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Rochdale 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur: 5 Talking Points

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4.05K   //    19 Feb 2018, 01:23 IST

A pi
A picture speaks a thousand words

Final scoreline: Rochdale 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Goalscorers: Ian Henderson 45' (Rochdale), Lucas Moura 59' (Tottenham Hotspur), Harry Kane(P) 88' (Tottenham Hotspur), Steve Davies 93' (Rochdale)

You've seen the picture above, now help yourself to the thousand (1,346, but who's counting, right?) words attached to it. Mighty Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur travelled from their comfortable abode in North London to Rochdale, a town in Greater Manchester for their 5th-round match against Rochdale A.F.C. in the FA Cup.

Mighty is what you'd usually call their first-string side - "The Harry Kane team" - One that's (along with Manchester City) regularly been threatening the Premier League's traditional 'Top 4'. The side fielded against Rochdale, though, was anything but mighty.

11 changes from the team that faced Juventus in the UEFA Champions League just days earlier saw Spurs bow to a 1-0 deficit, as Rochdale's captain - Ian Henderson - led the way in making the most of some pathetic defending from the visitors - finding the back of the net just a few heartbeats short of the half-time whistle.

Lucas Moura, who started his first game in a Spurs shirt, then made it a night to remember as he blasted home an equalizer in the 59th minute. Spurs attempted to script quite a comeback as a result of Dele Alli's dramaticism and Harry Kane's late penalty to snatch the advantage in the 88th minute.

Rochdale, though, had been afforded a sniff of hope when they had first taken the lead, and they loved it. That mere sniff seemed to invigorate and engineer the subsequent rebellion. Kane may have scored a goal he's had to work the least for, but Rochdale weren't backing down.

Deep in added time, super-sub Steve Davies led the retaliation, beating Michel Vorm on the verge of full time - to give the club one of its biggest moments ever.

On that note, here's a look at the 5 talking points from the astounding result:


#5 Second-string Spurs struggle

Spurs were left wanting

Unlike the alliteration in the heading, Spurs' performance on the night was anything but smooth, as "the Harry Kane team" visibly struggled without their leading man, who was named on the bench for this particular outing. Well, can't blame the manager for assuming it was safe to rest his talismanic striker.

Mauricio Pochettino decided to field a completely revamped side, leaving out all 11 of his players that were involved in the gruelling draw against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League just a few days earlier.

The second-string side, though, struggled to break the deadlock throughout the game, and while it isn't like they've lost, Spurs should have, in all honesty, dispatched of their opponents with ease.

No disrespect to Rochdale, but for a clearer perspective, consider this - Rochdale A.F.C are currently placed 24th in League One (The 3rd division in English football). Which essentially means that 62 teams separate them from Spurs in the English league system.

Despite keeping 65% possession of the ball and taking a total of 15 shots, Spurs were seemingly repelled from that coveted space between the sticks. The combined forces of Rochdale keeper Josh Lillis, and Spurs' own inaccuracy saw them waste a multitude of chances, before Lucas Moura, and then Harry Kane rescued them.

One thing's for certain, ahead of the cup replay, Mauricio Pochettino will have to rethink a number of things.

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