Brave Boro force replay against Spurs
Mourinho stays positive even as his men fail to keep a clean sheet again
|(Ashley Fletcher 50)||(Lucas Moura 61)|
Lucas Moura kept Tottenham Hotspur's FA Cup hopes alive with the equaliser in their 1-1 draw at second-tier Middlesbrough last night.
Tottenham haven't lifted a major trophy since 2008 when current Middlesbrough manager Jonathan Woodgate scored the League Cup winner against Chelsea.
Woodgate was on course to dent Tottenham's bid to end that wretched run when Ashley Fletcher put Middlesbrough ahead in the second half at the Riverside Stadium.
But Brazilian winger Lucas headed the equaliser to send the tie to a replay in north London later this month.
Keen to win silverware in his first season, Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho had made just three changes, with Son Heung Min returning from a three-match suspension and replacing the injured Harry Kane.
Son twice came close to putting Tottenham ahead in the first half and the visitors should have gone in front when Ryan Sessegnon fluffed his chance from Serge Aurier's cross.
Tottenham were never completely convincing and, with only one clean sheet since Mourinho took over in November, there was a familiar feeling when Middlesbrough snatched the lead in the 50th minute.
Fletcher beat Tottenham's attempt to play offside, ran through on goal and fired past Paulo Gazzaniga, with no video assistant referee (VAR) in use to question the goal.
Fletcher told Sky Sports: "It was a great ball through from (George) Saville and I had plenty of time to think but I just slid it past Gazzaniga."
Spurs hit back in the 61st minute, Aurier's cross picking out Lucas for a thumping header.
The visitors failed to find a second goal but Mourinho was still optimistic, saying: "1-1 is not a disaster. We take the game home. We are in trouble with so many injuries."
Chelsea also progressed with a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest, but it was not all joy for London sides as Crystal Palace became the third English Premier League club to be knocked out this weekend.
The Eagles, who made five changes, lost 1-0 at Selhurst Park to second-tier Derby County, going the same way as Aston Villa and Brighton, who also bowed out against Championship opposition on Saturday.
Wayne Rooney was in the Derby attack and his side took the lead in the 32nd minute when Jayden Bogle fizzed a cross to the far post and Chris Martin tapped into the net.
In a VAR rarity, referee Michael Oliver used the pitch-side monitor to change a decision, sending off Palace mdifielder Luka Milivojevic after initially booking the Serb for kicking out at Derby midfielder Tom Huddlestone in the 63rd minute. - AFP