Tottenham cruised into the FA Cup fifth round with a comfortable win at League One strugglers Colchester.
Nacer Chadli curled in a fine shot from 20 yards to open the scoring before Eric Dier netted a deflected drive.
Chadli then headed a second and while Ben Davies scored an own-goal, Tom Carroll was able to fire in a fourth.
Colchester – bottom of League One – lost both centre-backs to a clash of heads early in the game, but saw Marvin Sordell hit the post late on.
Tottenham, who are now unbeaten in 10 away games in all competitions, are into the fifth round for the first time since 2012 and were utterly dominant against a side without a league win in 109 days.
Erik Lamela and Chadli also hit the woodwork in a display which could – and should – have yielded more goals.
Can Spurs end a 25-year wait?
It is 25 years since Tottenham last won the FA Cup, with Paul Gascoigne and Gary Lineker key men in their 1991 win over Nottingham Forest.
Mauricio Pochettino’s current vintage may be fighting for a place in next season’s Champions League – or even a title win – and remain in the Europa League, but look well placed to end that generation-long wait this year.
They showed that they have the squad to fight on three fronts as they made seven changes at the Colchester Community Stadium and still fielded nine full internationals.
With the transfer window closing on Monday perhaps the only spot in their squad which looks light is up front – with no out-and-out replacement for captain-for-the-day Harry Kane.
Fulham youngster Moussa Dembele looks like joining the club in the summer and teaming up with his namesake, but do Tottenham need an extra attacker now?
Spurs had 15 attempts on goal in a dominant first-half showing – and 27 in total – but lacked a ruthless streak.
Lamela was particularly wasteful, and Christian Eriksen did not make the most of a rare chance in his preferred central position behind Kane.
Clash of heads hurts Colchester
Colchester came into the game with the unwanted record of having the worst defensive record in the Football League, having conceded 65 goals in League One this season.
They then had the misfortune of losing both centre-backs to injury in the opening minutes of the game as Tom Eastman and Alex Wynter collided while chasing a ball over the top.
There was a long stoppage of four minutes and 34 seconds before Wynter left the pitch on a stretcher. The hosts were down to 10 men until the 12th minute as Eastman had stitches added to his head injury but despite returning and making two crucial blocks, he too was replaced in the 21st minute.
Wynter was taken to hospital but was soon sitting up.
United must now turn their attentions to the daunting task of staying in the third tier – they are seven points adrift of safety with 18 games remaining.
What the managers said
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino: “The win means a lot. We showed respect for our opponent, we knew all about Colchester because the competition is magic and we needed to be very focused. In the first 12-15 minutes we created a lot of chances but it was difficult to score. Maybe we invited them to believe a little but always the game was under control and it was a fair result.”
Colchester manager Kevin Keen: “It was a good performance. I’m proud of the players, especially after the start we had, playing with 10 men for however many minutes it was. I can’t say the result wasn’t fair. Tottenham thoroughly deserved it but I’ve got nothing but admiration for the way my players had a go. There were a couple of nearly moments, but you’ve got to make those count.”
Tottenham’s superb away run comes under scrutiny at Norwich on Tuesday night after the closure of the transfer window, while Kevin Keen’s Colchester side travel to Southend next Saturday.
Source: BBC Football Read Original Article: Colchester United 1-4 Tottenham Hotspur