The FA Cup - Third Round
MiddlesbroughMiddlesbrough1TottenhamTottenham Hotspur1

Middlesbrough 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur, FA Cup third round

By Emlyn BegleyBBC Sport

Jose Mourinho admitted his Tottenham side were "in trouble" but praised their reaction as they came back to draw at Middlesbrough and force an FA Cup third-round replay.

Spurs named a full-strength team, bar the injured Harry Kane, but trailed to the Championship side when Ashley Fletcher ran on to George Saville's ball and slotted home.

Lucas Moura saved the visitors with a fine header from Serge Aurier's cross.

"When we were losing 1-0 without strikers or the power to play inside their defensive line with lots of bodies and great soul, at that moment I had the feeling of 'we are in trouble'," Mourinho told BBC Sport.

"But then everyone reacted. I reacted. The boys reacted. Giovani lo Celso and Erik Lamela [who came on in the 56th minute] helped us a lot. If one team has to win, it has to be us. We played well very in the last 20 minutes, we were just missing a second goal."

Mourinho thought Fletcher was offside for Boro's goal, but actually seemed pleased that the video assistant referee system was not in action.

"The Middlesbrough goal is offside. VAR would give [the offside decision]. But the game was good. The referee was Stuart [Attwell], not some guy in an office 200 miles away," he said,

Moura twice went close to a winner, with goalkeeper Tomas Mejias stopping his long-range shots.

Aurier could have won the game for Mourinho's side in the closing minutes but fired an effort well over the bar.

Fletcher had an earlier chance to make it 2-1 to Middlesbrough - managed by one-time Spurs defender Jonathan Woodgate - but shot straight at Paulo Gazzaniga.

The replay at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will be on Tuesday, 14 January - unless it gets moved for TV.

"We wanted to win but we knew it would be difficult. We managed to bring the game to our stadium. It's a game we don't need, our squad is short with so many problems - but it's a game at home and we have to go for it," said Mourinho.

The fourth-round draw takes place on Monday at 19:35 GMT on BBC One and the iPlayer before Arsenal's game against Leeds.

Spurs' strongest team was almost not enough

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho came up against two former Spurs players in the opposite dugout, Boro boss Jonathan Woodgate (left) and assistant Robbie Keane (right)

Mourinho said he would not forgive himself if he had named a weakened team against a side who had won their previous four Championship games. But even his first-choice XI - with Son Heung-min returning from suspension - was only enough for a draw.

"We knew the way they play, long balls to the strikers," he said. "Because we have no striker, I wanted to give Son and Lucas the chance to play together as a more dynamic double striker pair - different to Harry Kane. But Lamela and Lo Celso gave us more ball."

Spurs have not won a trophy in more than a decade - since Woodgate scored the winner for them in the 2008 League Cup final against Chelsea, with Boro assistant Robbie Keane also playing in that game.

And in Mourinho, they have a manager who has won plenty of trophies, including the 2007 FA Cup with Chelsea, as well as domestic cups in Spain, Italy and Portugal.

However, they are suffering plenty of defensive problems - and have conceded first in eight of his 12 games in charge. Mourinho's sides - including at the end of his spell at Manchester United - have only kept one clean sheet in their past 17 matches.

Spurs defenders appeared to switch off as Fletcher controlled Saville's ball, before the midfielder ran through and finished. He was borderline offside, but there was no video assistant referee at the Riverside to try to dissect it down to the nearest millimetre or armpit.

They deserved their equaliser as Moura headed home, before the Brazilian was frustrated by Mejias on a couple of occasions.

'We knew we'd get chances' - Boro reaction

Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate to BBC Sport: "I'm really pleased. They gave everything they had. We were against a side who reached the Champions League final and have an unbelievable manager. So for us to go toe to toe with them, which we did at times, [was good]. I'm disappointed to come out 1-1.

"I wanted them to press higher [in the second half] and not be so deep. That was the key. We knew we'd get chances. They haven't kept a clean sheet away from home.

"Jose Mourinho is an incredible manager. He made changes and got the result. I can learn from him. He's a fantastic person.

"We want to try to get to the next round. There's no point competing if you don't think you can win."



Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Mejias
  • 16Howson
  • 17McNair
  • 6Fry
  • 29Spence
  • 8Clayton
  • 22SavilleBooked at 85mins
  • 33CoulsonSubstituted forJohnsonat 67'minutes
  • 19RobertsSubstituted forGestedeat 69'minutes
  • 7Tavernier
  • 11FletcherSubstituted forNmechaat 76'minutes


  • 14Gestede
  • 20Nmecha
  • 21Johnson
  • 25Wood
  • 26Wing
  • 37Liddle
  • 43Brynn


Formation 3-5-2

  • 22Gazzaniga
  • 15Dier
  • 4Alderweireld
  • 5Vertonghen
  • 24Aurier
  • 23Eriksen
  • 8WinksSubstituted forLamelaat 56'minutesBooked at 85mins
  • 20AlliBooked at 45mins
  • 19R SessegnonSubstituted forLo Celsoat 56'minutes
  • 27Lucas Moura
  • 7Son Heung-Min


  • 6D Sánchez
  • 11Lamela
  • 13Vorm
  • 18Lo Celso
  • 29Skipp
  • 39Tanganga
  • 52Parrott
Stuart Attwell

Match Stats

Home TeamMiddlesbroughAway TeamTottenham
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Middlesbrough 1, Tottenham Hotspur 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Middlesbrough 1, Tottenham Hotspur 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur).

  4. Post update

    Adam Clayton (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur).

  6. Post update

    Lukas Nmecha (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  7. Post update

    Lucas Moura (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Djed Spence (Middlesbrough).

  9. Post update

    Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Marcus Tavernier.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Serge Aurier (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Erik Lamela.

  11. Post update

    Offside, Middlesbrough. Dael Fry tries a through ball, but Rudy Gestede is caught offside.

  12. Booking

    Erik Lamela (Tottenham Hotspur) is shown the yellow card.

  13. Booking

    George Saville (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  14. Post update

    Giovani Lo Celso (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by George Saville (Middlesbrough).

  16. Post update

    Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Tomás Mejías.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Lucas Moura (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Dele Alli.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Dael Fry.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Middlesbrough. Lukas Nmecha replaces Ashley Fletcher.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Patrick McNair.


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