Tottenham Hotspur are third place in the Premier League. Wycombe Wanderers are fifth place in League Two. So when the two teams squared off at White Hart Lane on Saturday, you’d be excused for thinking that it would be a cakewalk for Spurs.
Instead, Wycombe went 2-0 up in North London. And that wasn’t even the most bonkers part of the match.
In the final 30 minutes of the match, Tottenham and Wycombe combined to score five goals, including one with the final kick of the match.
Spurs got two goals in five minutes to bring the match level just after the hour mark. With the match at 2-2, all the momentum and, well, being a Premier League team at home to a League Two team, it seemed like a win was inevitable. They even brought Dele Alli and Mousa Dembele off the bench, strengthening their side. But then they went down to 10 men when Kieran Trippier was injured after Spurs had used all their subs.
Knowing Spurs were missing their right back, Wycombe ran right at the space vacated and it made it easy for them to counterattack down that wing. In the 83rd minute, that was enough for a goal and Wycombe looked set to pull off the miracle at White Hart Lane. All they had to do was hang on against 10 men.
Unfortunately for Wycombe, Alli didn’t care much and equalized. Then, cruelly, Son Heung-min found the back of the net with the last touch of the match. Well, that’s not true, the last touch was the massive deflection Son’s shot too, making it that much tougher for Wycombe to swallow.
The entire match was nuts. Spurs didn’t even start an exceptionally young team — Cameron Carter-Vickers and Josh Onomah were the only ones who don’t play with some regularity — but they were atrocious for stretches and dominant for others. Jamal Blackman, Wycombe’s goalkeeper on loan from Chelsea, made a couple stupendous saves and also gifted Tottenham the ball on Alli’s goal. Spurs were desperate to avoid a replay, but also fought for every goal, even when it could have forced that extra match.
The 90 minutes really were everything that the FA Cup is supposed to be. Except for the part where Spurs won, denying the massive underdogs Wycombe. But even without the upset, it was a thrilling afternoon and the magic of the FA Cup was very much real.