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FA Cup: Spurs do just enough to beat Boro, reach 4th round (video)

Tottenham Hotspur v Middlesbrough FC - FA Cup Third Round: Replay

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 14: Giovani Lo Celso of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates with his teammates after scoring his sides first goal during the FA Cup Third Round Replay match between Tottenham Hotspur and Middlesbrough FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on January 14, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty I

Nine days after struggling to a 1-1 draw away from home, Tottenham Hotspur once again had a fair bit of trouble in keeping EFL Championship side Middlesbrough at arm’s length when the two sides met for an FA Cup third-round replay at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday.

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Tottenham settled in quickly and got off to a flying start when Giovani Lo Celso put the home side 1-0 up after just 115 seconds. Boro goalkeeper Tomas Mejias will take all the blame for this one, as it was his reckless ball out of the back that found Lo Celso to set the Argentine up for a routine finish.

It was 2-0 not even 15 minutes later, thanks to a dazzling outside-of-the-foot finish from another crafty Argentine, Erik Lamela. It was Lamela who won the ball 35 yards from goal before turning upfield, beating three defenders and cutting the ball past Mejias and tucking it inside the far post from the penalty spot.

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As quick and easy as the two-goal advantage came to them, Jose Mourinho’s side simply couldn’t maintain control of the game to see it out comfortably, let alone put the game away despite a number of open-net chances which required only the simplest of finishing touches.

That point was hammered home in the 83rd minute, when Boro pulled a goal back through George Saville’s slow roller past Paulo Gazzaniga. That set up a thoroughly nervy final 10 minutes for Spurs, who by that point were unable to string together three passes to players in white shirt.

In the end, though, Spurs survived the late Boro flurry to reach the fourth round, where they’ll visit fellow Premier League side Southampton on Jan. 25.

Follow @AndyEdMLS