Spurs battle back from nightmare start to beat Burnley in FA Cup replay
PUBLISHED: 21:56 14 January 2015 | UPDATED: 22:30 14 January 2015
Tottenham overcame a nightmare start to battle back and beat Burnley 4-2 in tonight’s FA Cup third-round replay, setting up a home tie against Leicester in the next stage.
Mauricio Pochettino made seven changes to the side that had faced Crystal Palace on Saturday and Spurs found themselves 2-0 down after just eight minutes at White Hart Lane, following goals from Marvin Sordell and Ross Wallace.
However, Paulinho immediately halved the deficit and Etienne Capoue equalised just before half-time, while Vlad Chiriches and Danny Rose both struck within seven minutes of the restart to put the tie to bed.
Club captain Younes Kaboul returned from exile, having been omitted for the previous eight games, while Chiriches and Ben Davies took the full-back spots and Michel Vorm was given an outing in goal.
Capoue also got his first start since the home defeat to Stoke on November 9, while Roberto Soldado and Paulinho replaced Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen – as they had done in the initial cup tie at Turf Moor.
Pochettino was keen to rest Nacer Chadli but, to do so, he surprisingly opted to play left-back Rose in an advanced role on the wing.
That meant ignoring Aaron Lennon, who was left out of the matchday squad entirely, along with Emmanuel Adebayor. Instead, young winger Josh Onomah was named among the substitutes.
There was a breathless start to the game, and Spurs were stunned as they conceded twice in the opening eight minutes.
First, Kieran Trippier launched a routine long ball forward, and a misunderstanding between Kaboul and Jan Vertonghen allowed Sordell to run into the huge hole in the home defence, let the ball bounce and volley past Vorm.
Tottenham were shell-shocked and Paulinho and Chiriches both gave the ball away inside their own half in quick succession, which was punished in full as Burnley won a free kick and Wallace’s 30-yard strike deflected off the wall and crept into the net.
That provoked a reaction, led by the lively Andros Townsend, who was getting plenty of chances to attack down the right. The winger chipped the ball in with his left foot and Soldado hung in the air to flick the ball on with his head to the unmarked Paulinho, who finished from six yards out.
Spurs were back in the game, but they were still well below their best. The hosts continued to look vulnerable to simple long balls, and Capoue and Paulinho were guilty of overambitious crossfield passes which flew out of play.
Chiriches was also typically erratic, particularly on one occasion when he advanced with the ball and played a suicidal, heavy pass inside to gift Burnley possession 40 yards from Tottenham’s goal. Wallace tried his luck from range but this time missed the target.
Nonetheless, there was cause for optimism for Tottenham. Townsend was a constant threat on the right, Rose was showing some nice touches on the left and Benjamin Stambouli twice fired wide from the edge of the box.
Shortly before half-time, Soldado freed Townsend on the right and he played an inch-perfect low cross back into the middle. Soldado was six yards out and seemed certain to score, only to hit the bar.
It was an awful miss, but his blushes were soon spared as Spurs equalised just before half-time. Davies did well to make some space and cross from the left and the ball dropped for Capoue, who lashed an unstoppable low drive past Tom Heaton from 20 yards.
After a dismal start, Spurs were level at the break – and they took the lead soon after the restart. Chiriches’ curling effort was deflected wide, earning a corner, and when Paulinho whipped the ball in the Romanian bundled it in at the far post.
It was 4-2 moments later. Stambouli played a fine, curling pass out to Soldado on the right and the striker picked his head up before playing an inviting low cross to Rose, who happily applied the finish. In an incredible turnaround, with 52 minutes on the clock Tottenham looked home and dry
Soldado was keen to get in on the act and he sent a low 25-yard effort narrowly wide, while Onomah came on in the 76th minute to make his Spurs debut and Eric Dier replaced Chiriches at right-back for the final 10 minutes.
Soldado got another shot off – this time inside the box and on target – but Heaton got down to save and ensure that an initially promising evening did not get any worse for Burnley.
Tottenham now have three successive home games ahead, in three different competitions.
They host Sunderland in the Premier League on Saturday and then welcome League One outfit Sheffield United to the Lane for the first leg of the League One semi-final. That is followed by the home tie against Leicester in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday January 24.
Tottenham: Vorm, Chiriches, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Davies, Capoue, Stambouli, Townsend (Onomah 75), Paulinho, Rose (Chadli 59), Soldado
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