Tottenham faced off with Middlesbrough in an FA Cup 5th round clash at the Riverside on Tuesday evening.
With Spurs out of the Europa Conference League, the FA Cup stood as their only chance of claiming silverware this term. As a result, they were no doubt very eager to progress into the quarter-finals.
But, when all was said and done in the North East, Tottenham fell to a much more consistent Middlesbrough side.
Tottenham started the tie very slowly and actually spent much of the first 45 penned in their own half by Boro and when they did attempt a counter, they often fell flat due to poor passing or bad ball control.
A livelier second half then saw Matt Crooks miss a golden chance and Harry Kane have a goal ruled out for offside before the hour-mark.
The two sides could not be separated in 90 minutes with extra time needed. Boro dominated the extra time and eventually took the lead after 106 minutes via a thumping finish from Josh Coburn.
The tie finished 1-0 and Tottenham are now doomed to spend yet another season without a trophy.
Tottenham player ratings
Hugo Lloris (6.5) – A very quiet first 45, but judged his run to come out and prevent Isaiah Jones being through on goal well. Similarly quiet second half but made a huge save in the dying minutes of the 90 to deny Jones and then another in extra time vs Marcus Tavernier. Couldn’t do much about the Coburn goal.
Cristian Romero (4.5) – Not much to do in the first half, booked for an unnecessary altercation with Jonny Howson. Poor marking of Howson late in the game for a corner, luckily the midfielder headed wide when he really should have scored.
Eric Dier (4.5) – Came close with a solid free-kick 56 minutes in but it was saved well. Not the best marking for the Coburn goal.
Ben Davies (5) – A solid if unspectacular display from Ben Davies before being subbed late in extra time.
Matt Doherty (5.5) – Started brightly and, much like vs Leeds United, was looking to link up with Sessegnon on the opposite flank when attacking. Missed a near open goal at the end of the first half when Joe Lumley made a bizarre decision to come out of his box. Poor marking of Matt Crooks on a corner the Boro player should have scored from.
Was then subbed late in the game for Emerson Royal.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (5) – Helped keep goal threat Matt Crooks quiet in the first half and started a few attacks but he dropped off a lot from the second half and beyond.
Harry Winks (4.5) – Broke up play well first half but dropped off in the second half and his poor pass nearly led to Middlesbrough scoring from a counter in extra time.
Ryan Sessegnon (5) – A real threat down Spurs’ left early on but offered little more after that before being subbed after 84 minutes. Also struggled to keep Isaiah Jones quiet.
Dejan Kulusevski (6) – Probably Tottenham’s brightest attacking spark in the first half and continued to create chances sporadically throughout the game but was unable to provide enough for a goal before being taken off after 105 minutes.
Harry Kane (4.5) – Was isolated for much of the first half and fluffed his lines with his first real chance 36 minutes in. Had a goal ruled out for offside after 59 minutes.
Heung-min Son (3) – Went missing in the first half. Missed a massive chance in the 90th minute, putting a header straight at Lumley. A well below average showing from Son.
Steven Bergwijn (5.5) – Came on for the final six minutes of normal time, nearly scored with his first chance but Paddy McNair blocked him. Then sent Kane through on goal but the striker was offside. Was quieter after that early burst of energy though.
Emerson Royal (3) - Came on after 84 minutes but was outmatched by Jones for much of his time on the pitch.
Sergio Reguilon (N/A) – On for the final 15 minutes of extra time, did very little.
Dane Scarlett (N/A)– Only on for the final five minutes of extra time.
What they said
Middlesbrough skipper Jonny Howson: "Beating Manchester United gave us confidence, enjoy it and give it a right good go, see what happens. If they turned us over with quality you can hold your hands up but we applied ourselves right, you see what happens in this competition and we have another upset. Moments like this don't come around but you have to enjoy it when they do.
"From a personal point of view, my little lad Harry has got into football. I was playing against Cristiano Ronaldo and now Harry Kane so I can tell him we have beaten them. Hopefully we don't lose focus and performances like tonight we can take into the league.
"Age is just a number, if you look after yourself right like Sol Bamba and Lee Peltier, we have to set the standard for Josh Coburn and Isaiah Jones, hopefully we can do that for the younger generation."
Jermain Defoe on Tottenham: "This is massively disappointing from a Tottenham point of view. No disrespect to Middlesbrough, you expect Tottenham to come here and dominate. Middlesbrough played with urgency and got stronger and stronger. Their younger players came on and made an impact."