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  • Mon, 25 Jan 2021 22:01:50 +0000: Wycombe 1-4 Tottenham: FA Cup fourth round – as it happened - Tottenham Hotspur | The Guardian

    Tanguy Ndombele stepped off the bench at Adams Park to seal a comeback win and power Tottenham into the FA Cup fifth round

    Bale, Winks and Ndombele help Spurs avoid shock

    Thanks for your company. Read Ed Aarons’s report:

    Related: Bale, Winks and Ndombele ensure Spurs avoid Wycombe FA Cup shock

    José Mourinho speaks after Spurs get the job done. “I knew the game could be difficult,” he says. “They [Wycombe] can score from nothing, from a throw-in, from a long ball. In the second half we were super dominant and the people that came from the bench brought some intensity and quality to the game.”

    Harry Winks talks after Spurs traipse through to the fifth round. “The FA Cup is so important to everybody and it’s something we take very seriously,” he says. “We have to grind it out to come to places like this and win and hopefully we can go all the way. It was a battle and we knew it was going to be that way. It was never going to be an easy game. The keeper has made some good saves and there were a couple of chances where we should have scored but the resilience was there and we kept going. I’ve been working a lot on my finishing – I’m actually a lot better on my left foot than my right, for some reason. I tried to find the right spot and, thankfully, it went in. I’m still in and out [of the team] – which is not ideally what I want – but every time I get a chance I know I need to take it.”

    Spurs will play Everton at Goodison Park in the fifth round. They were made to sweat but ultimately cantered to victory, with Harry Winks’s goal earning them the lead before the substitute Tanguy Ndombele wrapped up a deserved victory, with two brilliantly-taken goals. Gareth Bale had equalised with a deft finish on the brink of the interval to cancel out Fred Onyedinma’s crisp opener.

    Exquisite footwork and an emphatic finish. Ndombele wriggled away from two defenders before firing into the near post. He’s had a very good 25 minutes or so.

    90 min: There will be three added minutes.

    89 min: One Swansea boy, Joe Rodon, replaces another, in Davies. Wycombe’s effort was admirable but Spurs missed a hatful of chances before eventually pulling away, propelled by Son, Kane and Ndombele. Spurs want a fourth, too.

    88 min: Mourinho’s calvary have produced the goods. It was painful at times but that is surely Tottenham through to the fifth round. Meanwhile, Ben Davies, the only player to keep his place from Spurs’ win over Sheffield United, is down injured and looks set to be replaced. That’s a concern before Liverpool on Thursday.

    Job done. Son feeds Ndombele, who finishes smartly.

    Eventually, Spurs blow the Wycombe house down. Winks steers the ball into far corner of Allsop’s goal with a wonderful left-footed strike after chaos ensued in the Wycombe box. Ndombele scooped a fine ball into Kane, whose powerful effort was kept out by Allsop. Wycombe cleared the rebound, but only as far as Winks.

    85 min: Kane slides the ball across the box ... Charles clears.

    84 min: Spurs go long with Alderweireld flighting a pass towards Hojbjerg – but it’s a little heavy and Allsop gathers.

    82 min: And now Ndombele miscues after the ball drops to him inside the box. Son flew down the left, crossed into the box and then Knight’s clearance fell kindly for Ndombele. He tries to hit it first-time on the half-volley but gets it all wrong.

    80 min: Son passes up a golden chance! It is a sitter. Sissoko bursts into the box, cuts the ball back for Son but the substitute leans back and blazes over. He knows that was a massive opportunity to put this game to bed. Mourinho’s not best pleased.

    79 min: ... Spurs work the corner to Harry Winks on the edge of the box. He takes aim from 25 yards but it sails over. Ambitious.

    78 min: Ndombele traps the ball with a velvet touch and gets Spurs moving again after a game of head tennis. Bale drives to the byline and wins a corner ...

    77 min: The ball comes crashing in but it eludes Son and Kane, who appeared to be manhandled by Darius Charles.

    76 min: Akinfenwa does well to flick the ball out to McCleary but the move fizzles out. And back come Spurs ... corner.

    75 min: Mourinho will want this game wrapped up as soon as possible. They host Liverpool in 72 hours.

    74 min: Son flashes wide after getting the better of Grimmer! Spurs have dominated this half but have been thwarted in their search for a second – so far. Wycombe will not let them escape easily.

    73 min: Akinfenwa and Kashket replace Muskwe and Ikpeazu. Will Spurs find a winner or are we heading for extra time?

    71 min: Spurs go mightily close to finding a second! Davies pings a fine pass into Harry Kane but the striker cannot beat Allsop from close range. Wycombe, meanwhile, are readying their own trump card: Adebayo Akinfenwa, the striker nicknamed ‘the Beast’.

    70 min: “For a moment I thought your entry on 63 minutes read Mighty Mourinho, who sounds like some sort of cage fighter,” emails Richard Hirst. If only ... no doubt the Spurs manager would love to bring someone like that off the bench ...

    68 min: Son and Ndombele replace Moura and Lamela. Just before the changes, Kane teased a wonderful ball into the box, but it came and went without any fuss. Son, Ndombele and Kane have now all arrived off the bench. Wycombe, as expected, have been obdurate opponents.

    67 min: Lucas Moura has been very bright for Spurs. He tries to carve out another opening but Wycombe stand firm. Ikpeazu, a real presence in the first half, is becoming more and more isolated.

    64 min: Bale switches on the afterburners to fly beyond McCarthy and tries to hook the ball across goal with the outside of his boot, but Wycombe clear. Son looks set to arrive from the bench.

    63 min: Son is limbering up on the touchline. Might Mourinho, who turns 58 on Tuesday, make another change or two?

    61 min: Matt Bloomfield hands Darius Charles the captain’s armband, gives Onyedinma a little pep talk and heads off to be replaced by Garath McCleary, the former Nottingham Forest and Reading winger. Half-hour of normal time to play ...

    59 min: Onyedinma fouls Kane, who wins Spurs a free-kick ... but Allsop gobbles it up. Moments earlier Bale beautifully spun away from McCarthy on the flank.

    58 min: Lamela fouls McCarthy and Wycombe earn some respite. Ikpeazu tries to find Muskwe when the free-kick comes in but Spurs clear their lines. Wycombe have struggled to make Spurs suffer as they did in the first half.

    57 min: Harry Kane replaces Vinicius.

    56 min: Josh Knight does well to shepherd the ball away from Vinicius. And now Mourinho is calling for the cavalry. Harry Kane is stripped and ready for action. Ledley King is giving him a few tactical tidbits. Mourinho prepares to up the ante ...

    55 min: Allsop saves from Lamela – Spurs are knocking on the door!

    53 min: Matt Bloomfield is down after colliding with Vinicius after Moura drove at goal. But he is soon back up and running. Bloomfield really is Mr Wycombe.

    50 min: And now Gareth Bale goes close after speeding away from three Wycombe defenders inside the box – but he drags his shot just wide. Mourinho will be much happier with this. Wycombe are yet to have a sniff in this half.

    49 min: Lucas Moura goes close! Lamela slides the ball to Moura, who is loitering on the edge of the box. He wrings a Wycombe defender inside-out and toe-pokes a shot at goal but it whistles just wide of Ryan Allsop’s left post.

    47 min: Lamela forces Allsop into a save! Moura comes alive, slips in Winks who lays it on for Lamela, but he scuffs an effort at goal.

    46 min: Moussa Sissoko seems to have shifted to right-back.

    46 min: Hojbjerg, who won’t have any problem getting to grips with Wycombe’s physicality, replaces Japhet Tanganga.

    Our man at Adams Park has some news ...

    Hojbjerg has been out warming up sans tracksuit for at least five minutes. Think he may be coming on...

    Some half-time reading:

    Related: Abramovich era leaves Lampard with no time to pull out of nosedive | David Hytner

    Gareth Bale cancels out Fred Onyedinma’s opener to prevent Mourinho from getting his hands on the hairdryer. Wycombe have been good value and Spurs, who passed up a sea of chances before Bale levelled on the brink of the interval, have struggled to get to grips with their front two. It’s been an entertaining tie.

    Gareth Bale nips in at the front post to level! Lucas Moura plays a wonderful cross towards Bale, who ghosts in behind a dozing Wycombe back line, and calmly does the rest, striking into the roof of the net. An incisive pass and a wonderfully-taken finish.

    45 min: Tanganga hits the bar! Spurs play it short, with Moura fizzing it into Davies, who sends in a delicious cross. Tanganga rises highest but it cannons off the woodwork. Maybe it is going to be one of those nights. There will be three added minutes.

    45 min: And now Spurs win a corner ...

    43 min: ... McCarthy rattles the side netting.

    42 min: Ikpeazu is proving a real handful and now Harry Winks fouls the former Cambridge striker. Wycombe win a free-kick, 25 yards from goal. Jason McCarthy will take it in the absence of Jacobson, a set-piece king ...

    41 min: Lamela has options but, off-balance, elects to have a go himself. It dribbles into the hands of Ryan Allsop in goal.

    39 min: Bale skips away from the 36-year-old Bloomfield and then tries to locate Erik Lamela ... but the pass zooms away from the Argentine. Bale looks in a bit of a huff – and with good reason. He’s missed a couple of inviting chances, too.

    36 min: Spurs come within millimetres from an equaliser! Bale bounces in off the right flank and drives inside on to his left foot. It looks as though he is shaping to bend an effort at goal but he slides the ball across to Moussa Sissoko, who takes aim from the edge of the box. His effort cannons into Darius Charles, who makes a block with his first touch, diverting the ball on to the underside of the bar. Fortuitously, the ball then pinballs off the woodwork and into Ryan Allsop’s arms. Is it going to be one of those nights for Spurs?

    35 min: Wycombe win another corner ... but it’s cleared.

    34 min: Darius Charles replaces the injured Jacobson.

    34 min: Joe Jacobson is going to have to come off.

    33 min: ... Carlos Vinicius attacks it, but cannot keep his header down!

    32 min: Spurs probe on the edge of the box and David Wheeler nips the ball away. Spurs win a corner. Lucas Moura will swing it in ...

    30 min: Jacobson appeared to damage his knee in trying to stand Bale up ... he was down on the grass for a while but is back up and jogging now. Darius Charles has been sent to warmup.

    29 min: Bale passes up another big Spurs chance! Moura frees the forward, who jinks past his former Wales Under-21 team-mate Joe Jacobson and to his right foot. He strikes at goal but his effort zooms into the side netting.

    28 min: Uche Ikpeazu is enjoying himself. Might we have a fourth-round upset, after all? There’s a long way to go yet.

    Fred Onyedinma strikes! Ikpeazu rolls Alderweireld, holding off the Belgium defender before crossing the ball into the box. Sanchez throws a leg at it and there is Onyedinma to finish. A wonderfully-taken strike after Ikpeazu did the dirty work. It had been coming, with Spurs wilting following a period of prolonged pressure.

    24 min: ... Spurs make a meal of clearing it, with Alderweireld eventually ushering the ball away from Ikpeazu, who is proving a handful.

    23 min: And now Wycombe win a corner ...

    22 min: Spurs seamlessly click into gear, with Lamela nonchalantly flicking the ball into the path of Davies, who marauds forward. He finds Bale but the Welshman is guilty of taking a heavy touch and the move fizzles out. Spurs will have to go again.

    18 min: Onyedinma latches on to Muskwe’s pass inside the box – but blazes over! And then, after Wycombe recycle possession, Lamela concedes a foul on halfway, lunging in on Curtis Thompson. Spurs are not having it all their own way.

    16 min: Josh Knight, another player on loan from Leicester, does brilliantly to calmly bring the ball out for Wycombe, with the centre-back jinking past a couple of Spurs players en route upfield to halfway. Wycombe work the ball to Muskwe and then Onyedinma’s cross forces Sanchez into a clearance. It culminates in a Spurs goal-kick, but another move that will do Wycombe’s confidence no harm.

    15 min: Wheeler picks out Ikpeazu but the Wycombe striker inadvertently upends Ben Davies, the only player to keep his place in the Spurs side.

    13 min: Bale shoots wide! McCarthy gifts the ball straight to Bale on the edge of the D, as a poor defensive header dropping into the Welshman’s path. Bale gets hold of it and then takes aim but a vicious effort dips wide of a post.

    10 min: A loose pass runs to Muskwe, who then tries to release Ikpeazu but he overcooks it. Davinson Sanchez, one of 10 Spurs changes here, has not looked too at ease so far.

    8 min: Mourinho looks pretty glum. His team should have taken the lead via Bale but can now consider themselves fortunate not to be behind. After a slack start, Wycombe look determined to make life difficult. They’re looking long to Ikpeazu and Muskwe to hold up the ball. Wycombe will be encouraged.

    7 min: Brilliant stop by Joe Hart! Admiral Muskwe, a Zimbabwe international on loan from Leicester, rises highest at the front post to meet a delicious cross. Hart scrambles to his left to clear. It looked to be creeping in. From the resulting corner Hart has to be alert to prevent Joe Jacobson’s cross dipping inside the post. A couple of hairy moments for Tottenham.

    5 min: Wycombe earn a goal-kick after Spurs overcook a cross and a chance for the hosts to earn a touch of respite. Spurs were beginning to enjoy themselves. On the touchline Gareth Ainsworth is not best pleased with his side’s start.

    4 min: ... Gareth Bale should score! Moura whips in a corner, it arrows into the six-yard box and Bale, left alone by the Wycombe defence, gets it all wrong. That’s a big let-off for Wycombe.

    3 min: Winks drives away from Matt Bloomfield, powering beyond halfway and then looking for Lamela to his left. It runs wide to Lucas Moura, who wins a corner ...

    2 min: ... Lamela forces Wycombe into some last-gasp defending after Carlos Vinicius worked the ball into the Argentine.

    1 min: Fred Onyedinma has a crack at goal after Joe Hart’s skewed clearance lands at his feet. It was not the most convincing start by Spurs but now they bare their teeth ...

    Matt Bloomfield kicks off for Wycombe.

    Tottenham are first out and now here come Wycombe ...

    The managers have been talking pre-match, with José Mourinho, as he did before Spurs overcame Marine, telling his players the responsibility to deliver rests on their shoulders, not his. Gareth Ainsworth reveals he has shown his players clips of their 4-3 defeat at White Hart Lane in 2017 to remind his players that Spurs are not superhuman. Joe Jacobson, Adebayo Akinfenwa, Dom Gape and Scott Kashket remain from that side. “I played some of the goals from four years ago just to say: ‘Look, it can be done,’” says Ainsworth, wearing a Guns ‘N’ Roses face mask.

    “Fingers crossed we can have a bit of luck as well. I can’t remember a better subs bench than Tottenham’s tonight. We won’t sit back. We want to go at them and show what we have done over the last four years since we played Tottenham and how we have grown as a team.” Mourinho says mentality will be key to deciding the tie. Teams from lower leagues but Premier League teams in difficulties, so you can consider this game a high risk,” says the Portuguese.

    Twenty years ago, Wycombe made it to the FA Cup semi-finals. They battled past Millwall, Grimsby and Wolves before overcoming Wimbledon – for whom now-Wycombe boss Ainsworth scored – on penalties. Then they beat Leicester in the quarter-finals, with Roy Essandoh striking an unlikely winner, before Liverpool eventually ended their extraordinary journey at Villa Park.

    Tottenham are unbeaten in seven games and, while Wycombe’s form is not quite so splendid, they have won two of their past three matches. They are propping up the Championship and the club’s hierarchy view the league as the priority but how they would love to cause an upset. Chorley and Cheltenham went close to toppling Premier League opposition – but can Wycombe go one step better?

    We were the last away team to score three goals at White Hart Lane in 2017, which is a real privilege for Wycombe Wanderers. It was a really historic moment for us. We were close that day, we didn’t quite finish the job, but at the end of the game there were some really big hitters on that pitch for Spurs, including Son Heung-min who got the winner.

    Team news news: Gareth Bale gets a rare outing at Adams Park as Mourinho makes 10 changes, with Son Heung-min and Harry Kane taking pews on the bench. Carlos Vinicius, who enjoyed himself at Marine in the last round, gets the nod up front, while Harry Winks, Joe Hart and Japhet Tanganga also start. As for Wycombe, the evergreen Matt Bloomfield captains Gareth Ainsworth’s side. Adebayo Akinfenwa is among the substitutes.

    Wycombe (4-4-2): Allsop; Grimmer, Knight, McCarthy, Jacobson; Wheeler, Thompson, Bloomfield, Onyedinma; Ikpeazu, Muskwe

    Subs: Stockdale, Samuel, Pattison, Mehmeti, Adeniran, McCleary, Charles, Kashket, Akinfenwa

    Now, I know Frank Lampard’s departure from Stamford Bridge has caused a royal stir but, well, if Wycombe can send José Mourinho and Tottenham Hotspur packing in the FA Cup then we might just land on a tale that would give even a club legend like Lamps unceremoniously being shown the door a run for its money. Fair enough, Wycombe are not quite what they used to be. These days, just one league separates them and Spurs but, while Wycombe were taken over by an American lawyer last year, they are run on fumes compared with the financial muscle Mourinho is able to lean on. The last and only previous competitive meeting between these sides was a humdinger – Spurs won 4-3 in a fourth-round Cup match at White Hart Lane courtesy of a 97th-minute Son Heung-min winner, at a time when Gareth Ainsworth’s side were meddling in League Two – so hopefully we are set for another cracking tie. Ainsworth, as you will almost certainly know by now, is also the lead singer of the Cold Blooded Hearts, but Mourinho won’t be joining him for band practice any time soon. “I only feel sorry I cannot sing with him because I will destroy his music,” he said. Wild Thing v Mourinho: what more could you want?

    Kick-off: 7.45pm (GMT)

    Related: Tottenham manager Mourinho warns Gareth Bale he 'cannot give' minutes

    Continue reading...
  • Mon, 25 Jan 2021 22:00:46 +0000: Bale, Winks and Ndombele ensure Spurs avoid Wycombe FA Cup shock - Tottenham Hotspur | The Guardian

    José Mourinho had warned Gareth Bale he would have to fight for his place in this Tottenham team. But even if he is still showing signs of rustiness four months into his second spell at the club as he spurned several chances, it was the Welshman’s equaliser that ensured Spurs avoided the embarrassment of being eliminated from the FA Cup by the team currently propping up the Championship.

    Related: Wycombe 1-4 Tottenham: FA Cup fourth round – as it happened

    Related: Anger management: study suggests lack of fans has made players calmer

    Related: Abramovich era leaves Lampard with no time to pull out of nosedive | David Hytner

    Continue reading...
  • Sun, 24 Jan 2021 22:30:04 +0000: Tottenham manager Mourinho warns Gareth Bale he 'cannot give' minutes - Tottenham Hotspur | The Guardian
    • Bale likely to feature in FA Cup fourth-round tie at Wycombe
    • The forward has struggled for game time since his return

    José Mourinho has warned Gareth Bale that he “cannot give minutes” on the pitch, as the forward continues to struggle for a first-team place since his return to Tottenham on loan from Real Madrid.

    Bale is expected to appear at Wycombe in Spurs’ FA Cup fourth-round tie on Monday but time in the Premier League has been in short supply for the 31-year-old, who has played 45 minutes in the competition in the past two months.

    Related: Chelsea's Abraham hits hat-trick against Luton but Werner frustration continues

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  • Sat, 23 Jan 2021 08:00:12 +0000: He shoots, he scores – or does he? How VAR changed football for ever - Tottenham Hotspur | The Guardian

    Virtual assistance for referees has drawn complaints from managers, players and fans. What has it done to the beautiful game?

    When Manchester City scored a brilliant winning goal in the last seconds of a Uefa Champions League quarter-final against Spurs in the spring of 2019, at least two spectators who were present at the game abandoned watching.

    Out in the stands, an overcoated City fan hurried for the exits, delighted with his last-gasp win and keen to beat the rush home. At the same time, down on the substitutes’ bench, Moussa Sissoko, a Spurs player who’d been withdrawn through injury, was so distraught that he turned his back on the game and hobbled to his dressing room alone.

    Had strikers learned to celebrate half-heartedly, until they knew for sure that a goal of theirs stood?

    Watching games can be painful. Some of the joy’s gone. When do you see a referee smile now, or laugh with the players?

    Related: Hostile players, irate fans and decisions that haunt you: who’d be a football ref?

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  • Fri, 22 Jan 2021 00:01:48 +0000: FA Cup fourth round: 10 things to look out for this weekend - Tottenham Hotspur | The Guardian

    Liverpool meet Man Utd once again, Chorley need ‘a miracle’ against Wolves and Luton could hurt Lampard

    Last season’s fifth-round exit at the hands of Chelsea represented the furthest a Jürgen Klopp team had progressed in the FA Cup. He has been in England for more than five years but his attitude to the world’s oldest competition remains enigmatic at best, dismissive at worst. The biorhythms of a German season, including its winter break, continue to beat within him. Klopp has habitually blooded youngsters in the Cup, plus hardy perennials like James Milner. Last season, particularly in the third-round win at Everton, Curtis Jones announced his credentials and is likely to be granted a leading role at Old Trafford. Ole Gunnar Solskjær is more of an FA Cup traditionalist and can be expected to select a stronger team; his squad has been far less riven by injuries and fatigue than the opponent they drew 0-0 with last Sunday. United’s manager has fourth-round history with Liverpool; he scored a late 1999 winner that preluded future super-sub heroics but the time when these great rivals would throw the kitchen sink at each other in the Cup’s early rounds is sadly long passed. JB

    Manchester United v Liverpool, Sunday 5pm (all times GMT)

    Related: When Wolves were trounced 3-0 by non-league Chorley in the FA Cup

    Chorley v Wolves, Friday 7.45pm

    Burnley v Bournemouth or Crawley
    Manchester United v West Ham
    Sheffield United v Bristol City
    Wolves v Southampton
    Barnsley v Chelsea
    Everton v Wycombe or Tottenham
    Swansea v Manchester City
    Leicester v Brighton

    Chelsea v Luton, Sunday 12pm

    Related: 'Once in a lifetime': Alcoyano rock Real Madrid as worlds collide | Sid Lowe

    Everton v Sheffield Wednesday, Sunday 8pm

    Southampton v Arsenal, Saturday 12.15pm

    Cheltenham v Manchester City, Saturday 5.30pm

    Related: Cristiano Ronaldo's enduring sway gives Juventus and Pirlo timely lift | Nicky Bandini

    Sheffield United v Plymouth, Saturday 3pm

    Brentford v Leicester, Sunday 2.30pm

    Related: 'Once in a lifetime': Alcoyano rock Real Madrid as worlds collide | Sid Lowe

    Swansea City v Nottingham Forest, Saturday 3pm

    Wycombe v Tottenham, Monday 7.45pm

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