Arteta on Arsenal's top four ambitions after Wolves win
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Tottenham’s woes continued on Tuesday evening after suffering an embarrassing FA Cup exit at the hands of Middlesbrough. Now Arsenal loanee Folarin Balogun has stuck the knife in following his role in the surprise result.
The FA Cup presented Tottenham’s only chance of silverware this season having lost to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-finals last month.
And they were tipped as favourites against Championship outfit Middlesbrough to progress to the next round.
Chris Wilder’s side had already caused an upset in the fourth round after beating Manchester United on penalties.
Antonio Conte clearly knew the importance of an FA Cup run having named a strong starting line-up.
JUST IN: Tottenham boss Conte shares frustrations after Middlesbrough loss
But he grew agitated on the touchline as his Tottenham side proved wasteful in front of goal in normal time.
Buoyed by the sell-out home crowd, Middlesbrough looked the more likely of the two to break the deadlock in extra-time.
And they finally found the breakthrough when Josh Coburn was played through inside the box before thumping the ball past Hugo Lloris into the roof of the net.
Jubilation followed in the stands while Tottenham players looked stunned and they weren’t able to find an equaliser before the end of the game.
And the win for Balogun, who came off the bench in the 75th minute, had extra special meaning.
The 20-year-old is currently on loan from Arsenal, although he’s yet to find the net for Middlesbrough 10 appearances.
There has been plenty of speculation on Balogun’s future away from Arsenal, but he’s shown his allegiance to his parent club while taking a sly dig at their north London rivals.
He wrote on Twitter: “Big result against familiar rivals.”
Conte seemingly remains committed to turning things around at Tottenham for the time being, but warned of a harsh “reality” for his players.
He said: “The last game we won, two games ago we lost, three games ago we won, and I think that I can’t hide the reality no.
“The reality that we are having too many ups and downs. We have to try and work, and I think this is a problem now and maybe also in the past.
“In my opinion there is only one way to try to improve, and to continue to work many aspects and to persevere.
“To be patient because you need to have patience in this process, and to hope in the future the situation will be much better and not to wait for a long time.”
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