Porro piledriver punishes Clarets as Spurs scrape through

Pedro Porro


Pedro Porro’s second-half stunner sent Tottenham Hotspur through to the FA Cup fourth round at the expense of Burnley, who came within 15 minutes of ending the North Londoners’ 35-match scoring run and forcing a replay at Turf Moor.

Richarlison notching five goals in his last five games will have filled Spurs with optimism about their ability to cope without top-scorer Son Heung-min, but Ange Postecoglou’s side were tame and toothless in the first period.

The hosts’ limited highlight reel included Richarlison dragging a shot wide on his weaker foot before Brennan Johnson – filling in for Son on the left – saw a long-range effort palmed away by Arijanet Muric.

The mismatch on paper didn’t translate onto the pitch as Burnley hung in there, and Tottenham’s risky high defensive line presented chances to the visitors. The best of the first half fell to Zeki Amdouni, who enjoyed the freedom of the penalty area but clumsily failed to sort his feet out before firing over from 10 yards out, spurning a golden opportunity that Vincent Kompany would come to regret.

Burnley have never scored at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and their duck rarely looked like being broken in the second period as Josh Cullen’s poorly-struck effort trickled wide.

Postecoglou moving Dejan Kulusevski into a central role saw the hosts slip into a more threatening rhythm, and while Johnson’s back-post volley was saved by Muric, the Clarets stopper was powerless to prevent a right-footed Pedro Porro thunderbolt which ultimately decided the contest.

Venturing upfield for a last-gasp corner, Muric’s flick-on created one final gilt-edged opportunity, but Amdouni miscued his close-range volley to consign the Clarets to 11 defeats in their last 12 trips to Tottenham.

Spurs have now advanced beyond the FA Cup third round for the 18th time in 19 seasons, and the absence of a replay will be warmly welcomed by Postecoglou and his injury-hit squad.

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