Tranmere 0-7 Tottenham: Fernando Llorente hat-trick helps Spurs hit seven in FA Cup
Last Updated: 05/01/19 7:35am
Fernando Llorente helped himself to a hat-trick as Tottenham cruised into the fourth round of the FA Cup after a 7-0 thrashing of Tranmere at Prenton Park.
Tranmere battled back into the first half after a difficult start, but were caught by a bolt out of the blue as Serge Aurier scored the opener from range in the 40th minute.
After the break, however, Spurs showed their class and ran riot in front of goal, with Llorente firing his second of the season to double Spurs' advantage in the 48th minute, before Aurier doubled his Tottenham career tally in the 55th minute.
Heung-Min Son got in on the act two minutes later, a quick-fire double from Llorente (71 & 72) completed his hat-trick, before a fine finish from substitute Harry Kane late on put the seal on the demolition.
Tottenham: Gazzaniga (6) Aurier (8), Foyth (7), Sanchez (6), Davies (6), Walker-Peters (6), Skipp (7), Alli (7), Lucas (7), Son (9), Llorente (9).
Subs: Marsh (6), Kane (7), Eyoma (6)
Tranmere Davies (6), Ellis (5), McNulty (4), Monthe (5); Caprice (5), Harris (6), McCullough (5), Gilmour (5), Ridehalgh (6); Norwood (6), Jennings (5).
Subs: Banks (5), Mullin (5).
Man of the match: Heung-Min Son
A much-changed Tottenham side still had plenty of firepower on the pitch, and should have been at least a goal to the good in the early stages.
Firstly, Son raced clear only to be denied by the legs of Scott Davies in the home goal, before Lucas Moura missed an even clearer opening, firing straight at Davies from point-blank range.
The hosts did settle into the contest and had a few half chances, before Aurier dispossessed James Norwood after a corner had only been half cleared, before slicing an effort into the net from 25 yards, with the aid of a slight deflection.
Eight changes for Tottenham from their win over Cardiff, with only Dele Alli, Heung-Min Son and Davinson Sanchez the only ones to keep their place. Harry Kane is on the bench, with Christian Eriksen also available should things go wrong.Tranmere make just the two changes from their last league game with Harvey Gilmour and cult hero Steve McNulty coming in.
Spurs stepped it up a gear after the break, and had made sure of the win with consummate ease before the hour mark.
Firstly, Son superbly pulled the ball back for Llorente to fire home, before Aurier collected a superb pass from Son and scored his fourth goal since signing for Spurs. Son then skipped past several defenders and fired into the bottom corner.
Llorente then slotted two fine finishes into the net - the goals less than a minute apart - to complete a second FA Cup hat-trick for Spurs.
With the score at 6-0, Mauricio Pochettino would have been forgiven for resting his stars, but instead, he decided to bring on the Premier League's joint top goalscorer in Kane, and his flicked finish put the seal on the thrashing.
- This was Tottenham's biggest margin of victory in a competitive match since they beat Wigan Athletic 9-1 in the Premier League in November 2009, and their biggest in the FA Cup since they beat Crewe 13-2 in a fourth round replay in February 1960.
- Tottenham have already won as many away matches in all competitions this season (13 wins from 18 matches) than they managed in the entirety of 2017-18 (13 of 26).
- Heung-Min Son has been directly involved in 12 goals in his last six games for Tottenham in all competitions (seven goals, five assists), as many as he was in his previous 31 combined prior to this.
- Fernando Llorente has scored his second hat-trick for Tottenham Hotspur, with both coming in his last two starts in the FA Cup (also v Rochdale in February 2018).
- Harry Kane has scored nine goals in his last eight FA Cup appearances, with eight of those coming against opposition from outside the Premier League.
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Man of the match - Heung-Min Son
Harsh to overlook Llorente for this, but Son was simply brilliant, and a class apart at Prenton Park. His assist for Aurier's second goal was right out of the top drawer, swivelling and threading the pass in the same movement, before his solitary strike was the goal of the night. He is on fire at the moment, and is showing no sign of slowing.
Tottenham take on Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports, before taking on Manchester United a week on Sunday, also live on Sky Sports. Tranmere travel to Cheltenham next Saturday.