Reserves Fernando Llorente, Serge Aurier combine for five as Spurs take easy route in FA Cup
Tottenham progressed through the third round of the FA Cup in emphatic fashion, thrashing League Two side Tranmere 7-0 at Prenton Park.
It took Spurs 40 minutes to get their breakthrough, and they needed a deflection as Serge Aurier's 25-yard effort took a nick off Emmanuel Monthe and veered into the top corner.
The North Londoners still had work to do as they started the second half with a slender 1-0 lead. However, they went on to secure their biggest margin of victory since 2009, with Fernando Llorente hitting a hat trick, Aurier netting again and Son Heung-min and substitute Harry Kane also getting in on the act.
Tottenham made hard work of these FA Cup ties last season, drawing away against Newport County and Rochdale and needing replays during a busy schedule to progress past both sides.
There was no such issue this time though as Spurs once again rewarded their hardy travelling supporters, who displayed flags protesting against the scheduling of this Friday night game, 200 miles from Tottenham. Pochettino's side have now won 6-2 at Everton, 3-0 at Cardiff and 7-0 at Tranmere in the last 13 days.
A number of squad men had confidence-boosting outings and, having rested a number of first-team players, Mauricio Pochettino was also able to withdraw Son and Davinson Sanchez.
A wonderful team move ended with Dele Alli firing over the bar from outside the box. Had he scored it would have been a memorable goal.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- It was entirely understandable that Pochettino made eight changes and there can be no complaints about the strength of his lineup after this result, while his decision to play with wing-backs helped Aurier to be an attacking force. Was it really necessary to introduce Kane at 6-0 though?
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Paulo Gazzaniga, 7 -- Didn't have to do much but nonetheless kept his second clean sheet in a row.
DF Serge Aurier, 9 -- An impressive return from injury. While the Ivorian's 25-yard opener owed much to a deflection, he was heavily involved in the second goal with a neat touch to Son, before arriving on the overlap to score the third. He also made a useful block at 2-0.
DF Juan Foyth, 7 -- Carried the ball forward whenever possible and had a go with one low shot. Consistently tried to win possession high up the pitch, a policy which paid off when his tackle teed up Aurier's opener.
DF Davinson Sanchez, 7 -- Allowed James Norwood to get in behind him and fire into the side netting but was otherwise solid.
DF Ben Davies, 7 -- An assured outing on the left side of the back three. Tested the goalkeeper with one volley from outside the box.
DF Kyle Walker-Peters, 7 -- The 21-year-old's passing was sharp and he made sure he got back and helped out defensively. He would prefer to be playing on the right side but the competition for that spot has only got fiercer after Aurier's performance here.
MF Oliver Skipp, 7 -- While the 18-year-old lost the ball a few times, he kept asking for it and grew in confidence as Spurs ran away with the game. Played some nice forward passes between the lines and eventually threaded one through to Llorente which set up the Spaniard's second goal.
MF Dele Alli, 7 -- Spurs' young captain seemed frustrated at times in the first half, but he was clearly enjoying himself in the second and his through ball for Kane's goal was sublime.
FW Son Heung-min, 9 -- Missed an early breakaway but freed Lucas Moura in front of goal soon after and then had a devastating spell after the break, setting up goals for Llorente and Aurier, before running from inside his own half to make it 4-0.
FW Lucas Moura, 7 -- Shot straight at the goalkeeper at close range early on when he had time to do better. Kept causing problems and set up Llorente's third goal with a low cross.
FW Fernando Llorente, 9 -- A handful in the first half, the veteran really came to life after the break, scoring a 24-minute hat trick. It would still be no surprise if he was sold this month. If this was his swan song, he certainly hit the right notes.
MF George Marsh, 7 -- Allowed Son to have a rest soon after the hour-mark and ensured there was no let-up.
FW Harry Kane, N/R -- Replaced Llorente in the 75th minute and promptly scored, moving level with Cliff Jones on 159 goals as Spurs' joint-fourth highest scorer.
DF Timothy Eyoma, N/R -- Made his debut and read the game well.