On the said date, Antonio Conte led Tottenham Hotspur to Riverside Stadium to take on a very resilient Championship side, Middlesbrough, and the Premier League side could not conquer their hosts.
The FA Cup 5th round match dragged for 107 minutes before 19-year-old Josh Coburn broke the hearts of Tottenham Hotspur’s fans that traveled to the Riverside Stadium to watch the game.
He scored the winner which Conte and his boys could not react to effectively for the remaining 13 minutes of the game that lasted for 120 minutes. At the end of the day, Middlesbrough beat Tottenham 1-0 to stun the Premier League side out of the 2021-2022 FA Cup campaign.
This is the second successive Premier League big 6 club that Middlesbrough have knocked out of the FA Cup this season. Recall that on February 4, they knocked out Manchester United in the 4th round via penalties before they took on Spurs in the 5th round.
Antonio Conte of Tottenham Hotspur and Chris Wilder of Middlesbrough react
After the 1-0 defeat at the hands of Championship side, Middlesbrough, the embattled coach of Tottenham Hotspur, Antonio Conte lamented that his players failed to take their chances.
In the game in which Tottenham Hotspur recorded 15 shots, six of which were on target as against Middlesbrough’s 16 shots, four of which were on target, coach Conte believes that Spurs gave Middlesbrough confidence by not scoring early in the game.
The Italian coach said: “We lost a good chance to go to the next round and play in the quarter-finals of an important competition like the FA Cup. There is for sure disappointment in the final result. I think this type of game, especially when you play away, against a team that play in the [Championship] you have to know the difficulty.
“For this reason, we had to try to kill – in a sporting way – the opponent quickly. We have had the chance to score but we didn’t take it. And then you give confidence to your opponent and you risk [defeat]. In the end, Middlesbrough won the game and deserved to go to the next round.
“Today we are talking about a defeat. In the last game, we won. Two games ago we lost. Three games ago we won. I can’t hide the reality. We’re having too many ups and downs. This is a problem and maybe it was also in the past. In my opinion, there is only one way to try to improve: to continue to work in every aspect.”
While the coach of Middlesbrough, Chris Wilder noted that his team was not in control of the ball in the first 20 minutes of the game, adding that his team got things right in the second half.
“In the first 15-20 minutes we gave the ball away cheaply but after that, we grew into it and built a little bit of momentum”, the coach said. “We may be overplayed at times but it’s quite difficult for players when the opposition have the ball for a long period. You don’t just want to turn it over and give it back. But I thought we got the balance right, especially in the second half.
“We created some really big chances and I’d have been disappointed for the whole of the football club [if we hadn’t won] because I believe we created enough to put our noses in front. There were some great individual performances in a fabulous team one.”
Tottenham Hotspur and Antonio Conte’s woes continue
After recording five defeats in their last six games, Tottenham Hotspur were able to bounce back by defeating Leeds United 4-0 away from home.
The Premier League win over Leeds United was expected to be the catalyst for more wins starting from Championship side Middlesbrough. Unfortunately, it was not to be, the Championship side knocked them out of the English FA Cup on Tuesday with a lone goal.
He had to have a meeting with the club’s owner, Daniel Levy who convinced him that the club’s hierarchy was on his side.
Ahead of the 4-0 victory over Leeds United, Conte declared that he was much more committed to the club. But with the poor run of games, his commitment to the club might not keep him on the job for too long.