FA Cup: Four-goal Spurs fightback avoids FA Cup anguish

Ross McLean
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Vlad Chiriches scored his first goal of the season as Spurs mounted an FA Cup fightback

TOTTENHAM manager Mauricio Pochettino believes a swift recovery from Burnley’s early two-goal blitz proved pivotal as his side revived their FA Cup hopes with a stunning comeback at White Hart Lane last night.

Eight-time winners Tottenham were indebted to Paulinho, Etienne Capoue and Vlad Chiriches netting their first strikes of the season as Spurs eclipsed Burnley’s initial joy courtesy of Marvin Sordell and Ross Wallace making the scoresheet, before Danny Rose completed the goal rush.

Spurs will now face an all-Premier League showdown with top-tier strugglers Leicester City in the fourth round, and Pochettino insists a half-time re-jig helped Tottenham nudge the tie beyond all doubt.

“It was key to go in at half-time at 2-2. We fixed something from the tactical situation and scored two goals quickly to decide the game,” said Pochettino. “We deserved to go through to the next round.

“It was a very interesting game. It was a strange game. The team has shown character and faith. It’s important to grow in the group. I am happy they showed character because that is important.”

England Under-21 striker Sordell rifled the Clarets into a third-minute lead with his first goal for the club since a summer move from Bolton after latching onto Kieran Trippier’s forward ball and exposing a gaping Spurs defence.

The visitors surged further ahead five minutes later, ex-Sunderland winger Wallace repaying Dyche’s faith in handing him a start by sweeping a 25-yard free-kick past stand-in keeper Michel Vorm, via a huge deflection off Roberto Soldado.

The rip-roaring nature of the contest was completely at odds with the lifeless initial tie between the sides, and moments later Brazil midfielder Paulinho smashed home a half-volley following Soldado’s flick from an inswinging Andros Townsend right-wing cross.

Spanish forward Soldado clattered a glaring chance against the crossbar from five yards before his blushes were spared on the stroke of half time as Tottenham drew level, Capoue lashing home a Ben Davies pull-back.

Tottenham completed their comeback in the 49th minute when Romanian defender Chiriches took full advantage of some wild goalkeeping by Tom Heaton to convert Paulinho’s corner at the far post.

It is 25 years since Spurs last lifted the FA Cup but their passage to round four was all but secured moments later as Rose hammered the ball past a helpless Heaton from Soldado’s low cross from the right.

Chelsea, meanwhile, will host League One side Bradford City at Stamford Bridge in round four after the Bantams thrashed second-tier Millwall 4-0 at Valley Parade to heap further pressure on beleaguered Lions boss Ian Holloway.

Millwall are firmly submerged in the relegation mire after recording just one victory from their last 11 Championship fixtures, occupying 22nd place in the table and languishing two points from safety.

Goals from James Hanson, Jon Stead, Andy Halliday and Billy Knott saw Bradford cruise through as Millwall defender Mark Beevers saw red.

Southampton will meet Crystal Palace at St Mary’s Stadium in the fourth round following Shane Long’s winner for the Saints in a 1-0 win over high-flying Championship outfit Ipswich Town at Portman Road.