ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
LONDON • Tottenham Hotspur believe they are on the brink of a piece of modern-day history and it has certainly been difficult to keep a lid on the excitement that is building ahead of the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final at Manchester City on Wednesday.
As such, yesterday's visit of an already relegated Huddersfield team felt like a distraction, an irritation even.
It added up to a test of Spurs' mentality, which Mauricio Pochettino has had cause to criticise on a few occasions this season, with the points still imperative to the club's top-four aspirations.
However, he could rest easy here. The 4-0 Premier League home victory was never in doubt from the moment Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama sashayed through Huddersfield's backline to grab the opener - his first of the season.
And the win which put Spurs third was glossed by a clinical hat-trick from Brazilian forward Lucas Moura - his first in a Spurs shirt.
Pochettino's decision to rest the majority of his regulars ahead of the City reverse fixture, with his side leading 1-0, was vindicated.
Tottenham have won all five league games Harry Kane has not played in.
Only Christian Eriksen from the likely attackers for the upcoming Etihad meeting started.
But, despite the injured pair of Harry Kane and Dele Alli, Spurs were in cruise control en route to their third consecutive win and clean sheet at their new stadium.
The team sheet was always going to be a prominent subplot and it was not just that of Spurs that registered with a degree of force.
Huddersfield's stay in the top flight has proved short-lived and, it appears that the club will use their remaining four league games to test out players for the Championship - and overlook those who could fetch a transfer fee in the summer.
While Spurs' strength in depth has at times been questioned, Pochettino, unlike his counterpart Jan Siewert, could call up players of proven quality, not least Lucas, who was in ruthless mood from the outset to put the Terriers to the sword.
Post-match, Pochettino told the BBC he was "so pleased" that his squad players were able to rise to the occasion, claiming that "football is about the squad, the collective".
The Argentinian manager said: "Of course, we had some injuries after City like Alli and Kane and we were forced to make changes.
"We needed to provide fresh legs and it's good, because we have a tough period ahead and the performance was very professional."
Wanyama, who was delighted to have broken his duck for the term with "a special goal", also hailed his "fantastic" teammate Lucas for "helping the team whenever he gets chances".