Five things we learned from Rochdale's Emirates FA Cup draw with Tottenham Hotspur

Sunday 18 Feb 2018
Steven Davies' goal sets up a trip to Wembley

Steven Davies’ late goal earned Rochdale an Emirates FA Cup fifth round replay with Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium.

Harry Kane looked to have won it for the away side with a penalty just two minutes from time but Davies steered home to secure a priceless draw.

The winner of the tie will go on to face Sheffield Wednesday or Swansea City in the sixth round.

Rochdale 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur
  • The Emirates FA Cup
  • Fifth Round
  • Sunday 18 February 2018
  • Spotland Stadium
  • By Tom Harle
Here’s what we learned:

Davies brings the feelgood factor to Rochdale 

Steven Davies has had a difficult season, punctuated at each turn by injury, so his role in late comeback was just reward. 

First-choice striker Calvin Andrew missed out with Fulham loanee Steven Humphrys given a starting berth and he excelled against Spurs’ first-class centre-back pairing.

With such strength in depth behind them in forward areas, fans at Spotland have every reason to be optimistic they can get out of trouble in League One.

Davies’ return is a welcome boost and he looks up for the challenge the next two months brings.

Alli and Lamela vital to Spurs' cause 

Spurs lost the midfield battle in the first-half and relied on substitutions to assume greater control as the game went on. 

As they looked to set early tempo, Andy Cannon - an academy graduate who recently brought up a century of appearances for the club - nipped at Victor Wanyama’s heels to good effect. 

The visitors found space hard to come by in the first-half, hence Dale’s interval lead, but the introduction of Dele Alli and Erik Lamela gave them more depth and incision. 

They came very close through Juan Foyth and Victor Wanyama late on, both narrowly missing fine chances. 

Henderson's Cup love-affair continues 

There’s something about Ian Henderson and the FA Cup that go together like cheese and wine. 

The striker’s first football memories are of watching Cup finals and he’s helped Dale pull off cupsets against former winners Leeds United and Nottingham Forest in the past. 

Henderson timed his run perfectly for the opener and took it with aplomb - apart from Will Grigg, no-one’s scored more than his six goals in this year’s competition. 

Pochettino's going for it 

Mauricio Pochettino left nothing to chance with his team selection and deployed many of his big hitters in the tie.

Harry Kane was a threat off the bench new signing Lucas Moura was busy, but Pochettino will be delighted to see centre-back Toby Alderweireld get more playing time after injury.

The Belgian made his comeback from a three-month layoff against Newport County in the previous round and his return gives Spurs a major boost as they hunt the title.

New surface makes a difference

Rochdale decided to relay the Spotland surface ahead of this tie and the board should be applauded judging by the result.

The carpet-like surface made this the free-flowing, end-to-end contest both sides wanted.  

Rochdale are guaranteed at least £90,000 for winning their fourth round tie and they have clearly put that to good use after deservedly getting a draw.

By FA Staff