Fernando Llorente’s hat-trick fired Tottenham into the FA Cup quarter-finals after sealing a 6-1 victory in a fifth-round replay against Rochdale marked by controversial video assistant referee (VAR) deliberations.
The Spaniard’s second-half strikes restored the Premier League side’s control of the contest after an opening period that threatened to descend into farce due to a number of dubious refereeing decisions involving VAR.
There were lengthy pauses in play while referee Paul Tierney consulted VAR, before disallowing a goal for Erik Lamela after six minutes. A penalty for Spurs was also rescinded.
Son Heung-min put Spurs ahead but the League One visitors levelled through Stephen Humphrys and boos rang out around Wembley at half-time as the Spurs fans voiced their frustration amid the confusion.
In stark contrast, the second half was a procession for Mauricio Pochettino’s men, who raced ahead through Llorente’s trio of goals before Son, who was influential throughout, added a fifth.
Substitute Kyle Walker-Peters scored his first Tottenham goal in injury time to cap off what proved to be an emphatic win.