Porro’s rocket fires Spurs into FA Cup fourth round

Tottenham Hotspur’s Italian defender #38 Destiny Udogie (C) is surrounded during the English FA Cup third round football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Burnley at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on January 5, 2024. AFP

Pedro Porro’s sublime strike fired Tottenham to a hard-fought 1-0 win over stubborn Burnley in the FA Cup third round on Friday.

Porro bagged his first goal this season with just 12 minutes left in north London to spare Tottenham the prospect of an unwanted trip to Turf Moor for a replay.

Tottenham’s progress to the fourth round made it five wins from their last six games in all competitions as they continue to bounce back from their autumn slump.

Coach Ange Postecoglou said this week that it is Tottenham’s ambition to win a trophy like the FA Cup “every year”.

Without a major triumph since winning the 2008 League Cup, Tottenham fans would gladly take any silverware at present, no matter the competition.

They won the last of their eight FA Cups in 1991 and Postecoglou would dearly love to mark his first season in charge by ending that long wait for a ninth.

The road to Wembley started for Tottenham without Son Heung-min, who is on Asian Cup duty with South Korea, and Pape Sarr, who has departed to play for Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Postecoglou’s team were the dominant side even without Son and Sarr.

Richarlison dragged his shot wide of the far post after slaloming through the Burnley defence in the early stages.

Brennan Johnson’s curler was pushed away by Burnley keeper Arijanet Muric, who also saved well from Richarlison.

Giovani Lo Celso opened the second half with a long-range shot that was repelled by the over-worked Muric.

Tottenham pushed hard in the closing stages, with Muric saving again from Johnson before the breakthrough finally arrived.

Muric had been in such good form that it was going to take something special to beat him and Porro duly delivered in the 78th minute.

After winning back possession in the Burnley half, the Spanish defender took aim from the right-hand side of the area and unfurled a ferocious shot that bent into the far corner as Muric stood rooted to the spot.

Burnley’s exit leaves Vincent Kompany’s second bottom side free to focus on their fight for Premier League survival.

Doyle rescues Wolves

Ten-man Wolves rescued a 1-1 draw at Brentford thanks to Tommy Doyle’s stunning strike.

Wolves midfielder Joao Gomes was sent off after just nine minutes for an ugly studs-up challenge on Christian Norgaard.

Neal Maupay fired Brentford ahead when he rifled into the top corner after Wolves failed to clear a 41st minute free-kick.

But Doyle equalised for the four-time FA Cup winners in the 64th minute with a blistering drive from the edge of the area.

The draw ended Brentford’s run of five successive defeats and Wolves’ spell of three consecutive wins, which had included a 4-1 victory over the Bees in December.

Fulham ground out a 1-0 win against Championship strugglers Rotherham at Craven Cottage.

The Cottagers have a League Cup semi-final first leg against Liverpool on Wednesday, so Marco Silva prioritised the trip to Anfield as he made eight changes from the New Year’s Eve win over Arsenal.

Silva’s reserves were still strong enough to leave Rotherham without an away victory since November 2022 as Bobby De Cordova-Reid bagged the winner from the edge of the area in the 24th minute.

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