Steve Davies`s late leveller for Rochdale last night was a bitter pill to swallow considering we were so close to the end, but over the course of the match, there is some merit in saying that the League One side had shown enough threat going forward to secure a replay.
It certainly wasn`t one of the best displays that Poch`s men have put in this season, and just like the last round of the FA Cup, there was a significant drop in intensity compared to their stunning performances in the league, and in Europe. Seeing as this came off the back of a fantastic result against Juve, it makes the 2-2 draw against a third-tier team even more galling. So, what did we learn from the game last night?
1) Complacency was again a problem
You can give Keith Hill`s side a lot of credit for their attitude yesterday. They were looking to play the right way and wanted to get forward to cause us problems. They did not sit back. From Pochettino`s comments after the game though, I don`t think that was a shock to the manager, and therefore the players must take responsibility for the lack of intensity shown, especially in the first half.
Complacency clearly was in play here, and in some ways, it`s not surprising considering they were coming off the back of that result in Turin. However, they have already had a warning in the FA Cup.
The 1-1 draw at Newport, a team who are certainly inferior to Rochdale, should have led to greater focus for the tie at Spotland. Bear in mind too that we had United a few days after the draw in the last round. We have a week until our next fixture against Palace so there is no excuse for having our thoughts on matches further ahead.
2) Llorente`s form shows no sign of improvement
The Spaniard`s troubles in front of goal continue. He curled an effort wide in the first half he should have done a lot better with, and he is clearly suffering with a lack of confidence.
It is just two goals in 26 outings for the veteran forward, and although there are some mitigating factors, such as the fact he has started just ten times this season, his form is a major concern.
It is a stark contrast to last season when his fifteen goals helped keep Swansea in the Premier League. With his lack of mobility and inability to press the ball, there are serious question marks over what he can contribute to the side if he isn`t hitting the back of the net.
3) Lucas looks up for the fight
A goal was not a bad way for the Brazilian to mark his full debut! The winger has bags of ability and has pace to burn, but he also should be given credit for not shirking responsibility on a difficult pitch, and in surroundings that are a world away from playing for PSG.
He took his goal extremely well. I especially liked the way he deliberately lofted the ball over Rochdale`s keeper to ensure he had no chance of saving it.
We will now need to see how much game time he will be afforded in the Premier League, and if he can replicate this performance against higher calibre opposition.