Tottenham Hotspur cruised into the fifth round of the FA Cup with a comfortable 2-0 victory over League Two side Newport County at Wembley.
Spurs needed a late Harry Kane goal to rescue a 1-1 draw in the first meeting, but never looked in danger in the replay once Moussa Sissoko’s cross diverted in off Newport’s Dan Butler.
A fine finish from Erik Lamela gave Mauricio Pochettino’s side a comfortable advantage at the interval that they never looked like surrendering.
There are 75 places between Spurs and the Welsh side but there were no scares for the hosts this time around with the gulf in class obvious as the Premier League side strolled through to a fifth-round visit to Rochdale.
Newport showed tremendous resilience to keep the score down, but did not manage a shot on target until the final seconds when Padraig Amond shot straight at Spurs keeper Michel Vorm.
Mauricio Pochettino’s trip to League One Rochdale on Sunday, 18 February will be shown live on BBC One.
Fit and firing Tottenham take cup seriously
Spurs made 10 changes from the side that drew at Liverpool on Sunday and left a lot of big names on the bench – but there could be no accusing the hosts of taking the threat of Newport lightly after their scare at Rodney Parade.
They left their talisman Kane on the bench, with Christian Eriksen also out of the starting XI, but there was no mistaking the quality coming into the side with Lamela, Sissoko and Fernando Llorente all recalled and Son Heung-min retaining his place.
Son tormented Newport in the first game in Wales – the South Korean was probably the main reason Spurs earned this replay – and he again made a difference in a first half in which Spurs started slowly but ultimately did enough.
They were able to recall defender Toby Alderweireld for the first time since their win over Real Madrid on 1 November, and England left-back Danny Rose also returned for his first appearance since Boxing Day with Tottenham heading into the final stretch of the season largely injury free.
The hosts were in total control once they took the lead and though Pochettino withdrew Son after an hour, he showed he was taking the challenge seriously by bringing Eriksen on in his place.
The Dane created further chances for Spurs and his pinpoint pass put fellow substitute Alli through on goal, but his clipped effort struck the crossbar.
Newport goalkeeper Joe Day also made several excellent stops to deny Eriksen and Lamela, while Llorente might have had a hat-trick on another night as Spurs failed to show a clinical touch.
Newport’s heroic cup run at an end
County’s cup heroics have already proved transformative for the Exiles, because their annual turnover is £2.2m and this run to Wembley Stadium has made them more than £700,000.
They are not total strangers to Wembley, having played here in 2012 and 2013 in an FA Trophy final and National League play-off respectively – but this year’s FA Cup run has no doubt been something special for the south Wales club.
Flynn’s side beat Walsall, Cambridge and Championship side Leeds to get this far and 7,200 travelling fans at Wembley were determined to enjoy every second.
In the opening exchanges County gave as good as they got, with Amond, their hero from the first game, heading over, albeit from an offside position.
However, in order to get anything out of this match the League Two side were always going to need more than their fair share of luck and it was not to prove the case.
Tottenham’s 26th-minute opener shortly before the half-hour mark was cruel on County, with Sissoko firing in a shot that struck Butler and totally wrong-footed Joe Day in the County goal.
The contest was effectively over eight minutes later after more bright work from Son who teed up Lamela to finish smartly from close range, and only a brilliant double-save by Day prevented Spurs going into the interval out of sight.
Newport’s fans would have dearly loved to celebrate a second-half goal and their manager took off a defender for a striker in an attempt to provide one, but in truth Spurs missed several chances to increase their lead.
Man of the match was Son Heung-min of Tottenham.
Son transformed the first match and his sparkle in attack meant this was a comfortable night for Spurs, who took the South Korean off after an hour, no doubt with Saturday’s match against Arsenal in mind.
“Son was outstanding. I am a huge fan,” said former Wales striker John Hartson, who was BBC Radio 5 live’s summariser at the game.
“I liken him to Alexis Sanchez at Arsenal where he gets the ball and is always positive. I like him and he was excellent tonight.”