DOUBLE: Clint Dempsey
TOTTENHAM CRUISED past Coventry City to advance to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 3-0 win.
The Lilywhites’ superior talents were all too evident and an early Clint Dempsey strike on 14 minutes set the tone for an impressive attacking display at White Hart Lane.
The lead was doubled when Gareth Bale converted from close range after Dempsey’s shot fell into his path on 33 minutes for his 11th of the season.
Four minutes later Dempsey grabbed his second of the match thanks to a looping head inside a crowded penalty area.
The visitors were unable to match the pace and power of Spurs and went into the interval 3-0 down as Spurs firmly putt to bed any thought of a potential cup upset.
Sitting 52 places lower than Tottenham in the league standings, Coventry were one of three third tier clubs trying to oust Premier League opposition. Mark Robins has taken the Sky Blues from one off the bottom in mid-September to the top half of the League One table.
Coventry rolled back the years by wearing a replica of the kit that they sported during their famous 3-2 FA Cup final win over Tottenham back in 1987. Unfortunately for the 5,000 travelling fans that historic Cup triumph would remain a thing of the past.
With over 500 games in English football, Spurs stopper Brad Friedel could not have had a much quieter 90 minutes. Coventry ran out of ideas and failed to force the American 'keeper into any real action.
Coventry were without the services of 18-goal top scorer David McGoldrick, who has moved on to Ipswich Town for the rest of the campaign following his successful half-season loan from Nottingham Forest. The lack of goal threat showed as Spurs kept a high line at the back.
Spys boss Andre Villas-Boas chose to rotate his squad following a tiring festive period. Left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto made a comeback after a lengthy spell out due to a knee injury and Scott Parker started his first game of the season whilst Spurs had the luxury to leave top scorer Jermain Defoe and in-form Aaron Lennon on the substitutes bench.
A missed opportunity from a Steven Caulker header was quickly followed up by a superb Bale free-kick that just flew wide, with Coventry out of their depth.
The home side were in control continually and were never complacent as the scoreline ensured an extended cup run.
Spurs have not lifted the coveted trophy since 1991. Villas Boas will no doubt want to go one better than Harry Redknapp’s attempt for FA Cup glory last season, where Spurs suffered a hammering defeat to the hands of Chelsea in the semi-finals.
Man of the Match: Clint Dempsey