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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Porro's moment of class just enough to get laboured Spurs over the line against Burnley

FA Cup Third Round

Tottenham (0) 1 Porro 78

Burnley (0) 0

It was all looking a bit replay-ish. Until it wasn't.

A game in which Spurs were making increasingly heavy weather of it turned on a defensive mishap 12 minutes from time, which was punished by a superb dipping shot from Pedro Porro - a man who always seems to have fire in his belly, whatever the occasion, and an eye for a goal.

An undistinguished, frustrating performance needed a helping hand from somewhere and it was provided by a hasty throw-out from keeper Arijanet Muric - who had had a fine game up to that moment.

The Kosovan's pass left sub Ameen Al-Dakhil vulnerable and Porro pounced, nicking the ball off him and thumping the ball back with interest from about 20 yards. And that was it.

This re-run of the 'Chessboard' FA Cup final of 1962 between the teams - which Spurs won 3-1 - really ought to be a springboard for Spurs to mount a proper tilt at a trophy they used to feel was one they had a claim to most years. Not that last year's 1-0 victory over Portsmouth in the Third Round sparked a run to glory, admittedly.

Getting back into the Champions League might be top of the agenda these days, but what price on a piece of silverware?

Ange Postecoglou didn't seem too fussed about the Carabao Cup - fielding a weakened side in an early round tie at Fulham which ended in defeat on penalties. But the FA Cup, surely, has to be a target worth putting resources into.

With a reduced workload during January's partial winter break, there would have been no excuses for fielding anything other than the strongest possible XI and the Aussie boss' only changes from the win against Bournemouth were down to Heung-Min Son and Pape Sarr being involved in African and Asian cups. Yves Bissouma was also missing for the same reason.

Spurs looked in the mood to boss it and after Richarlison had skewed a good opening wide, Brennan Johnson sent in a curling effort from the left which was well saved by Muric, and Johnson almost turned in a Pedro Porro cross.

Burnley initially looked like a Championship side there for the taking - as they have done in the Premier League - but they almost stole in front when Anass Zaroury scooped up a clever pass for Zeki Amdouni, which the striker should have converted rather than blaze over the bar.

They managed to keep Spurs at bay fairly comfortably in the first half, and grew into the contest.

Dejan Kulusevski needed to get into the game more and he fizzed a curving drive that arced wide of the angle of crossbar and post but the home team's play became more ragged, with Brennan Johnson unable to quite replicate the prowess of Son.

Turf Moor was beckoning but in the end, it was a final scoreline Clarets fans might have been dreading. You have to go back more than 40 years to the last occasion their team won at Spurs - a 4-1 League Cup victory in January 1983. Since then, there have been 12 meetings, with Spurs now winning 11 of them.

Even then, the hosts were reliant on a block from Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg as well as a wild close-range shot going wide at the death to get over the line.

Not great, but Spurs are into the hat for the Monday night draw.

Spurs: (4-2-3-1) Vicario - Porro, Emerson, Davies, Udogie - Skipp (Hojbjerg 77), Bentancur (Donley 84) - Kulusevski, Lo Celso (Gil 58), Johnson (Sessegnon 84) - Richarlison (Scarlett 84)

Clarets: (4-4-2) Muric - Vitinho, O'Shea, Delcroix, Taylor (Al-Dakhil 67) - Zaroury (Tresor 67), Ramsey (Redmond 67), Cullen, Odobert (Brownhill 58) - Foster (Bruun Larsen h/t), Amdouni

Attendance: 60,982


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