Got a semi
You know how usually we moan that Spurs don't look up for a domestic cup tie and there's little emphasis on appearing to 'want it'? Not the case at Swansea where the hosts were nothing more than exhibition fodder for our super dominant display. Shame they failed to want it themselves but no complains from me. It made for a refreshing change. It was easy work and now a semi-final beckons (at the time of writing the draw hasn't been made and no doubt we'll get Chelsea and the away dressing room at Wembley, then probs lose 2-1 on the day. I've had a preview of the script).
Anyways, enough of stating the obvious of a future that has yet to past and more on the past that has already played out...
As stated, it was dominant and it only took eleven minutes for the majestic Eriksen to score at a canter thanks to the Swans backing off and giving him time and space to eye up the goal and curl it superbly in. We could have had more. Lucas dribbled into the box like a Brazilian Ricky Villa but alas his shot was a little too direct and tame. Son had a goal disallowed by the official (lino) and then VAR did it's thing and said 'no' for a second time.
If you have to go to VAR and it's still inconclusive then it seems like a pointless exercise. Especially as it's already disrupted the goal celebration, the supporters reacting to it and the general flow of the game. The system has proven a success elsewhere so I guess we need to suffer it a little longer before we finally see any benefits. Replays suggest Son was possibly just about offside. Maybe. Inconclusive, so I'd much prefer to go with the lino and ref and just get on with it rather than wait for further confusion to be confirmed.
Eriksen had another effort touched onto the bar. I sat watching thinking, 'we need another before the break' and deep into injury time we got one. Why thank you very much Tottenham for being relentlessly professional. Lamela, in fine form, rolled the ball onto his right foot for neat finish.
A great first half of entertainment. Menacing tempo, quick feet and movement. So much silky technicality to enjoy. Eriksen running it as per usual. Dier doing the graft. Lamela energy infectious. Almost too comfortable with how passive the hosts were but Spurs with no room for complacency.
The start of the second half threatened an actual game. Vorm saving a shot then from close up saving again with heart stopping reflexes. Swansea were fired up. It didn't last for long. Spurs gradually took hold of the midfield and started to dictate the tempo much like they did in the first half.
A Dier strike, a lovely effort, forced a brilliant save. Lucas had some half-half chances, running into the box. He's not completely sharp and decisive but has lovely close control and when he's up to speed with the pace of the English game and his team-mates he'll be an outstanding outlet for us. One that I'm certain will be amongst the goals.
By the 60th minute, Spurs were complete with their dominance again. So no surprise the third goal came with swarming urgency to own the ball, Eriksen with the finish. Lamela with a jaw dropping no look pass to Lucas in the build up. Moura with a nice lay off for Christian. It was a proper punch the air with pride type of goal, drenched in silky powerful Poch football.
Christian Eriksen has how scored eight goals in his last nine appearances against Swansea. Bully.
Harry who hey?
We might have had a fourth with Son cutting the ball across the six yard box when it was easier to tap in (probably). Their keeper also spilling an Eriksen freekick in the six-yard box and somehow it doesn't go in.
In the end, Swansea were really not worth the admission fee but Spurs on the other hand were pure eye candy. Llorente and Dele made late appearances. Shout out to Sissoko who was excellent in centre midfield alongside Dier. Defended and supported, pressed and attacked. An all round solid performance.
Back to back semi's. Ooh. Weakened line up hey? We never really look like we're taking the occasion as a priority and yet there was no debate about our product on the day, even with one or two rested. I've got another blog for Monday/Tuesday where I'll go deeper into Poch's comments about the cup and trophies along with some other news worthy bits I wanted to scribble about.
Anyone laughing over on social media and Twitter? From the Wembley hoodoo to the jinx to the curse to the brand new narrative; 'home advantage for the semi final and final'.
Someone remind the haters we've played the entire season away from home. I know, it should be an advantage right? We've played there all season and only lost three games (one in the league, two in cup games). But the venue is irrelevant on the day and pretending otherwise exists only to be intrinsically daft. The game being a semi-final, one away from an actual final we've not experienced since 1991, is the real psychologically obstacle that needs defeating. We could be playing the game at the old White Hart Lane, it wouldn't matter. This game needs to be won in our heads before it's won on the turf. Blades of grass are the same everywhere.
James Maw shared this depressing list on Twitter post cup win. Enjoy.
1993 vs Arsenal
1995 vs Everton
1999 vs Newcastle
2001 vs Arsenal
2010 vs Portsmouth
2012 vs Chelsea
2017 vs Chelsea
The longest run of FA Cup semi defeats in history. Additional fun fact: Hugo has only ever played two FA Cup games. All eyes on Poch.
We've got a semi. Let's not end up flaccid again. Please.