Christian Eriksen brace books Tottenham Hotspur’s spot in FA Cup semi-finals with comfortable 3-0 win at Swansea City
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FA Cup quarter-finals: Swansea City 0 Tottenham Hotspur 3
Tottenham Hotspur cruised into the semi finals of the FA Cup with a comprehensive 3-0 win at Swansea City this afternoon.
Christian Eriksen netted a brace for Spurs and Erik Lamela added another as the north Londoners once again showed they can cope without Harry Kane.
Mauricio Pochettino would have been delighted with the performance and can now look forward to finding out who the Lilywhites play in the last-four of the competition on Sunday after the conclusion of Leicester City versus Chelsea.
The Argentine picked a strong team in South Wales, but made seven changes to the side which earned a 1-0 win at AFC Bournemouth.
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Michel Vorm started in goal with Hugo Lloris on the bench and Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier returned on the left and right flanks.
Eric Dier, Moussa Sissoko, Lucas Moura and Lamela also came into the starting XI with Mousa Dembele and Dele Alli on the bench as reinforcements if needed.
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Conditions were tough at the Liberty Stadium with a strong wind making things difficult for the players.
Tottenham settled the quicker of the two teams though, and it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 11th minute.
Eriksen had already began to drop into various dangerous positions and made the hosts pay when Spurs won the ball back deep inside their own half and broke forward quickly.
Lamela picked the ball up and combined impressively with Eriksen and the Dane took the ball forward, worked half a yard of space and curled home in stunning fashion from 20-yards.
It was the perfect start for Pochettino’s men and they continued to press forward and Moura cut inside an opponent with quarter of an hour played, but his tame shot was easily saved by Kristoffer Nordfeldt.
Eight minutes later and Spurs thought they had doubled their advantage when Eriksen found Heung-min Son, the South Korean controlled and drilled in via the crossbar, but the linesmen had his offside flag up.
Referee Kevin Friend immediately called for Video Assistant Referee (VAR) and after a minute’s delay, it was confirmed the goal was disallowed due to offside.
The pressure from the visitors continued and more good work between Eriksen and Lamela nearly created a chance for Moura in the 31st minute, but the Brazilian couldn’t get a touch to the Argentinean’s centre.
Spurs’ Danish playmaker was pulling all of the strings against Swansea and nearly added to his tally eight minutes before the break.
A corner was taken short and Lamela found Eriksen and his 22-yard strike was superbly tipped onto the crossbar by Nordfeldt.
Dier was the next person to threaten the home goal with 39 on the clock, but his near-post header from an Eriksen’s corner went over.
Three minutes of stoppage time were added on at the end of the 45 and at this point the away side would have been disappointed not to hold a bigger advantage.
Lamela made sure it wasn’t a problem in the first minute of additional time as Sissoko won the ball back well, passed to Eriksen and he found Tottenham’s number 11 took the ball forward, skilfully work some space and curled home from 22-yards.
It was only the former Roma winger’s second goal since returning from a year out with a hip injury and put the Lilywhites in the driving seat at half time.
After dominating the first 45, it was important Spurs didn’t start the second period sloppy, but they did.
Vorm was called into action twice inside the opening 60 seconds of the second half as first he parried Martin Olsson’s fierce drive from outside the area and then he superbly saved Tammy Abraham’s follow up header and keep the score at 2-0.
Tottenham did soon get back into their stride and Dier tested Nordfeldt from 30-yards with 50 on the clock, but the Swansea goalkeeper brilliantly denied the England man.
An end-to-end feel had taken over now and the Swans attacked three minutes later, but Davinson Sanchez impressively headed away a cross from half-time substitute Luciano Narsingh.
Spurs soon began to get on top again though, and came close to a third when Eriksen’s cross was deflected behind for a corner. Son had an effort blocked with an hour played and then three minutes later they did make it 3-0.
Moura and Dier linked up neatly around the Swansea penalty area and Moura got the ball back inside the area, teed up Eriksen and his low shot was too hot for Nordfeldt to handle.
Tottenham were cruising into the last-four of the competition and the ex-Ajax midfielder was now on a hat-trick and he tested the home custodian again soon after, but this time the Swans goalkeeper saved.
Pochettino made a change with 17 minutes remaining as Moura made way for former Swansea forward Fernando Llorente.
Moura could be content with his afternoon’s work after setting up Eriksen’s second and causing the hosts numerous problems throughout.
Son was now asked to drop into a wide position and nearly helped make it 4-0 in the 77th minute when Lamela slipped him in, but he looked to tee up Llorente for a tap-in, but the substitute couldn’t get close to his cross.
Llorente went close again eight minutes later when Nordfeldt could only parry another Eriksen effort, but the ex-Juventus striker saw an effort blocked.
As the seconds ticked away in South Wales, the Tottenham fans in attendance at the Liberty Stadium were in fine voice.
Pochettino introduced Alli with five minutes left and Lamela made way to standing ovation after an excellent showing.
Three minutes of stoppage time were added on and Spurs played them out at ease, like they had done for most of the game, to book their spot in the semi-finals.
Spurs will now take a break from action and return on April 1 to visit Chelsea in the Premier League.
Swansea City: Nordfeldt; Naughton (Narsingh 46), van der Hoorn (Roberts 80), Bartley, Mawson, Olsson; Sung-Yueng, Carroll, Clucas; Dyer (Routledge 86), Abraham.
Unused substitutes: Mulder, Britton, Fernandez, Byers.
Tottenham Hotspur: Vorm; Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies; Sissoko, Dier; Moura (Llorente 73), Lamela (Alli 81), Eriksen; Son.
Unused substitutes: Lloris, Alderweireld, Dembele, Foyth, Aurier.