Football: Spurs turn up the heat at the top

Spurs midfielder Dele Alli celebrating with team-mate Son Heung Min as Bournemouth were trounced 4-0. Tottenham next play away to Crystal Palace in the league,
Spurs midfielder Dele Alli celebrating with team-mate Son Heung Min as Bournemouth were trounced 4-0. Tottenham next play away to Crystal Palace in the league,PHOTO: REUTERS

With the gap cut to 4pts again, the pressure's back on Chelsea ahead of their clash at United

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Tottenham Hotspur 4
Bournemouth 0

LONDON • At times like these, with Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham Hotspur utterly rampant, it is the points that got away from them earlier in the season which come to feel more and more significant.

How about the two they dropped in the 0-0 draw at Bournemouth last October? With just an extra couple to their tally, it would be possible to paint their Premier League title pursuit in an even more exciting light.

As it is, the 4-0 stroll at White Hart Lane yesterday against a Bournemouth team with glaring defensive flaws moved them to within four points of the leaders Chelsea (75 points), who play at Manchester United today. Tottenham are close but will they be close enough?

What can be said with certainly is that they are finishing the season with a bang.

There was so much to enjoy about this performance, particularly the zip, movement, flicks and incision while their defence - which is the meanest in the division - was never troubled.

It said everything that the Bournemouth fans were reduced to mock celebration when their team had a couple of shots towards the end.

READY TO POUNCE

Our job is done now, we have the three points and now we'll see what happens tomorrow. If Chelsea fail, we are waiting.

MAURICIO POCHETTINO, Tottenham manager, on remaining in the title hunt.

There was a collector's item goal for Mousa Dembele to get Tottenham up and running - his first since January last year - while Son Heung Min, Harry Kane and substitute Vincent Janssen, got the others as the home side wrapped up their seventh successive league win.

Kane, starting for the first time since injuring his ankle last month, reached the 20-goal mark for the third season in a row - a feat previously only achieved by Alan Shearer, Ruud van Nistlerooy and Thierry Henry.

"It was great to be back out there," Kane told BT Sport. "It's good to be consistent as a striker. I want to do that year in year out. We've still got plenty to do this season so I don't want to think about it (scoring 20 goals for three consecutive seasons).

"Sometimes it's good to play first. We've got the three points and we can enjoy the Easter weekend."

Janssen scored his first Premier League goal from open play since joining last summer.

It was the 12th time this season that Bournemouth had conceded three goals or more in a game and, in truth, they were lucky that the final result was not heavier.

"The performance was not great," said manager Eddie Howe.

"Technically, Spurs are a very good team but the standout thing is how hard they work.

"We know in the last five games we will have to be better. We aren't safe yet."

Tottenham have now won 15 consecutive matches in all competitions at White Hart Lane.

"It was another great performance," manager Mauricio Pochettino told Sky Sports.

"Our job is done now, we have the three points and now we'll see what happens tomorrow.

"If Chelsea fail, we are waiting."

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 16, 2017, with the headline 'Spurs turn up the heat at the top'. Print Edition | Subscribe