FA Cup: Pochettino remains positive despite Tottenham’s loss at Crystal Palace
Callum Hudson-Odoi stars as Chelsea reach the FA Cup fifth round
Spurs suffer second cup defeat in three days
Having been knocked out of the semi-final of the League Cup last week, Tottenham’s hopes of FA Cup glory were ended by a 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
In the fourth-round clash yesterday Connor Wickham put the Eagles ahead after nine minutes and former Spurs midfielder Andros Townsend doubled the lead from the penalty spot on 34 minutes.
Tottenham had the chance to pull a goal back before half-time but Kieran Trippier sent his spot-kick wide as Palace progressed to the fifth round.
The defeat means Tottenham, who are third in the Premier League but nine points behind leaders Liverpool, must now focus their cup ambitions entirely on the Champions League.
They host Borussia Dortmund on 13 February in the last-16 first leg and must take on the German side without Harry Kane or Dele Alli, who are both out injured until March.
“Now we have to be positive,” said Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino, when asked if he feared his side’s season was in danger of petering out.
“We are still in two competitions, [are] in a good position in the Premier League, and the Champions League is a massive motivation for the whole club.”
Asked if finishing in the top four was more important than winning a domestic cup, he replied: “We are going to create a debate that to win a trophy is going to help the club. I don’t agree with that. That only builds your ego. In reality, the most important thing is being consistently in the top four and playing [in the] Champions League.”
In yesterday’s other FA Cup tie, holders Chelsea eased past Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 with Callum Hudson-Odoi scoring just 24 hours after handing in a transfer request.
The 18-year-old is the subject of a £35m bid from Bayern Munich and the prospect of more regular game-time in Germany is too tempting to resist.
Asked if he would play again for Chelsea, Hudson-Odoi said: “I don’t know… I’ll keep working hard and you never know what will happen.”
Chelsea had Willian to thank for their other two goals and there was also a first outing for new signing Gonzalo Higuain, who signed for the club last week.
“We are pleased with Gonzalo Higuain’s performance,” said Chelsea assistant boss Gianfranco Zola. “He was trying to find the space and get on the ball. It wasn’t easy as they had a lot of players round him.”
There was a moment of controversy shortly before Willian gave the hosts the lead when Wednesday were awarded a penalty. But the on-field decision was overturned by VAR when it was seen that Ethan Ampadu had in fact got the ball first when tackling Joey Pelupessy. Two minutes later Chelsea had their own penalty that Willian converted.
“It’s crazy,” said Wednesday stand-in boss Steve Agnew. “Obviously the VAR decisions are correct but what baffled me was surely it’s a corner if it came off their player. The referee gave a drop ball, and a minute later they have a penalty.”
That decision didn’t go down well with the Wednesday fans, and according to The Sun, Chelsea players “were pelted with objects” throughout the match - including a pair of swimming goggles.
FA Cup results and fixtures
- Bristol City 2 Bolton Wanderers 1
- Arsenal 1 Manchester United 3
- Accrington Stanley 0 Derby County 1
- Brighton & Hove Albion 0 West Bromwich Albion 0
- Doncaster Rovers 2 Oldham Athletic 1
- Manchester City 5 Burnley 0
- Middlesbrough 1 Newport County 1
- Newcastle United 0 Watford 2
- Portsmouth 1 Queens Park Rangers 1
- Shrewsbury Town 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers 2
- Swansea City 4 Gillingham 1
- Millwall 3 Everton 2
- AFC Wimbledon 4 West Ham United 2
- Crystal Palace 2 Tottenham Hotspur 0
- Chelsea 3 Sheffield Wednesday 0
- Monday 28 January: Barnet vs. Brentford (7.45pm, live on BT Sport)
FA Cup fifth-round draw
What time is the draw and is it on TV?
The draw for the FA Cup fifth round takes place on Monday evening at 7pm. It will be broadcast live on The One Show on BBC One.
Fifth-round draw ball numbers
- 1 Swansea City
- 2 AFC Wimbledon
- 3 Shrewsbury Town or Wolverhampton Wanderers
- 4 Millwall
- 5 Brighton & Hove Albion or West Bromwich Albion
- 6 Bristol City
- 7 Derby County
- 8 Doncaster Rovers
- 9 Chelsea
- 10 Watford
- 11 Middlesbrough or Newport County
- 12 Manchester City
- 13 Barnet or Brentford
- 14 Portsmouth or Queens Park Rangers
- 15 Manchester United
- 16 Crystal Palace