Jose's verdict on Middlesbrough replay win
Wed 15 January 2020, 00:01|Tottenham Hotspur
Jose Mourinho felt we deserved to have our third round replay against Middlesbrough wrapped up by half-time in the first FA Cup tie at the new stadium on Tuesday night.
We carried the momentum of our second half display in Saturday’s narrow loss against Liverpool into the first half against Jonathan Woodgate’s in-form side, six unbeaten going into the tie.
Giovani Lo Celso and Erik Lamela pulled the strings and were both on the scoresheet inside 15 minutes. Gio got the ball rolling with a smart finish on two minutes and Erik, starting his first match for Jose, ran through the heart of Boro’s defence for 2-0 soon after.
Lamela pinged just over, Tomas Mejias denied Ryan Sessegnon and Christian Eriksen and Japhet Tanganga and Lucas Moura were inches away from the third as we dominated.
Naturally, Boro hung in there and pulled a goal back through George Saville on 83 minutes. That gave the visitors renewed hope but the final chances fell to us as Heung-Min Son was inches away from Japhet’s cross and Dele denied one-on-one.
Victory sets up a fourth round clash at Southampton on Saturday 25 January (3pm).
“We could finish everything in the first half,” said Jose. “We deserved to, so, so well we played from the first minute - high pressure, good reaction to the ball lost, moving the ball very fast, creativity, very good dynamic and very solid in the back. The first half was really three or four, and game over.
“I told the players ‘if we don’t kill it, if they score, even if that goal is late, we’re going to be in a little trouble’. They scored but after that, no more problems, the team focussed again and we could and should have killed it at 3-1, we had two great chances to do it, but that’s okay, the most important thing is that we go through with no extra 30 minutes and no new injuries, so all good.”