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Match report: Tottenham Hotspur 3 Morecambe 1

Spurs labour to victory against Morecambe at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

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Tottenham's Giovani Lo Celso attempts a shot on goal (credit Tottenham Hotspur/Getty Images)
By Haran Naresh 09 January 2022

Tottenham Hotspur progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup after being given a scare by League One outfit Morecambe.

The visitors took a surprise lead in the first-half through captain Anthony O’Connor. The home side turned things around in the second-half with goals from Harry Winks, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane.

Tottenham had an opportunity straight from kick-off, with Tanguy Ndombele driving into the box before having his shot blocked.

The hosts then came close to taking the lead from the resulting corner as Harry Winks’ delivery was headed just over by Ben Davies.

In the sixth minute Morecambe won possession high up the pitch and Shane McLoughlin directed an effort on goal which was easily collected by Pierluigi Gollini.

With nine minutes on the clock Giovani Lo Celso hit a weak free-kick which was collected by Trevor Carson.

Winks sent in a corner which found Matt Doherty who directed a header that hit the crossbar before being gathered by Carson.

Joe Rodon almost gifted the visitors the lead when he played a weak back pass to Gollini amid pressure from Cole Stockton but the Spurs goalkeeper quickly came off his line to make a clearance.

With 17 minutes gone a good team move from Tottenham ended with Ndombele having a shot deflected behind.

Tottenham were moving the ball around slowly and this allowed their lower league opposition to defend their goal fairly comfortably.

Morecambe took a shock lead in the 33rd minute. Alfie McCalmont sent in a corner from which Anthony O’Connor easily shrugged off Japhet Tanganga and side-footed in.

Spurs were made to pay the price for their lacklustre display to this point.

With 42 minutes on the clock O’ Connor delivered a cross which Jacob Bedeau headed off target.

Sessegnon picked out Doherty in the box and he sent his header narrowly wide.

At half-time Tottenham were booed off by their own supporters.

Two minutes into the second half Ndombele hit a shot which was blocked by Ryan McLaughlin.

With 50 minutes gone, Stockton received the ball in the penalty area before turning and firing wide.

Spurs boss Antonio Conte made a tactical tweak at half-time, with wing-backs Sessesgnon and Doherty switching sides.

In the 63rd minute Sessegnon latched onto a loose ball before steering his effort wide.

Tottenham were playing at a faster tempo than in the first half but were still struggling to create opportunities.

Spurs made a triple substitution in the 70th minute with Harry Kane, Lucas Moura and Oliver Skipp coming on for Gil, Ndombele and Alli.

Morecambe had a rare attack where Toumani Diagouraga advanced upfield before slicing his shot well off target.

Spurs equalised in the 73rd minute. Winks delivered a free-kick from the left which beat everyone and flew into the top corner.

The hosts then missed a big chance to take the lead. Winks found Moura with an outstanding pass and he headed towards Kane who could only head wide from point-blank range.

Winks hit a powerful effort which whistled over the bar.

Tottenham were piling on the pressure at this stage.

In the 80th minute Lo Celso had a strike which Carson did well to save.

The home team took the lead in the 85th minute. McLaughlin was dispossessed by Moura on the half-way line and the forward ran through on goal before rounding Carson and tapping in.

Spurs made sure of the win with 88 minutes on the clock. Emerson Royal won the ball back before passing to Lo Celso who found Kane and he held off a defender before guiding into the corner.

In stoppage time Stockton had a speculative effort that failed to test Gollini.

Tottenham’s fringe players were given a rare opportunity to start but they failed to capitalise against their lower league opponents.

Spurs were devoid of creativity for much of the game and ultimately needed first-team regulars Kane and Moura to come on to make the difference.

Tottenham will host Brighton & Hove Albion in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Tottenham Hotspur now turn their attention to the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea which is at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Wednesday. Spurs trail 2-0 from the first leg.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte speaking in his post-match press conference: “For a big part of the game we struggled. We had to score and had the opportunity to score very soon. Then when you concede a goal in a set-piece your opponent start to feel they can beat you.”

“We always struggled to be creative and in the end we have to be disappointed because we can do much better.”

On the fans booing Tanguy Ndombele as he came off: “In football you have to be good to try to change your opinion if someone is disappointed with you.”

“It happened to me as well as a player with someone being disappointed in my performance.”