Thu, Jan 16, 2020 - Page 16 News List

Tottenham reach FA Cup fourth round, Toon cruise

AFP, LONDON

Tottenham Hotspur’s Giovani Lo Celso, second left, heads the ball over Middlesbrough’s Dael Fry in their FA Cup third-round replay in London on Tuesday.

Photo: Reuters

Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday edged into the FA Cup fourth round as Giovani Lo Celso bagged a rare goal in their 2-1 victory against Middlesbrough, while much-maligned Newcastle United striker Joelinton scored for the first time since August last year in a win against Rochdale AFC.

Jose Mourinho’s side almost killed off second-tier Middlesbrough within the first 15 minutes of the third-round replay at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Lo Celso, on loan from Real Betis Balompie, got Tottenham up and running with only his second goal of the season and his first since a UEFA Champions League strike against Red Star Belgrade in November last year.

It was an encouraging moment for the Argentine midfielder, who has endured a difficult season in north London.

However, Mourinho still made five changes from last weekend’s defeat against Liverpool, with Christian Eriksen, linked with a move to Inter, starting despite the Dane’s form being affected by the transfer talk.

A gift from Middlesbrough goalkeeper Tomas Mejias helped Tottenham open the scoring in the second minute.

Mejias tried to play a quick ball out and ended up passing straight to Lo Celso, who ran across the area before firing into the bottom corner.

Tottenham’s second came when Argentina winger Erik Lamela sliced through the Middlesbrough defense before slotting home in the 15th minute.

George Saville got one back for Middlesbrough in the 83rd minute as Tottenham survived a tense finale to earn a trip to Southampton.

At St James’ Park, Newcastle wasted little time putting third-tier Rochdale to the sword as they booked a home date with League One side Oxford United in the last 32 with a 4-1 win.

Newcastle’s FA Cup form is so bad that they have not gone beyond the fourth round in 13 years, have not won the competition since 1955 and last reached the final in 1999.

They were never in danger of an embarrassing exit after Rochdale defender Eoghan O’Connell turned Matt Ritchie’s cross into his own net in the 17th minute.

Matty Longstaff doubled Newcastle’s lead with a close-range finish three minutes later.

Miguel Almiron had put Newcastle in front in the 1-1 draw at Rochdale and he bagged the Magpies’ third goal this time, seizing on a misplaced pass from goalkeeper Robert Sanchez and slotting home in the 26th minute.

In the 82nd minute, beleaguered Joelinton converted a cross from debutant Tom Allan and showed his relief as he sprinted to hug manager Steve Bruce on the touchline.

That ended the Brazilian striker’s 20-game goal drought and gave him a first goal at St James’ Park since his move from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim last year.

Third-tier Shrewsbury Town earned a home tie against Premier League leaders Liverpool as Aaron Pierre’s 89th-minute strike clinched a surprise 1-0 win against Championship side Bristol City.

Coventry City’s 3-0 win against Bristol Rovers set up the unusual prospect of the League One side being the “home” team against Birmingham City in the fourth round — even though they are currently tenants of their local rivals at St Andrew’s.

Watford’s trip to Tranmere Rovers was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch caused by Storm Brendan.

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