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Tottenham Hotspur secured a 4-1 victory away to Colchester United in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Colchester lost centre-backs Alex Wynter and Tom Eastman to injury early on, with the pair having smashed into one another, before Nacer Chadli curled home a fine 27th-minute opener for the Premier League side.
The League One men threatened occasionally, with George Moncur ending an impressive dribble by being narrowly unable to thread a through-ball to Chris Porter, prior to a determined period of pressure from the hosts during the early stages of the second half.
Colchester also had a decent appeal for a penalty turned away when Kevin Wimmer got a crucial touch to take the ball away from Porter but arguably intentionally allowed his leg to remain a position that tripped the striker.
With a quarter of the clash remaining, Eric Dier’s long-range strike deflected off Eastman’s replacement, Matthew Briggs, and found the net.
Substitute Marvin Sordell missed a fine opportunity to reduce the arrears before a Chadli header and a close-range effort from Tom Carroll ensured the visitors’ victory, either side of Colchester gaining some consultation through an own-goal from Ben Davies.
Colchester, struggling at the foot of the third tier, did what they could throughout the clash but rarely appeared capable of dealing efficiently with the pace, passing and tactics of the top flight’s fourth-placed side.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men march on in what could still turn out to be a magnificent season for the White Hart Lane club.
Just two minutes into the affair in Essex, a nasty collision between Wynter and Eastman led to the former being taken to hospital with suspected concussion, while Eastman was also eventually substituted.
While the hosts were temporarily down to 10 men as the Colchester medical team attempted to repair Eastman, Spurs pushed hard, with Jake Kean saving well from Christian Eriksen, before an Erik Lamela effort struck the outside of the post.
Soon after Eastman had left the field, a neat midfield combination between Eriksen and Lamela allowed the Argentine attacker to deliver an angled pass to Chadli, who guided an excellent shot across Kean and into the net.
United survived to the break with just a one-goal deficit, after Kean had kept out a Kane header and Lamela had been unable to reach a dangerous low ball across goal from Kieran Trippier.
Lamela missed a good chance from an Eriksen pass and Chadli struck the crossbar following good set-up play from Kane early in the second half, either side of Colchester enjoying their best period, with Darren Ambrose, Gavin Massey and Porter all threatening.
Following Porter’s unsuccessful penalty appeal, though, Spurs doubled their lead in a fortunate fashion, as Dier took Nabil Bentaleb’s short pass and struck a 25-yard effort that deflected off the back of Briggs, giving Kean no hope of saving.
Sordell, benefitting from a Dier slip, ought to have reduced the deficit but could only hit the outside of the post when one-on-one with Michel Vorm, before Trippier's out-swinging cross was headed home by Chadli, via another hefty deflection.
Colchester were given some cheer when Massey took Moncur’s feed and toe-poked a shot off the inside of the post, with Davies bundling the ball into his own net, but Spurs were left to complete the scoring through Carroll, who turned in an effort from eight yards following Chadli’s low centre.
By David Maher