Crosby (United Kingdom) (AFP)
Tottenham were careful not to fall victim to the biggest FA Cup shock in history as Carlos Vinicius scored a first-half hat-trick in a 5-0 demolition of eighth-ranked Marine on Sunday.
The 168 league spots between the teams is the biggest gap between opponents the 150-year FA Cup and Gulf show when fringe Spurs players seized their chance to shine.
Away from the luxury of the £ 1bn ($ 1.3bn) Tottenham Hotspur stadium, Jose Mourinho’s men had to change in a reception hall due to social distancing guidelines.
No fans were allowed in due to coronavirus restrictions, but many watched from the gardens of the houses backing onto Rossett Park with a capacity of 3,185 places.
Marine did not miss their big payday as 23,000 fans purchased virtual tickets to support a team whose season was cut short due to the pandemic.
The home side missed out on facing England captain Harry Kane as he did not travel, while Mourinho left Son Heung-min and Gareth Bale on the bench.
Spurs have always lined up a strong squad with Dele Alli, Toby Alderweireld and Lucas Moura, while Kane’s replacement Vinicius pleaded for more playing time in the next few busy months with Tottenham still involved in four competitions. .
Marine was inches from a superb lead when Neil Kengni’s long-range strike grabbed Joe Hart and came off the bar.
Vincius quickly restored order with two single finishes from close range before Lucas’ handsome free kick went 3-0.
The Benfica striker on loan then made a 37-minute treble with the match goal as his subtle lob fell to the far corner.
Mourinho introduced 16-year-old Alfie Devine at half-time and the youngest Tottenham player had a start to remember as he shot at the near post to bring the score to 5-0.
Bale was then signed for the final 25 minutes to facilitate his return to form, but the quadruple Champions League winner was unable to add to the scoreline as Spurs advanced to the fourth round.
© 2021 AFP