Tottenham on Friday recorded their biggest away win in club history as Fernando Llorente scored a hat-trick to help crush fourth-tier Tranmere Rovers 7-0 in the third round of the FA Cup.
Tranmere held out until right back Serge Aurier got Tottenham rolling with a shot from 25m five minutes before halftime.
Aurier, returning from a groin issue that had sidelined him for eight matches, powerfully struck a swerving shot into the corner of the net for his first of two goals.
Son Heung-min led Tottenham’s attack throughout the match and set up Llorente and Aurier early in the second half before making it 4-0 with a goal of his own in the 57th.
Llorente then added back-to-back goals in the 71st and 72nd, and late substitute Harry Kane showed no mercy by capping the demolition.
It was Kane’s 159th goal for Tottenham, tying him with Cliff Jones for fourth on the club’s career scoring list.
Llorente was making his second start of the season. It was his second hat-trick for Tottenham after also scoring three times against Rochdale last season in an FA Cup fifth-round replay.
“I am so, so pleased because the team is performing very well away from home, they’re showing great character,” said coach Mauricio Pochettino, whose team is third in the English Premier League.
Pochettino made eight changes to his starting lineup from Tuesday’s win over Cardiff City.
“I’m happy today because we keep [up] the level and we keep going in that competition, which is important for the club,” Pochettino said. “It’s so important to manage the squad to try and give some rest to the players when they need.”
Pochettino gave debuts in the second half to George March and T.J. Eyoma.
Besides being the biggest road victory for the club founded in 1882, it was also their largest margin of victory since beating Wigan Athletic 9-1 in 2009.
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
‘GREAT COMPETITOR’: Former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza was tested by American teenager Coco Gauff, before the Spaniard advanced in three sets Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday cruised into the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by handing their Japanese opponents a rare “double bagel,” a feat matched by US Open losing finalist Victoria Azarenka in the women’s singles. Top seeds Hsieh and Strycova took just 49 minutes to see off the challenge of Japanese duo Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-0, 6-0 on the clay courts at the Foro Italico in Rome. The Taiwanese-Czech duo saved both break points they faced and converted six of 14, winning 62 percent of their first