Let’s take a look at some of the main causes of discussion from Sunday’s Emirates FA Cup Fifth-Round clash between Keith Hill’s Rochdale and Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur at Spotland on Sunday afternoon, as both teams produced late drama in a thriller of an encounter.
Magic Of The FA Cup Alive At Spotland
With no non-league teams reaching the Third Round of this year’s edition of the FA Cup, many had stated that the fairy dust of the competition was rather missing in 2017/2018, however, League One’s bottom-placed team sure proved them wrong yesterday afternoon.
If taking the lead in the first period through a neat finish from Ian Henderson to cap off a sparkling counter-attacking move was one thing, the club snatched a draw from the jaws of defeat.
Strikes from Lucas Moura and substitute Harry Kane, both of which we will touch on later, turned the game on its head, a position which the hosts wouldn’t have hoped to come back from in their wildest dreams with a mere two minutes of normal time remaining.
However, somehow they did with veteran striker, Steve Davies seeing a cross from the left side missed by Belgian centre-back Toby Alderweireld, fall perfectly to his feet, leaving him to volley excellently past Michel Vorm between the sticks.
The scenes as the goal went in, jubilant celebrations mixed in with pure disbelief from most of the home supporters, who had packed out their ground on the afternoon, showed just how much the result means to the Dale as a club, not to mention the Wembley Stadium Replay.
Postman Kane Almost Proves Match-Winner Once Again For Lilywhites
The task of finding a competition that England international and record-breaking striker Kane hasn’t netted prolifically in this season would be an unenviable one.
The Three Lions skipper was on the field in Lancashire for a mere 14 minutes at his debut ground but still managed to impact the affair profoundly, though he did need a little help from Referee Bobby Madley pointing to the spot in the wake of Harrison McGahey’s foul on Dele Alli inside the area.
Kane stepped up with the eyes of the world watching and converted in trademark style, a hard and low effort in the bottom left-hand corner, leaving goalkeeper Josh Lillis next to no chance.
The Tottenham Academy product now has a remarkable 39 strikes in all competitions in 2017/2018, coupled with a deadly recent record of ten in his last nine outings.
Put four goals in this edition of Football’s oldest competition next to that, though Henderson for the home side leads with six alongside Wigan Athletic’s Will Grigg, but which striker’s goals will prove the difference back in West London?
Moura Gets Chance To Impress For Spurs
Another man to impress in front of the Spotland faithful was new signing from Paris Saint-Germain, Lucas Moura for the visitors, who was making just his second appearance under Pochettino.
The outing was also his first start and he was eager to impress the travelling supporters that had made the 221-mile trip up to Rochdale. This he was able to do.
Aside from offering the Premier League team’s biggest threat to the League One strugglers’ goal throughout the 90 minutes with blistering pace, a series of electric, mazey runs and fantastic control of the ball, Moura popped up with the leveller.
Just 14 minutes into the second-half, Moussa Sissoko drove forward and slipped in the former Brazilian international, leaving him to finish coolly past Lillis with a precise dink into the back of the net.
Moura certainly will be hoping that the showing is enough to push him into the Spurs’ starting Xl in the English Top-Flight and that he can continue on in this vein of form, with one eye on guiding the North London club to success and the other on the summer’s World Cup.
Classy Rose Pays Tribute To Former Teammate Mason
In a moment of kindness that was somewhat overshadowed by the last-gasp developments in the racy affair, visiting full-back Danny Rose took a moment to honour his fellow Academy graduate in Ryan Mason.
Mason, who moved into Hull City after leaving White Hart Lane, last week announced his retirement from Football at the tender age of 26 just a year after a serious head injury.
The former England International sustained the injury whilst appearing for the Tigers in a Premier League match at Stamford Bridge last winter in a clash of heads involving Gary Cahill, leaving him with a fractured skull, returning to training after, but recently being advised by specialists to retire from the game.
In the moments that followed Kane’s penalty that had almost given Tottenham an undeserved win on balance, Rose addressed the camera that was filming the celebrations and shouted “Ryan Mason” into its lens.
Many of Mason’s former teammates are still turning out in white to this day and there have been signs of a possible reunion since the news, with Pochettino offering him a role at the club, more than likely as a coach, will there be an inspiring ending to this sad story?
So, with the matter of FA Cup Football attended to for the moment for these two teams as they turn their attentions back to their respective leagues, it’s now time to have a look at who they will be facing next.
AFC will quickly need to refocus on the fight for survival in England’s third tier, they will next be in action on Wednesday evening, playing host to MK Dons.
Whereas, Spurs will now enjoy the liberty of eight days of rest before making the short trip to Selhurst Park to do battle with Crystal Palace on Monday Night Football, the Lilywhites are battling for the top four in the PL.
Meanwhile, the Fifth-Round Replay between both of these outfits is expected to be contested within the next few weeks, though a date is yet to be confirmed at Wembley Stadium, who will book their place in the Quarter-Finals? Join us once again then to find out.