Tottenham needed three goals in the final five minutes as they survived an FA Cup scare to overcome a spirited Wycombe 4-1 on Monday.
Fred Onyedinma slotted Wycombe ahead midway through the first half as a much-changed Spurs were punished for their early wastefulness at Adams Park.
Gareth Bale hauled Spurs level on the stroke of half-time, converting his fourth presentable chance, but a stubborn Wycombe refused to roll over, forcing Jose Mourinho to turn his star-studded bench to avoid extra-time.
And, with four minutes remaining, Spurs’ quality finally told as Harry Winks’ first FA Cup goal and a late double from Tanguy Ndombele set up a fifth-round tie away at Everton.
Wycombe: Allsop (7), Grimmer (6), McCarthy (6), Knight (6), Jacobson (5), Wheeler (6), Thompson (6), Bloomfield (6), Muskwe (6), Ikpeazu (7), Onyedinma (7).
Subs: Charles (6), McCleary (5), Kashket (5), Akinfenwa (5).
Tottenham: Hart (6), Tanganga (5), Sanchez (6), Alderweireld (6), Davies (7), Winks (7), Sissoko (6), Lamela (6), Bale (7), Moura (6), Vinicus (5).
Subs: Kane (6), Hojbjerg (6), Son (6), Ndombele (7), Rodon (n/a).
Man of the Match: Harry Winks.
How Spurs overcame spirited Wycombe
Mourinho handed Bale a rare start and the chance to prove a point after a spell out of the team, but the Welshman squandered a golden opportunity inside five minutes when he headed Lucas Moura’s corner wide when the goal was at his mercy.
Wycombe showed no signs of a side who had gone 16 days without a game due to a coronavirus outbreak, and responded well as Admiral Muskwe’s near-post header had to be clawed off the line by Joe Hart.
- Jack Grimmer and Curtis Thompson returned as Wycombe made two changes from their third-round victory over Preston.
- Ben Davies was the only player to retain his place as Spurs made 10 changes from the Premier League victory at Sheffield United.
Bale wasted another decent opportunity soon after, dragging a shot wide at the near post, and those misses proved costly as Wycombe struck first on 25 minutes.
Uche Ikpeazu got the better of Toby Alderweireld down the right and his cross was not cleared by Davinson Sanchez, who could only divert it into the path of Onyedinma to fire home.
Spurs rallied but their rapid response was thwarted by the frame of the Wycombe goal, with Moussa Sissoko and Japhet Tanganga hitting the post and bar either side of Bale firing another presentable chance into the side-netting.
But, just as Wycombe looked to have preserved their lead through to the interval, Spurs finally converted a chance as Bale hooked in Moura’s floated cross from close to level the tie.
With Bale, Erik Lamela and Moura all failing to convert Spurs’ strong start to the second half into goals, Mourinho turned to Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son from the bench, but they too were equally wasteful.
Kane saw his shot blocked by Alsopp after miscontrolling, Son flashed an effort wide after a trademark dart into the area and then the South Korean blazed his best opening over from Moussa Sissoko’s cutback with 10 minutes remaining.
But with extra-time beckoning, Spurs avoided another 30 minutes with two goals in the space of 72 seconds. After Kane spurned another chance at the far post, the ball fell to Winks 20 yards out and the midfielder sent a curling effort into the top corner to break Wycombe hearts.
Immediately from kick-off, Spurs got in down the left, Son’s shot was deflected into the path of Ndombele and he diverted into the bottom corner, before the Frenchman put the seal on the victory with a second in stoppage time when he superbly cut inside and fired in at the near post.
Opta stats: Ndombele at the double
- Tottenham have progressed from 21 of their last 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.
- Gareth Bale has been involved in nine goals in his last six starts in the FA Cup for Tottenham (4 goals, 5 assists), with his equalizing goal tonight his first in the competition in 2942 days since netting vs Coventry in January 2013.
- Tanguy Ndombele has scored three goals in his last two games for Tottenham in all competitions, just two fewer than he netted in his first 52 for the club.
- Tanguy Ndombele became the first substitute to score twice in a match for Tottenham since Roman Pavlyuchenko against Birmingham in May 2011.
What the managers said…
Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth told BT Sport: “They’re a good side, they’re a world-class side and there’s no disgrace from our boys tonight, I’m really proud. We’ve got to pick ourselves up now for Brentford on Saturday, but we’ll take a lot of heart from this.
“We have only trained one day in the last eight days and that has hampered things without a shadow of doubt, and we were missing a couple of key players as well, but no excuses.
“It’s a game we wanted to win, we believed we had a chance and for 85 minutes I thought we were well in the game.”
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho told BT Sport: “The way they (Wycombe) play they can score from nothing. They can score from a throw-in, from a corner, from a long ball, so we have always the danger.
“In the second half we were super-dominant. We had lots of chances and started finding spaces. The people who came off the bench, of course fresh, brought some intensity and quality to the game.
“But we weren’t scoring. Against a team like them, you are dominant, but the threat is always there. With the fresh players we put on in the second part of the game, I believed it would be even more difficult for them to handle us.”
Man of the Match – Harry Winks
The midfielder has endured a tough time of late amid heightened competition for regular first-team football but his performance at Adams Park will have certainly given his manager food for thought.
Winks kept things ticking over in the face of resilient Wycombe defending and was justly rewarded with the goal the opened the floodgates for Spurs’ late flurry.
Tottenham host champions Liverpool in the Premier League on Thursday at 8pm, while Wycombe travel to Brentford in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday at 3pm.