Tottenham 3-1 Morecambe: Spurs survive big FA Cup scare after Lucas and Kane intervention

By Sports Desk January 09, 2022

Tottenham survived a huge scare at home to third-tier strugglers Morecambe as they came from behind to win 3-1 and advance to round four of the FA Cup. 

Antonio Conte fielded an unfamiliar XI that showed eight changes from the midweek EFL Cup loss to Chelsea, and Spurs went behind to Anthony O'Connor's close-range finish.

Spurs boss Conte, who has reached the final in his only two previous seasons in the competition, turned to Harry Kane and Lucas Moura with a little over 20 minutes remaining. 

Tottenham levelled soon after through Harry Winks' fortuitous free-kick and Lucas completed the comeback in the 85th minute, before Kane netted to seal a nervy passage through.

Matt Doherty, one of three Spurs players to retain his place in the side along with Ben Davies and Japhet Tanganga, headed against the post from an acute angle in a lively start.

But Tottenham found themselves behind after 33 minutes when visiting captain O'Connor volleyed Alfie McCalmont's inswinging corner past Pierluigi Gollini from six yards.

Spurs were booed off at the break but Conte held off from introducing Kane for the hosts, who went close through a flicked Dele Alli shot that Trevor Carson superbly tipped over.

Ryan Sessegnon then dragged wide from a good position, after Alli's penalty appeals were waved away, prompting Conte to bring on Kane, Lucas and Oliver Skipp.

That sparked some life into the home side, with Carson misjudging Winks' free-kick from close to the left touchline as Spurs levelled.

Lucas put Tottenham in front for the first time when the Brazilian caught Ryan McLaughlin in possession, raced clear and rounded Carson for a simple finish into an empty net.

Kane, who missed a great headed chance prior to Lucas' crucial goal, added a third for Spurs with a smart finish away from the despairing Morecambe goalkeeper's reach.

Related items

  • Alaba makes Madrid return for Champions League final Alaba makes Madrid return for Champions League final

    David Alaba has taken his place in Real Madrid's starting line-up for the first time in over a month for the Champions League final against Liverpool on Saturday.

    Alaba had been out of action since being substituted at half-time during Madrid's 4-3 semi-final first-leg defeat to Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, with Nacho starting instead when Carlo Ancelotti's men sealed a 6-5 aggregate victory with a stunning comeback at the Santiago Bernabeu earlier this month.

    The Austria defender's selection in Paris was the only change to the Madrid side that started that second leg, with attacking duo Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema again leading the line.

    Those two have assisted one another a combined 18 times in all competitions this season, the most of any pairing in Europe's top five leagues.

    Vinicius' inclusion made him just the fifth player to start a Champions League final for Madrid aged 21 or younger, after Raul (1998), Iker Casillas (2000), Nicolas Anelka (2000) and Raphael Varane (2014).

    However, Benzema is at the opposite end of his career. He and Alaba were joined by Toni Kroos and Luka Modric to make Madrid the first team to start a final with four players who had previously made 100 or more Champions League appearances.

    Benzema had been one of three centurions (also Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos) in Madrid's 2018 final win over Liverpool, in which Gareth Bale's brace as a substitute proved the difference in a 3-1 triumph.

    Bale was named on the bench again for this rematch ahead of his imminent departure as a free agent, while fellow winger Eden Hazard was also among the substitutes.

    Semi-final hero Rodrygo Goes, who grabbed an improbable stoppage-time double to wipe out City's lead over Los Blancos, hoped to make a similar impact after being named next to the big-money duo on the bench.

    Madrid headed into the game aiming to win their 14th European Cup or Champions League title, with their 13 prior wins already a record. Ancelotti was bidding to become the first man to win four Champions Leagues.

  • French Open: Sabalenka exit leaves Swiatek as only top-10 female seed standing French Open: Sabalenka exit leaves Swiatek as only top-10 female seed standing

    Iga Swiatek is the last top-10 seed remaining in the women's draw at the French Open after Camila Giorgi knocked out Aryna Sabalenka on Saturday.

    Giorgi moved into the fourth round with a 4-6 6-1 6-0 defeat of the seventh seed on Court Simonne-Mathieu.

    Italian Giorgi broke the two-time grand slam semi-finalist from Belarus' serve six times as she booked a meeting with Daria Kasatkina, progressing beyond the third round for the first time at Roland Garros.

    Veronika Kudermetova earlier reached the last 16 of a major for the first time when Paula Badosa retired from their third-round match due to a right calf injury at 6-3 2-1 down.

    With third seed Padosa and Sabalenka making an exit, world number one Swiatek is an even stronger favourite to win the title for the second time.

    The top seed saw off Danka Kovinic 6-3 7-5 in the opening match of the day on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

    It is only the second time this century that only one of the top-10 seeds has reached the fourth round, with the other occasion being when Karolina Pliskova was the last such player left standing at Wimbledon four years ago.

    Czech Pliskova failed to capitalise at the All England Club, as she was knocked out in the fourth round.

  • Giroud eyeing World Cup swansong after Milan's Scudetto triumph Giroud eyeing World Cup swansong after Milan's Scudetto triumph

    Olivier Giroud says he still harbours hopes of featuring for France at the World Cup later this year, having contributed to Milan's extraordinary Serie A title win in his first season in Italy.

    Giroud has been left out of Didier Deschamps' squad for France's four UEFA Nations League fixtures next month, with the World Cup holders' schedule including a double-header against 2018 final foes Croatia.

    But the striker, who appeared in all seven matches during France's second triumphant World Cup campaign in Russia, has impressed since joining Milan at the start of the season, joining Rafael Leao (both 11) as the Rossoneri's highest league goalscorers as Stefano Pioli's men won their first league title since 2010-11.

    Giroud and has 112 caps for France and is just three goals away from equalling Thierry Henry's record of 51 goals for Les Blues, but will be 36 years old by the time his country begin their World Cup campaign on November 22.

    But the former Arsenal and Chelsea striker admits he is keen on making a final appearance at world football's showpiece competition, although he is currently focused on celebrating a successful club campaign.

    "It would be a lie to say that I don't want to play a third World Cup, certainly my last competition," Giroud told Europe1 Sport.

    "At that point I will be 36 years old. And if I am still competitive with my club, yes, I hope to continue helping France. 

    "There are still many months to go. Until then, I'll take advantage of my holidays and savour this title with my club. Then we'll see what happens."

    While Giroud has World Cup, Champions League and Europa League winner's medals, his Serie A triumph represented just the second league title win of his career, and his first since winning Ligue 1 with Montpellier in 2011-12.

    Having held off the challenge of rivals Inter to move level with the Nerazzurri's tally of 19 league titles, Giroud says the current Rossoneri squad have earned a place in the storied history of Milan.

    "There have been great players who have passed from Milan," he added. "But it is a source of pride to have contributed to the construction of this Scudetto, eleven years later with experienced players like [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, it is fantastic. 

    "We had a great season, we were rewarded for all our efforts and yes, we are entering the history of Milan. We are still a long way from the big names in Milan, but it's nice to be associated with all these great players."

    Referring to the side's incredible celebrations, Giroud added: "I think you really realise the impact it has had in Milan and Italy on the open bus, seeing these hundreds of thousands of Milanese fans who have been waiting for a while. 

    "We are all very proud to bring Milan back to the top. It was a tough fight to the end, and you realise you are joining a very big club when you see all this passion around you and the class that reigns in this historic club. 

    "Not everything was written when we arrived this year. The goal was to qualify for the Champions League, to get back on top of the table. The goal, initially, was not to win the Scudetto. 

    "Being at Milan and fully participating in this beautiful story is incredible. It was another challenge that I needed and in addition, it led to a Scudetto. I could not have dreamed of better."

    Meanwhile, Milan's successful title tilt was aided by several French players, including goalkeeper Mike Maignan and defenders Pierre Kalulu and Theo Hernandez, as well as a number of other French speakers.

    And Giroud says it has been a great source of pride to contribute to the success of a side with a significant French influence.

    "The Milanese dressing room has a strong French accent, so to speak, with all the French," he said. "There are also other players who speak French, like Franck Kessie, Ismael Bennacer, [Fode] Ballo-Toure. There are other French players, like [Tiemoue] Bakayoko. 

    "We speak French, so it is true that there really is this slightly French team, as there was at Arsenal at the time. We are fortunate to have spent most of the season with four Frenchmen in this team and it is a pride."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.