Match Report: Wycombe Wanderers 1 Tottenham 4 (we now face Everton away)
Even though they scored in the 25th minute, I never doubted for a minute that we would win this game. We had too much quality on the bench, and it wasn’t as if we were 1-0 down against Liverpool.
I am also glad that Bale got a goal as there have been questions marks over his fitness lately; whether he was good enough or just a player from the past we dug up. However, he needs a few more games behind him before all the doubters have been silenced.
But, yes, we left it late to overcome a stubborn and spirited Wycombe side to progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup where we will now face Everton at Goodison Park. Wycombe, who are at the bottom of the Championship, had stunned us into awareness when Fred Onyedinma slotted in the opener midway through the first half. But Gareth Bale decided to show what he was made off when he got our equaliser in extra time of the first half. His goal was from a Lucas Moura’s cross.
Then the break descended and I had time to get on my WhatsApp group to say what we were going to do in the second half… win of course. Then I got myself a quick cappuccino before settling down for all those goals I predicted (and they came!). No alcohol at the moment as I am trying to lose weight.
To the second half.
As predicted, we upped the pressure, but Wycombe resisted numerous attacks as they looked set to take the game into extra time before Harry Winks curled home to give us the lead with minutes to go. Tanguy Ndombele ensured that there would be no late drama when he finished from close range then stabbed home a fourth in injury time to set us up with a fifth-round tie at Everton. What a relief, these smaller clubs can be bloody tricky and dangerous at times. It was their cup final, and through history, there have been many famous giant killings against top opposition (we’ve been a victim to a few through our history, I can tell you).
This wasn’t the first time we met Wycombe; we met them in the FA Cup fourth round back in 2017, when we beat them 4-3 in a mouth-watering electrifying game (I was there), and even though our margin of victory this time around was more prominent, we were still made to work for it. But no matter how our opponents faired, people/ history only remember results.
Full credit to Wycombe though, who are struggling at the bottom of the Championship and 10 points adrift of safety. They did shock us by taking the lead when Uche Ikpeazu got the better of Toby Alderweireld before passing the ball to Onyedinma to score his goal. That goal put the shits up a few Spurs supporters, I can tell you, and no doubt Mourinho as well; therefore Mourinho decided to take no chances, and in the 58th minute he bought on Harry Kane just before the hour mark and then Son a few minutes later; that made all the difference. As the game wore on, extra time looked more and more likely, but in the end, our enhanced quality showed as we went on to smash them out of sight.
Let us have a few words about Ndombele
Do you remember the time, last season, when we thought Ndombele was heading out of the door as he battled to make an imprint for the club? He would have been a costly flop; we purchased him for a club-record fee of £53.8m. But suddenly it clicked for him, turning out to be one of our best players this season, and just as crucial as Kane and Son. He showed once again his real quality with his two magnificent goals.
His first goal was a cracker and allowed us to take charge, but his second was one of real superiority. It confused Wycombe’s defence with superb footwork before firing in at the near post. And didn’t we jump… well, I say we, but I was alone, alas.
Since getting his act together, he has shown us what he can do. And don’t forget his brilliant hooked finish against Sheffield United on 17th January, that was another superb performance.
Ndombele has now scored four goals in his past six appearances for us, having hit four in his 48 games before this game, emphasising his remarkable revival.
We have progressed from 21 of our past 22 FA Cup ties against sides from a lower division.
Wycombe have lost 15 of their 26 games in all competitions this season, three more than they did in 43 matches last season.
There were just 72 seconds between Harry Winks giving us the lead and Tanguy Ndombele making it 3-1.
Fred Onyedinma has scored in back-to-back appearances for Wycombe in all competitions (both in the FA Cup), having scored in none of his first 24 games this season.
Gareth Bale has been involved in nine goals in his past six starts in the FA Cup for us (four goals, five assists), with his equalising goal his first in the competition in 2,942 days since netting vs Coventry in January 2013.
Harry Winks has scored two goals in his past nine games for us in all competitions, as many as he had in his first 151 appearances for the club.
Lucas Moura has been involved in 10 goals in 12 FA Cup starts (four goals, six assists), more than any other player for the club since his debut for us in the competition in February 2018.
Tanguy Ndombele became the first substitute to score twice in a match for us since Roman Pavlyuchenko against Birmingham in May 2011 (and I remember that one well).
What next for us?
Well, we won’t have to wait long for our next game, as it is against Liverpool at the Tottenham Stadium, this Thursday 28th January at 8pm.
All the best, Glenn