Harry Kane scored a hat-trick as Tottenham reached the FA Cup quarter-finals with a comfortable win over Championship side Fulham.
Kane slid in for the opener as Kieran Trippier’s quick long throw caught the Fulham defence off guard and Christian Eriksen crossed first-time on the half-volley.
Five minutes after the break, the same three Spurs players combined again as the England striker’s controlled finish put away another Eriksen cross following Trippier’s pass.
The home side showed brief signs of a late rally, but Kane then completed his second hat-trick of the calendar year, and his fifth for Spurs, with a cool strike when put through on goal from Dele Alli’s weighted pass.
Fulham, eighth in England’s second tier, have lost just once at home in the league since October, and Slavisa Jokanovic’s side have defeated Hull and Middlesbrough at home in the cups this year.
But they were beaten comprehensively by Spurs, who put Thursday’s disappointing Europa League defeat by Gent behind them with just a third win in 15 away matches.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side will host Millwall in the quarter-finals.
|Chelsea v Man Utd|
|Middlesbrough v Huddersfield/Man City|
|Tottenham v Millwall|
|Sutton/Arsenal v Lincoln|
Three for Kane, three wins to go for Spurs
Spurs named a weakened team for January’s fourth-round home tie with Wycombe and scraped past their League Two opponents in a 4-3 win.
Here, Pochettino’s full-strength side might have been 2-0 up before Kane’s 16th-minute opener – scored with just three touches, including Trippier’s throw.
Even by that time, the pattern of Spurs dominance had already been firmly established; Marcus Bettinelli tipped wide from Eriksen and Alli dragged just wide from the edge of the box, as the away side broke through Fulham’s defensive lines with ease.
Pochettino said his side “lacked desire” in the 2-0 defeat at Liverpool last Saturday, which saw them slip off the pace in the Premier League, but no such criticism could be offered here.
And with a place in the FA Cup’s last eight secured, he and Spurs are three wins from what would be the Argentine’s first trophy as a manager, and the club’s first title since the 2008 League Cup.
Fulham make Spurs feel at home
Fulham are eighth in the Championship, nine points short of a play-off spot but with a game in hand on sixth-placed Sheffield Wednesday.
Slavisa Jokanovic’s side had scored 12 goals in their past five matches but they struggled to create opportunities and were too passive in the face of Spurs’ possession.
The best chance they had in the first half was gifted by Spurs keeper Michel Vorm, who recovered well to stop Tom Cairney’s first-time shot after he had passed straight to the Fulham midfielder.
The introduction of 16-year-old full-back Ryan Sessegnon did provide some impetus in the second half, with Kevin McDonald heading just over the bar from a corner before ex-Spurs midfielder Scott Parker, 36, nodded straight at Vorm from a free-kick.
But there was only one team deserving of a place in the next round, and Fulham’s attention will return to their push for Premier League promotion.
What the managers said
Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic, speaking to BBC Sport: “They dominated the whole game. They play good football and I was impressed with how they pressed us, working without the ball they didn’t give us any space.
“It’s true we conceded cheaply for the first two goals, we didn’t have enough energy. But we can try and improve to be close to them, we can learn something from today.
“We didn’t offer our best performance and the result was completely fair.”
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, to BBC Sport: “I am very pleased, we started the game with great urgency. We tried to show that we wanted to go to the next round. I am very happy after two defeats.
“We had to recover the right feeling after two defeats. We had to believe in the way we work and play and that is what is important. We had lost that a little bit.
“It is always important for the striker to feel the net. We are a collective, there can be different names but we must compete.”
Man of the match – Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Kane’s scoring run – the stats
- Kane has scored nine times in nine games in 2017 for Tottenham in all competitions
- Christian Eriksen registered his 10th and 11th assists of the campaign for Spurs, five more than any other player has for the club this season
- Four of Eriksen’s last six assists for Tottenham have been for Harry Kane goals
- Fulham have lost six of their last seven games against their Spurs in all competitions (won one)
- Spurs have progressed from 13 of their last 14 FA Cup ties against teams from lower down the pyramid
Spurs play again on Thursday, in the second leg of their Europa League last-32 tie with Gent at Wembley. They trail 1-0 from the first leg. They then take on Stoke in the Premier League at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
Fulham play away to Bristol City in the Championship on Wednesday, and are away to Cardiff on Saturday.