A professional performance from Tottenham Hotspur saw them defeat League Two side Tranmere Rovers 7-0 in the FA Cup 3rd round, avoiding a potential giant-killing in the process.
Spurs came into this match in great form while Tranmere were hoping to inflict a shock defeat upon the travelling Premier League side.
The first opportunity of the match fell to Tottenham’s Son Heung-min who managed to run in one-on-one with Tranmere goalkeeper Scott Davies but it was the League Two shot-stopper who came out on top.
Tranmere slowly got themselves back into the game with more possession and a half chance or two but five minutes before half-time it was Spurs who managed to edge themselves in front thanks to a well-taken strike from defender Serge Aurier.
If the hosts had any dreams of getting back into the match, they soon turned into nightmares after Fernando Llorente scored just moments after the restart to put the game realistically beyond them.
Another Aurier strike and a Son finish soon put the game to bed with Spurs 4-0 up after 57 minutes. Llorente got his second and third – Tottenham’s fifth and sixth – as the visitors ran riot. Substitute Harry Kane came on to bag his usual goal and to put Spurs 7-0 up.
The final whistle signalled Tottenham’s advancement into the fourth round of the competition while also ending Tranmere’s impressive run in this year’s competition.
Here are five things we learnt in Tottenham’s almighty 7-0 win away at Tranmere Rovers.
Serge Aurier is a goal machine
The Ivory Coast international came back into the starting eleven this evening after missing out on Tottenham’s 3-0 victory against Cardiff City on new years day.
With Tottenham bossing possession, it allowed Aurier to position himself higher up the pitch which resulted in a few sweet moments for the 26-year-old.
2 – Serge Aurier has scored as many goals against Tranmere tonight (2) as he had in his first 35 appearances for Tottenham in all competitions combined before today. Buses. #FACup pic.twitter.com/PLR7bsmq2b
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 4, 2019
Tranmere striker James Norwood failed to hold the ball up for the hosts, allowing Aurier to latch on to his miscontrol. Hit on the outside of his right foot from just outside the penalty area, the right-back drilled the ball into the top corner of the goal to put Spurs 1-0 up just before half-time.
It was a well-taken strike which dipped beyond the fingertips of Davies in the home goal and gave Spurs confidence to push on for the win.
In the 55th minute, Aurier was on for a hattrick. A super touch from Son set Aurier up superbly and he fired the ball into the back of the net to grab his second and to put some real daylight between the two sides.
Fun fact: Aurier doubled his goal tally for Spurs in one evening.
The magic of the FA Cup is back
After a dramatic few years languishing outside the football league, Tranmere fans haven’t had too much to cheer about of late.
However, after defeating Southport in the FA Cup 2nd round – thanks to two goals from Connor Jennings – they managed to set up tonight’s tie against one of the biggest club’s in England.
Prenton Park – the long-serving home of Rovers – was packed almost to capacity this evening, with their loyal supporters coming together to enjoy the chance of claiming one of the biggest results in their history.
It wasn’t meant to be for the recently promoted side but with the Merseyside team bagging themselves a decent financial windfall from reaching this stage of the competition, plus any revenue awarded from the games broadcast on television, tonight can be seen as a decent success.
Most of these players have spent their careers in non-league football so despite losing heavily this evening, tonight’s match was a good experience, albeit not a fantastic one.
Son is in the form of his life
The South Korean may be leaving Spurs to go play in the Asia Cup at just the wrong time.
Tonight’s performance was the personification of his form across the last few months, with his influence the key element for Tottenham to seal this win.
Two assists and one goal tonight for Son strongly highlighted the difference in class between the two sides and in truth with a few of Son’s Tottenham’s teammates.
It can be naive to think that all Premier League footballers give their all in fixtures such as these but Son covered every blade of grass this evening, as did to be fair, the entirety of the Spurs line-up.
The only negative for Spurs is the impending departure of Son after the club’s Premier League fixture against Manchester United next Sunday.
Llorente loves FA Cup hattricks
With Spurs and England superstar Harry Kane starting from the bench, Llorente was given a rare opportunity to start tonight and boy did he show what he could do.
The Spaniard bagged himself a hattrick last season in the FA Cup against Rochdale and this season he was at it again with a three splendid goals as Spurs ran riot against Tranmere.
All three of his goals came in the second half, with his second and third coming inside a minute of each other.
Spurs fans were chanting his name and you can understand why. The former Swansea City striker has never been given a real chance at Spurs but has a decent goalscoring record in the FA Cup.
A fantastic evening for the striker.
Tottenham can handle the pressure
Of course, the sort of pressure Mauricio Pochettino’s side were under this evening was nowhere near as strenuous as what is expected of them in both the Premier League and Champions League on a weekly basis.
However, this tie had every FA Cup cliche attached to it. “Banana skin”, “Cup shock” “Giant killers”, the list goes on.
17 – Tottenham have progressed from 17 of their last 18 #FACup ties against opponents from a lower league. The only exception in that run was a 1-2 loss at Leeds in 2012-13. Dominant. pic.twitter.com/yqZCDlT4rf
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 4, 2019
From the off, Spurs took control of the match and had their finishing been better in the opening 30 minutes, they could have been one or two up before Aurier’s impressive strike.
The win for the north London outfit comes as no surprise. Clearly the favourites, Spurs had lost just once in the last nine games in all competitions and went into this match in great form.
They have also now progressed into the fourth round of the FA Cup 18 out of the last 19