Spurs and Son end Millwall’s FA Cup run in emphatic fashion
Kane limps off as Tottenham reach semis after rout in final White Hart Lane cup tie
Son Heung-min was the hat-trick hero as Tottenham Hotspur thrashed Millwall 6-0 at White Hart Lane. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Reuters
It was tempting to say that when Vincent Janssen scores, the visiting team know they have problems. Those of Millwall, however, had taken hold long before the £17m striker came off the bench to score his first goal in open play for Tottenham Hotspur.
This season’s FA Cup has been defined by its shock results. Think of Lincoln City, Sutton United and Eastleigh, or even Oxford United and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Millwall’s last victory over Tottenham had come in the months before the outbreak of the second world war. This stood to be an upset to rival them all, despite the League One club having arrived on an unbeaten run of 17 matches.
There was never any sense that it would happen and, once Christian Eriksen had put Tottenham in front on the half-hour, the home team showed why there were so many places on the league ladder between the clubs. Millwall looked horribly limited and they offered next to nothing as an attacking threat. Their followers would resort to gallows after Janssen had added the fifth. “Whatever will be will be,” they chanted. “We’re going to Shrewsbury.” They will visit there next month.
The dark cloud for Tottenham was the ankle injury that forced off Harry Kane in the early running but there were nothing but positives elsewhere, with the biggest one being Son Heung-min’s first hat-trick for the club – which took him to 14 goals in all competitions for the season. Dele Alli got the other goal and all eyes at Tottenham will now turn to Monday night’s semi-final draw.
Millwall had brought an extraordinary defensive record to White Hart Lane, having conceded only twice in their previous 13 matches – a sequence that took in the FA Cups wins over Bournemouth, Watford and Leicester City – but it was blown apart, despite Tottenham playing for almost all of the afternoon without Kane.
The striker, who played on loan at Millwall as an 18-year-old, was forced off in the 10th minute, having landed awkwardly under a challenge from Jake Cooper after unloading a shot on goal from a tight angle. That had drawn a sharp block out of the young goalkeeper, Tom King, who looked nervous throughout, and the TV replays showed that Kane had rolled his right ankle. It did not look good, although he did leave the pitch under his own steam.
Eriksen came on to replace him and it was the Dane who put Tottenham in front. The buildup was slightly scruffy, with two Millwall players having challenged for the same high ball and, after it had looped up into the air, Alli watched it bounce away off his chest. Eriksen reacted smartly and his first-time, right-footed shot fizzed low past King.
Tottenham called the tune from the first whistle. The second goal was too easy, in that Son was allowed all the time that he wanted to saunter inside and bend a fine left-footed shot beyond King from 20 yards. Son’s first touch, as Tottenham broke through Alli and Eric Dier, had been poor and it felt as though the momentum had been lost. Alli reacted furiously in the middle, having made a darting run. It did not matter.
Son had been taunted by the Millwall fans, hearing shouts of “DVD” and “He’s selling three for a fiver”, while the Tottenham crowd would label their rivals “the Pikey Boys”. There was an edge to the atmosphere throughout, with 3,600 Millwall supporters packing an away enclosure that had been stripped of its advertising boards. Stewards in hard hats policed the thick segregation lines.
Victor Wanyama headed against the bar from an Eriksen corner on 36 minutes and Tottenham had other first-half flickers through Son, Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen. Millwall were asked to cling on and they could not do much more.
The home team made repeated inroads up the channels and Millwall looked powerless to stop them, even on relatively simple and direct balls. When Kieran Trippier lofted one such pass forward shortly after half-time, Son killed the tie. The forward allowed it to drop over his right shoulder before catching the volley sweetly to give King no chance. Son can be a frustrating player, in that he blows hot and cold. On another day, this was a shot that could have finished up in the building site. It was his day.
Tottenham poured forward in search of more. Alli and Eriksen had gone close before Son’s second goal and Alli would score the fourth – a tap-in from Eriksen’s cute low cross. Jed Wallace fluffed Millwall’s only chance on 59 minutes before Janssen made his play for glory, shooting home from Son’s low cross. At last, after 1,134 minutes across 30 appearances, the summer signing had scored from open play.
Janssen would later miss with a gilt-edged header before Son completed the rout with another volley from another Eriksen assist, with the help of a fumble from King.