Preston North End were knocked out of the Emirates FA Cup at the fourth round stage following a 3-0 defeat at home to Tottenham Hotspur.
After a first half which saw PNE restrict their Premier League visitors to very little, Heung-Min Son came up with two goals in the second 45, before Arnaut Danjuma made it three to secure his side’s passage to the next round.
North End gave a good account of themselves on the night, though, in a packed-out Deepdale, defending well and enjoying spells of pressure in the second half.
Ryan Lowe made just two changes from last weekend’s victory over Birmingham City, with Ben Woodburn and the cup-tied Liam Delap being replaced by Ben Whiteman and Ched Evans.
Spurs on the other hand opted to make seven changes from their previous Premier League game, however there was still plenty of quality on show, with the likes of Dejan Kulusevski and Son starting in attack.
From the off, it was Antonio Conte’s side who saw most of the ball – as could perhaps be expected – but PNE defended well to limit them to very little in front of goal.
On seven minutes, there was nearly an opening for Kulusevski, but Ryan Ledson was there to throw himself in front of the 12-yard effort, while Freddie Woodman was called into action soon after by Son, saving down to his left.
At the other end, North End’s first real chance of note fell to defender Andrew Hughes in the area, who struck a fierce volley goalwards, only to see it blocked at close range.
Woodman again denied Son on 25 minutes, this time tipping his 30-yard strike over the bar, and the ‘keeper wasn’t needed for Spurs’ next meaningful shot by Kulusevski, which was too high to trouble the goal.
Ryan Lowe will have been asking for more of the same from his side in the second half, but the deadlock was broken just five minutes in, when Son found the bottom corner from more than 25 yards with a powerful left-footed effort.
North End rallied after the goal and enjoyed a really positive spell which helped to turn the volume inside Deepdale right up, and the stadium would have erupted if Whiteman’s strike from the edge of the box just after the hour mark had curled the other side of the post.
Spurs held on during that period, though, and went down the other end to almost double their lead, only for Woodman to tip Ivan Perišić’s header over.
Their second of the night did arrive shortly after through Son, who received the ball with his back to goal 18 yards out, before making room for the shot and firing beyond the reach of Woodman.
It looked as though the game was going to play out from that point, until substitute Danjuma – on his Spurs debut – added some gloss to the scoreline in the 87th minute, finding the bottom corner to seal Spurs’ place in the fifth round.
PNE line-up: Woodman; Storey, Lindsay, Hughes; Browne, McCann (Johnson, 78_, Whiteman, Ledson (Woodburn, 70), Brad (Fernández, 78); Evans (Cross-Adair, 90), Cannon. Subs not used: Cornell, Cunningham, Bauer, Diaby, Potts.
Tottenham Hotspur line-up: Forster; Tanganga, Sánchez, Lenglet; Doherty (Royal, 71), Bentancur (Skipp, 71), Bissouma, Sessegnon (Danjuma, 71); Kulusevski, Perišić, Son (Gil, 85). Subs not used: Austin, Hojbjerg, Kane, Dier, Davies.
Attendance: 21,219 (5,574 Spurs fans).
Referee: Mr P Bankes.