Moura header rescues replay for Spurs at Boro
FA Cup Third Round, Riverside Stadium - Middlesbrough 1 (Fletcher 50') Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Moura 61')
Tottenham Hotspur managed to force a replay of this third round FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough, after an equaliser from Lucas Moura prevented one of the shocks of the competition so far this season.
After a tame first half Middlesbrough took the lead early in the second. With no VAR technology in use Ashley Fletcher raced clear of the Tottenham back three in the 50th minute to slot the home side into the lead.
Jose Mourinho immediately made two attacking changes for Tottenham by bringing on Erik Lamela and Giovani Lo Celso. Eleven minutes after going behind the visitors were level, after a superb cross from Serge Aurier was headed home by Moura.
Both sides had chances to win the match thereafter but will now contest a replay at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. For the Middlesbrough duo of manager Jonathan Woodgate and his assistant Robbie Keane it will be a return to the club where they both won the 2008 League Cup, the last trophy won by Spurs.
Can Tottenham cope without Harry Kane? When the Spurs and England captain tore his hamstring on New Years’ Day it presented a worrying problem for club and country. The concern for Tottenham is the more immediate, and although they dominated proceedings at the Riverside they were largely forced into speculative efforts from distance for their attempts at goal. The length of Kane’s absence has yet to be estimated; can Mourinho find a combination from the rest of his squad to give Tottenham the edge they need up front?
MAN OF THE MATCH – Dael Fry (Middlesbrough)
Tottenham dominated possession this afternoon and the defensive effort that earned Middlesbrough a draw was spearheaded by their young centre-back. Only an excellent save by Paulo Gazzaniga denied Fry a goal in the first half, and his calm reading of the game ensured that Tottenham were largely kept at bay in his own penalty area.
Middlesbrough (3-4-3): Mejias 7; Howson 7, Fry 8, McNair 7; Spence 7, Clayton 6, Saville 6, Coulson 6; Tavernier 6, Roberts 6, Fletcher 7
SUBS: Johnson 6, Nmecha 6, Gestede 6
SUBS: Lamela 7, Lo Celso 7
23’ BIG CHANCE! The cross is whipped into the back post. A thumping header from Fry from six yards is well saved by the feet of Gazzaniga, and in an almighty goalmouth scramble Alderweireld clears the follow up chance off the line.
50’ GOAL! Middlesbrough 1 (Fletcher 50) Tottenham 0 The home side are ahead! Saville gets the ball in the centre circle and chips it behind the Spurs back three. Fletcher looks borderline offside but we have no VAR today, so he races onto the ball into the area and slots it through Gazzaniga to give Middlesbrough the lead!
61’ GOAL! Middlesbrough 1 Tottenham 1 (Lucas Moura 61) This is a superb equaliser by Tottenham. Lo Celso pushes forward from midfield with intent, and finds Aurier on the right wing. He drills a flat cross to the back post, where Moura is waiting, unmarked, to nod the ball back across goal and into the far corner.
70’ BIG CHANCE! Vertonghen makes an absolute mess of controlling a crossfield pass, and coughs it up to Gestede on the edge of the area. He back-heels the ball to Fletcher, who can only hit a team shot straight at Gazzaniga from the edge of the area.
81’ EXCELLENT SAVE! Lucas Moura gets in space on the left of the Middlesbrough area. He his a venomous, dipping shot at the top right corner, which Mejia turns around the post with one hand at full stretch.
88’ CHANCE! Spurs could have won it there. Lamela waltzes through the Middlesbrough midfield and to the edge of the area. He touches it to Aurier in acres of space on the right, but he can only smash the ball high over the bar from ten yards.
- Tottenham have won 38 of their last 40 FA Cup fixtures against lower league opposition.
- Middlesbrough have never beaten Tottenham in five FA Cup fixtures since 1905.