Sunday, 1 January 2017

Watford 1 Tottenham 4: Harry Kane And Dele Alli Star As Spurs Thrash Hapless Hornets To Secure Top Spot


Mauricio Pochettino's side have occupied fifth place for the last two months but have edged above Manchester City and Arsenal, who play Crystal Palace later this afternoon, in the Premier League standings.

In truth, the result at Vicarage Road never appeared to be in doubt as Harry Kane and Dele Alli helped themselves to a brace apiece with Walter Mazzarri's injury-hit side failing to ask any significant questions of the north Londoners.

The only hint that it would be a frustrating afternoon for the visitors arrived early on when Etienne Capoue inadvertently blocked Christian Eriksen's strike with his hand but Tottenham's penalty appeals fell on deaf ears as referee Michael Oliver waved away the visitors' protests.

But, as Spurs began to turn the screw, Watford simply collapsed. Alli rattled the crossbar with a long-range strike while Eriksen purred in possession in front of Pochettino's three-man defence, who were not weakened by the loss of Jan Vertonghen.

And the breakthrough arrived before the half hour mark when Kieran Trippier, filling in for the suspended Kyle Walker, picked out Kane with an inch-perfect pass.

The striker was in a tight spot, seemingly too close to the byline to shoot, but held his nerve and slotted the ball past Gomes.

Trippier may not be Mr. Popular among Spurs fans but he proved his worth again for his side's second goal, curling a delicious cross into the area which allowed Kane to slip between two defenders and poke home.

All three points were wrapped up before the break when Younes Kaboul, who recently accused Pochettino of disrespecting him towards the end of his Spurs career, gave us all a perfect example of why he was deemed surplus to requirements at White Hart Lane.

The hapless French defender could only partially clear a cross and knocked the ball directly to Alli, who seized on his good fortune with a clinical finish past Gomes.

Watford were crying out for the half-time whistle but hopes that the interval would lead to an improvement were extinguished within 58 seconds of the restart.

Sebastian Prodl gifted possession to Kane, who picked out Alli in acres of space at the back post.

The midfielder's first touch was far from perfect but he still had enough time to recover and tuck the ball under Gomes before anyone in a yellow shirt could react.

Spurs had scored four goals in consecutive away games for the first time since 1960 but they took their eye off the ball in the closing stages, allowing Kaboul to bundle home at the death.

Pochettino even had the luxury of withdrawing Alli, Rose and Kane early as the Argentine turned his attention to Chelsea long before his side surrendered their clean sheet.

Antonio Conte's side may be firing on all cylinders but Spurs are purring; all the signs suggest Wednesday's encounter will be a defining moment in the season.



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.