After watching title leaders Leicester drop two points on Sunday, Tottenham went to Stoke with the aim to prove their hunger for a title and grab all three points. Pochettino’s men did just that as they waltzed to a 4-0 victory over the Potters.
Top scorer, Harry Kane opened the score line just 10 minutes into the game, yet the away side wouldn’t find the back of the net until and hour later through Dele Alli. Kane then scored again, bringing his tally for the season to 24 goals, 20 minutes from time before moments later Alli found the back of the net to secure the fourth with a well-hit volley.
Spur’s lethal counter
Pochettino’s consistency in team selections has lead to outstanding understanding between his players on the pitch and this was epitomised in the Lilywhite’s counter attacks. The understanding of each others movement allows players to quickly pick up passes which was seen for both Tottenham’s second and third goals.
For the second goal Christian Eriksen receives the ball from Kyle Walker at the half way line before instinctively sending it diagonally across to an on rushing Alli. The 20-year-old then only had to control the ball before chipping it over the keeper and into the back of the net. The ability to do this caused Stoke many problems, as the Tottenham players knew where the runs would be before the Potters did leaving defenders bewildered.
Tottenham also fully utilized the pace provided by fullbacks Kyle Walker and Danny Rose to launch attacks. Alderweireld, Dier and Vertonghen can often be seen recycling balls by passing out to Rose and Walker who will sprint down the wing before crossing in the ball.
Alternatively attacking players who find themselves a bit lost will result in a pass out wide so that Walker or Rose can bring what first seemed to be a lifeless attack back to life.
The combination of the two meant that Tottenham were able to go from one penalty area to the other in a matter of seconds, leave Stoke unable to cope or create many opportunities for themselves with out leaving themselves vulnerable to a counter.
Can they do it?
Tottenham’s win puts them five points behind the Foxes with four games to go, yet even though the task is difficult and relies heavily on Leicester dropping points, Tottenham do not look like giving up.
The North London side look to have a slightly easier run in than Claudio Ranieri’s men, while there is also extra incentive for them to pick up points as Leicester will be with out star striker Jamie Vardy for two games. Vardy picked up a red card in his side’s 2-2 draw with West Ham earning him a one-match ban.
Vardy was then charged with improper conduct adding an extra match ban after seeming to swear at referee Jonathan Moss for the decision. On top of this all the statistics would suggest that Tottenham deserve the Premier League title as they have scored the most goals (64) and conceded the least (25) while they have also created the most chances this season (449), had the most shots on target (234) and faced the least shots on target (102).
The result last night proved Tottenham’s desire to claim the title. History tells us that Tottenham normally would get some sort of stage fright when faced in these positions, yet this season has been the opposite.
Tottenham have capitalised on numerous occasions when teams surrounding them have dropped points, and Monday night was no different. The young squad showed ruthless determination as they kept pushing a deflated Stoke teams until the final moments of the game. Tottenham pressed Stoke up until the final minutes
However the task that Tottenham face is not unheard of. In 2012 Manchester City closed a five-point gap on rivals Manchester United with four games to go, resulting in them winning the league through goal difference. Can Tottenham replicate this?