From Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Spurs had to score three late goals in order to avoid a FA Cup upset at the hands of League One outfit Morecambe, beating the Shrimps 3-1 on Sunday.
Antonio Conte’s side were dreadful for the majority of the game but turned it on when they needed to in order to advance to round four.
Spurs twice went close to taking a first-minute lead however. First, Tanguy Ndombele made a run in behind the Morecambe backline and took advantage of some sloppy defending, but Anthony O’Connor made a great recovery challenge, while captain Ben Davies headed just over from the resulting corner.
At the other end, Morecambe had the game’s first shot on goal after Shane McLoughlin robbed Ndombele of possession in midfield and let fly from range, though his tame effort trickled into the arms of Pierluigi Gollini.
The League One side were giving Spurs a rough ride, though Matt Doherty went closest to opening the scoring after his header bounced back off the post.
Ryan Sessegnon danced his way through the Morecambe backline before teeing up Giovani Lo Celso, but the Argentine’s shot was blocked and Spurs’ frustrations in finding a clear route to goal continued.
And the away side took the lead just after the half hour mark after O’Connor easily evaded Japhet Tanganga from a corner, volleying home from close range and sending the sizeable travelling contingent into delirium.
Tottenham deservedly went into the break behind but Conte threw the same XI back out for the second half to rectify their errors, with Sessegnon and Doherty switching flanks in the only change.
Morecambe continued to look the more threatening side though, with Cole Stockton winning an aerial duel with Joe Rodon but his curling shot whistled just past the post.
Dele Alli’s flick from a Lo Celso corner almost gave Spurs a route back into the tie, but Trevor Carson was at full stretch to deny the Englishman.
With an hour on the clock, Tottenham really began ramping up the pressure, with Sessegnon cutting inside from the right and firing into the side netting.
Conte threw on Harry Kane, Lucas Moura and Oliver Skipp with the game slipping away from Spurs, but it was Harry Winks who found the equaliser directly from a free-kick close to the corner flag.
Tottenham should have pulled ahead soon after when Winks’ teasing cross was met by Lucas, who unselfishly headed back towards Kane, but the England captain’s effort from point-blank range somehow went wide.
With five minutes remaining, Lucas completed the comeback when he robbed McLaughlin of possession on the halfway line, sprinted through on goal and rounded Carson to put the hosts in front.
Kane then grabbed a goal of his own almost immediately from kick-off when substitute Emerson Royal won the ball high up the pitch, feeding Lo Celso to slot in the striker to send Spurs into the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Pierluigi Gollini (GK) – 2/10 – Terrible positioning, a hologram between the sticks and offered the defenders no help in playing from the back. How he’s an Italy international is beyond me.
Japhet Tanganga (CB) – 2/10 – Lost his man for the goal in a comedic display of ‘defending’.
Joe Rodon (CB) – 3/10 – Surrendered possession a couple of times after taking his eye off the ball and was second-best in most of his duels when isolated.
Ben Davies (CB) – 5/10 – Wasn’t embarrassing but didn’t look like the marauding overlapping defender he’s been in recent weeks.
Matt Doherty (RWB) – 4/10 – Offered little in possession and rarely showed for it either. His off-ball runs improved after switching flanks.
Giovani Lo Celso (CM) – 4/10 – Slipped and slid his way all over the pitch. Hard to believe he’s rubbed shoulders with Lionel Messi.
Harry Winks (CM) – 6/10 – A few loose passes but hardly the worst offender in Spurs’ side. Found the equaliser (even if accidental) and led the fight in the closing stages.
Tanguy Ndombele (CM) – 1/10 – Showed all of the flaws that explain why he’s failed to make an impact under Conte. Lazy in and out of possession. Slowly left the pitch when substituted and loudly booed.
Ryan Sessegnon (LWB) – 6/10 – At least tried to make things happen, but one wing-back can’t carry the load on his own.
Dele Alli (CF) – 4/10 – Quite obviously not a striker and should never play there again. Ran around a bit, regardless.
Bryan Gil (CF) – 3/10 – Roughed up by Morecambe early on and faded out of the game.
Harry Kane (CF, 69′ for Dele) – 7/10 – His arrival changed the game (as it probably should have).
Oliver Skipp (CM, 69′ for Ndombele) – 6/10 – Brought some much-needed bite to midfield.
Lucas Moura (CF, 69′ for Gil) – 8/10 – A live-wire and Spurs’ best player.
Emerson Royal (86′ for Sessegnon) – 7/10 – Came on for a few minutes and got a pre-assist. Job done.
Dane Scarlett (88′ for Lo Celso) – N/A