Tottenham battled past Southampton in a thrilling FA Cup fourth-round replay to set up a home tie against Norwich City.
Spurs went ahead when Tanguy Ndombele’s shot deflected in off visiting defender Jack Stephens, before Shane Long made it 1-1 after James Ward-Prowse’s effort had been parried by Hugo Lloris.
Danny Ings curled a shot past Lloris to put the Saints ahead, but Lucas Moura equalised with a strike from 18 yards.
Spurs won the tie when Son Heung-min converted an 86th-minute penalty.
He had been fouled by Southampton goalkeeper Angus Gunn after a fine pass from substitute Dele Alli had created the opportunity,
For the Saints, midfielder Ward-Prowse was carried off on a stretcher in the first half with a knee injury.
Spurs will host Norwich, bottom of the Premier League, in round five in a midweek match to be played on 3, 4 or 5 March.
Spurs have to dig deep again
The FA Cup represents Tottenham’s best chance this season of winning their first trophy since 2008 – as they sit fifth in the Premier League, went out of the Carabao Cup at League Two Colchester in September and face a tricky Champions League last-16 tie against an RB Leipzig side second in Germany’s Bundesliga.
They had to come from behind in the third round to force a replay against Middlesbrough before going through, and had to dig deep again here, with two goals in the final 12 minutes to see off a gallant Southampton side.
Unlike Liverpool – who beat Shrewsbury 1-0 with their Under-23 side in a fourth-round reply on Tuesday – Tottenham named a strong side for a match taking place during their two-week mid-season Premier League break.
Boss Jose Mourinho was, though, without the injured Giovani lo Celso and Erik Lamela, plus the ineligible Steven Bergwijn, while Alli was only on the bench after he picked up a knock during last Sunday’s 2-0 league win over Manchester City.
Despite having 24 hours less to prepare than Southampton, the hosts went ahead when Ndombele’s effort, which appeared to be going wide, took a big deflection off Stephens to wrong-foot Angus Gunn.
Mourinho would have been unhappy with Lloris as he could only parry the ball into Long’s path for him to equalise from eight yards out.
But the France goalkeeper made amends in the second half with an excellent reflex stop to turn Jannik Vestergaard’s close-range header over the bar as both sides pushed for a winner.
The Saints looked as if they had it when Ings scored following a fine run from Nathan Redmond but the lead only lasted six minutes before Moura made it 2-2.
Alli’s excellent pass released Son – and after he was brought down by Gunn, and the South Korean converted the penalty to take Spurs into the last 16 in dramatic fashion.
Ward-Prowse carried off on bad night for Saints
For Southampton, the match was overshadowed by the injury to Ward-Prowse, who was hurt when he tried to block a shot from Tottenham’s Ryan Sessegnon in the 37th minute.
There appeared to be little in the incident, but the 25-year-old midfielder, who has played in every minute of the Saints’ 25 Premier League matches this season, was given oxygen as he received treatment on the injury to his right knee.
After a lengthy stoppage, and with Sessegnon visibly upset, Ward-Prowse was carried off.
It was a cruel blow for the Saints who named a strong side in an attempt to reach the fifth round for only the third time in 10 years.
Speaking after the match, Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl was hopeful the injury to Ward-Prowse was not too serious, saying he though the injury would only be “a cut on the knee” instead of ligament damage.
“I think it is not the worst,” said Hasenhuttl “That is a positive message for me. If we had lost the game and lost James, it would’ve been absolutely horrible.”
For large parts of the game, the visitors were the better team but Ings and Nathan Redmond missed chances when it was goalless. Ings saw a powerful shot hit the bar as Southampton trailed 1-0 and – after Long had equalised – Sofiane Boufal dragged an effort wide when unmarked 12 yards out.
Spurs manager Jose Mourinho said “the best team lost” after the match, but that will be little consolation to Hasenhuttl, whose side were 12 minutes away from the fifth round before the late drama.
Another home win for Spurs in the FA Cup – the stats
- Spurs have progressed from each of their past 11 replays in the FA Cup, with six of those wins against top-flight opposition.
- Since losing 1-0 to Crystal Palace in February 2016, Spurs have won each of their past eight home FA Cup matches, scoring 28 goals across these victories.
- Southampton scored an own goal and conceded a penalty in the same game for the first time since February 2013 (versus Newcastle in the Premier League).
- Spurs have only kept three clean sheets in 19 games under Jose Mourinho – the only Premier League sides to have managed fewer across all competitions in this period are Bournemouth (two) and Brighton (one).
- Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Spurs’ Son Heung-min has scored more goals than any other player in the FA Cup – with 11 in 17 appearances.
- Danny Ings has scored 17 goals in all competitions in 2019-20, the most by a Southampton player in a single season since 2013-14 (also 17 – Jay Rodriguez).
- Lucas Moura has been directly involved in seven goals in nine starts for Spurs in the FA Cup, scoring three and providing four assists.
- Shane Long scored his first goal away from St. Mary’s since April 2019 (v Watford), ending a run of 12 appearances away from home without finding the net for Southampton.
‘We were in our limits’ – what they said
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho, speaking to BBC Sport: “My team performance was in the limits. It was in the limits for me with players available and not available. It was in the limits for them because two days ago (sic) they played such an incredible match.
“We suffered. We played against a very good team, we played against a team that was the best team on the pitch but we deserved to win because we were in our limits. They had their best players, they had one more day rest, they were fresh.
“I think I did very well because I had to manage a team with so many difficulties. I changed from the back five to the back four in the moment when I could. Then Dele Alli became the link.
“The players [played with their] souls, and heart and gave absolutely everything. Four matches over two rounds, really hard for the boys. They deserve this happiness.”
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl, speaking to BBC Sport: “In the last 15 minutes, we didn’t defend like we had to. It doesn’t count that we had 30 minutes [of the] second half perfect.
“We were not defending like we wanted to for the second goal and the third goal was too easy, they ran through our midfield like there was nobody.
“In the FA Cup it is not about being the better team, it is a game of results and he [Jose Mourinho] got the result and we didn’t. After a very busy period we now have time to recover.”
Both sides now go on their winter break, with Spurs back in action on Sunday, 16 February with an away league game at Aston Villa (14:00 GMT) before the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at home against German side RB Leipzig on 18 February (20:00).
Southampton play again on 15 February, at home to Burnley in the Premier League (12:30).
Article courtesy of BBC Sport