Rochdale bowed out of the Emirates FA Cup after a 6-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium.
In a first-half that was dominated by VAR reviews, Heung-Min Son’s opener was cancelled out by Stephen Humphrys, and Andy Cannon struck the foot of the post, as Dale were inches away from leading going into the break.
A 12-minute hat-trick from Fernando Llorente after the break took the game away from Dale, and Son and Kyle Walker-Peters added two more to flatter the hosts, but the Dale players still left the Wembley pitch to a standing ovation from their loyal fans.
Keith Hill named the same squad as in the 2-2 draw at the Crown Oil Arena, with Joe Rafferty and Stephen Humphrys returning to the starting eleven from the weekend’s game at Wigan Athletic.
VAR was used for the first time in the sixth minute, ruling out Spurs’ initial opening goal. Son’s low ball across from the right was saved by Josh Lillis, but Erik Lamela turned the rebound home.
However, VAR rule the goal out for a foul by Fernando Llorente on Harrison McGahey, and the game remained goalless.
Dale’s first effort on goal came in the 15th minute, when Callum Camps’ ball over the top was perfect for Matty Done, who fired an effort just wide of the far post.
The hosts did take the lead in the 23rd minute. A quick counter attack led to Son driving into the area, cutting back onto his right foot, and curling an effort beyond Lillis.
He looked to have doubled their lead from the penalty spot five minutes later, but VAR intervened yet again.
Done fouled Kieran Trippier, which was initially given outside the area as a free-kick. However, after referral, a penalty was awarded, which Son dispatched, sending Lillis the wrong way.
Referee Paul Tierney disallowed the goal for a stutter in Son’s run-up, and after double checking with VAR, the decision stood.
With confusion still in the air, Dale seized and equalised with a superbly taken goal from Humphrys.
Andy Cannon lifted the ball over to the striker, and he produced a fine touch before rounding Michel Vorm and slotted home.
Dale were the width of a post away from going into the break ahead. After winning the ball high up the pitch, Humphrys played Cannon into the area, whose effort across the face of goal came back off the far post and clear of danger.
The home side retook the lead just two minutes after the break, when Llorente lifted Lucas’ through ball over Lillis.
Llorente then grabbed his second when he turned home Lucas’ low pass across goal from close range, and the tie was effectively ended when the Spanish international headed home Son’s dinked cross from a couple of yards out.
Stephen Davies and Joe Thompson replaced goal scorer Humphrys and Mark Kitching, as Keith Hill stuck to his plan of going to attack Spurs.
They managed to add a fifth through Son, who turned home Lamela’s squared ball after he had been played in behind the Dale defence.
Lamela curled a free-kick off the post, from which Dele Alli’s follow up was patted down and held by Lillis.
16-year-old Daniel Adshead replaced Cannon with 15 minutes remaining, shortly before Henderson flicked a free-kick goalwards but into the arms of Vorm, and Ryan Delaney headed a corner kick well over.
Substitute Kyle Walker-Peters added a sixth in the final minute of added time, but the chants of ‘Dale, Dale, Dale’ continued to ring around Wembley Stadium, as the players earned a rapturous reception from the outstanding travelling supporters.