what was going wrong in the dressing room at half time – and got the reaction he wanted. He said: “We didn't find the solutions to stop them and create more chances. It was an unbelievable game. It was tough, but the team always believed. We showed character. "There are a lot of positives, and we are in the next round.”

    The tone for a frenetic tie was set after just two minutes when Wycombe hit the bar – and then raced into a two goal lead through Wycombe skipper Paul Hayes. His first was a well struck volley, the second a penalty.

    It was as much as they deserved from a blood and thunder opening period which had Tottenham's second string looking distinctly uncomfortable. And when Spurs did have chances, they found a mixture of luck and effort kept them at bay. Moussa Sissoko saw an effort blocked on the line and then Wycombe keeper Jamal Blackman got to a Son effort that looked destined for the bottom corner.

    A switch at half time saw Vincent Janssen come on for Kevin Nkoudou to offer something more up front, but Spurs still found masses ranked in front of them when they did get forward. Son, who had looked the liveliest, got one back on 59 when he cut inside from the left and fired home at the near post. On 64, Janssen came across the face of the Wanderers goal from the other flank, was body checked in the box and took the resulting penalty to even things up.

    Spurs looked more likely to hit a third but when an injury forced Keiran Trippier off, Spurs had to see out the match with 10 men – and the gap left on the right from the loss of Trippier resulted in a header by substitute Garry Thompson to put the visitors in the lead once again.

    But it still wasn't over. A clever ball forward from Son on 89 found Alli free, he measured up the angle and made it 3-3.

    It looked that was that, but as the very last seconds ran down, Wycombe hearts were broken. A clever move on the left, with Son combining with Alli and Harry Winks, saw Son get into the box and slip the winner home.

    SPURS: Vorm, Son, Nkoudou (Janssen, HT), Sissoko, Dier, Trippier, Onomah (Alli, 59), Wimmer (Dembele, 59), Winks, Davies, Carter-Vickers.

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