In one of the most historic FA Cup ties of all time, Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur traveled to eighth-tier side Marine today and came away 0-5 winners.
Tottenham were always favored to beat Marine, who became only the second side from their tier of football to make it to the FA Cup’s third round. And after a slight scare early on that saw Neil Kengni hit the bar, it became business as usual for Jose Mourinho’s side.
Striker Carlos Vinicius opened the scoring from close range on 24 minutes. And by the 37th minute, Tottenham were 0-4 up, with the Brazilian completing a hat-trick and Lucas Moura scoring a free-kick.
The second half saw a professional performance from Tottenham, who added their fifth goal from 16-year old debutant Alfie Devine. nd although Marine put up a valiant effort, they were clearly outclassed.
Here are five talking points from Tottenham’s 0-5 win over Marine.
#1 Tottenham boss Mourinho proves that he respects the FA Cup
Given their crazy schedule this season – a schedule that could get even more hectic if Wednesday’s clash with Aston Villa is postponed – Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho could’ve been excused for not taking tonight’s game seriously.
The truth is that any side Mourinho picked probably could’ve overcome eighth tier side Marine. However, when the teams were announced, fans of both Tottenham and Marine probably had a nice surprise.
Sure, there were no Harry Kane or Son Heung-min, and youngster Harvey White was given his first start in midfield. But this was still a strong Tottenham side, complete with first-team regulars like Toby Alderweireld, Matt Doherty, and Lucas Moura.
Add in the fact that Dele Alli and Gareth Bale also played, and this was proof that for as much as he receives criticism, Mourinho clearly respected both Marine and the FA Cup.
Compare his behavior today to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp’s refusal to attend an FA Cup replay against Shrewsbury last season – and his use of a full youth side in said game – and it’s night and day.
#2 Even in losing, Marine showed that the magic of the FA Cup is still alive
If you were to ask many football fans in 2021, they’d probably tell you that the ‘magic’ of the FA Cup has been dead for years. Not only are giant-killing upsets becoming rarer and rarer, but we’ve now reached the point where plenty of EFL Championship managers, not to mention Premier League bosses, barely take the competition seriously.
However, tonight, eighth-tier Marine proved that the magic of the FA Cup is still alive and well.
This was only the second time a team from their tier had made it to the third round of the competition, and from the off, it was clear quite how unique this match was.
Marine’s ground, Rossett Park, was surrounded by terraced houses, meaning that fans could actually attend the game, albeit from their back gardens.
And while their team – made up of part-timers, including a PE teacher and a bin man – were eventually overwhelmed by Tottenham, they still gave a good account of themselves.
Goalkeeper Bayleigh Passant made some strong saves and looked assured overall. Forward Niall Cummins gave Tottenham’s defenders a good physical tussle, and Neil Kengni even hit the bar in the first half with a shot that completely fooled Joe Hart.
Fans watching clearly had a blast. They used air horns throughout the game and even aired Three Lions on a stereo during the second half. It’s clear that even in losing, Marine showed that the FA Cup can still find new ways to surprise us, even in 2021.