x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Harry Redknapp admits Tottenham were 'lucky' in FA Cup win

Tottenham Hotspur made it through to the last 16 of the FA Cup, but their manager acknowledged they had been fortunate to do so.

Harry Redknapp watches from the touchline during Tottenham's victory at Watford.
Harry Redknapp watches from the touchline during Tottenham's victory at Watford.

Harry Redknapp said he was a relieved man after seeing his unconvincing Tottenham Hotspur side squeeze past Watford 1-0 to advance to the last 16 of the FA Cup on Friday.

Rafael van der Vaart scored the only goal at Vicarage Road as Redknapp was given cause to smile after a demanding week which has seen him in the dock of a London court on trial for tax evasion.

Spurs, beaten 3-2 by Manchester Cityin their last Premier League outing, indicated they plan to make a serious bid for the FA Cup after naming a strong side for the fourth round tie.

But Redknapp admitted Spurs had been fortunate to progress after a lacklustre performance which saw his side outplayed for long periods.

"They say it's better to be lucky than good. And tonight we were lucky. We weren't good," Redknapp said.

"We didn't play well tonight, we were poor. Unbelievable. But credit to Watford though - they were fantastic, top class. We rode our luck but we got away with it."

Goalscorer van der Vaart admited Tottenham had been fortunate to advance after an unconvincing display.

"We played a bad game today and Watford deserved more, maybe a win," van der Vaart said. "They were the better team. Sometimes you have these kind of days. The pitch was heavy and Watford played great."

Tottenham took the lead three minutes before half-time after a blunder by Watford goalkeeper Scott Loach.

Kyle Walker launched a counter-attack and fed van der Vaart, whose long-range effort bamboozled Loach, the Watford keeper misjudging the bounce horribly as the Dutchman's shot flew past him into the net.

The goal was hard on Watford, who had matched the Premier League pace-setters well throughout the opening period and will be ruing their failure to convert any one of half a dozen chances.

In Friday's other fourth round game, Evertoncame from behind to defeat Fulham 2-1 in an all Premier League affair at Goodison Park.

A goal 17 minutes from time from Everton's Belgian international midfielder Marouane Fellaini clinched victory for the Toffees, who had equalised through Denis Stracqualursi after Danny Murphy put Fulham ahead from the penalty spot.

Fulham took the lead after only 14 minutes when Johnny Heitinga was adjuged to have blocked Chris Baird's shot with his arm.

Referee Howard Webb had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Murphy stepped up to send Tim Howard the wrong way from the penalty spot.

But Everton responded swiftly and got back on level terms after a sustained period of pressure ended with Argentine striker Stracqualursi's first goal for the club on 27 minutes.

Landon Donovan swung in an inviting cross and Stracqualursi did just enough to steer a header into the Fulham net for 1-1.

Donovan had a hand in Everton's winner, providing the cross for Fellaini to head beyond David Stockdale to make it 2-1.