Spurs managed to capitalise on the earlier results with a 1-0 home win over Middlesbrough this evening, putting some breathing space between them and Arsenal and Liverpool, and staying within nine points of league-leaders Chelsea.
Lloris regained his place in the side after missing out against Sunderland through illness, and Ben Davies came in for the injured Danny Rose in an otherwise unchanged line-up. Pochettino stuck with the 4-2-3-1 which failed to break down Sunderland in midweek.
Despite the first chance falling to Boro just four minutes in when Negredo saw his headed effort sail over Lloris’ bar, Spurs enjoyed the brighter of the opening exchanges. Son saw his low effort well saved by Valdes, moments before Davies’ low cross narrowly evaded Kane
Alli, Eriksen and most notably Son were all combining well to trouble Boro’s back line, and their movement and interplay was very effective throughout the first half, but it was often the final ball or finish that was letting the visitors off the hook during the first half.
Alderweireld and Kane both went close with headers midway through the first half, with the former clipping the post via an Eriksen corner whilst Kane headed over after being picked out well by Son. Kane then thought he’d given Spurs the lead just before half time when he converted Son’s low cross, but the official correctly spotted that he was offside.
Tottenham experienced a slightly slower start to the second half, but were still dominating possession. Eriksen troubled Valdes 50 minutes in with a first time shot that the Spaniard parried away after a good run by Son, but it wasn’t until the 58th minute that the home side took the lead.
Son made yet another dangerous run into the area, and his footwork was too quick for Bernado, as the South Korean was brought down as he shifted the ball onto his right foot. There were no prizes for guessing who was going to take it upon themselves to convert the subsequent penalty. Despite missing his last one against Southampton, Kane dispatched his spot-kick cooly and confidently to put the hosts in front.
Spurs couldn’t manage to build on this lead, with Son going closest when his left footed strike hit the outside of the post, and this almost came back to haunt them. First Negredo’s acrobatic attempt flew just wide of Tottenham’s goal, and then a big chance fell to an unmarked De Roon in injury time, but he couldn’t catch his volley cleanly and his shot ended up too wide of the target to trouble Lloris.
Despite not being at their very best, Spurs just about managed to take all three valuable points from the match to pull away from Liverpool and Arsenal who both fell to defeats earlier in the day.
Hugo Lloris – 6/10
Kyle Walker – 6/10
Eric Dier – 7/10
Toby Alderweireld – 7/10
Ben Davies – 7/10
Victor Wanyama – 8/10
Moussa Dembele – 7/10
Dele Alli – 7/10
Christian Eriksen – 6/10
Heung-Min Son – 8/10
Harry Kane – 7/10
Man of The Match:
Heung-Min Son made the difference in the Spurs side today, attacking most prominently from the left. His ability to run at the opposition made him a hard player to handle, and this eventually won the penalty for the goal. On top of this, the winger was a constant threat with his shooting, and made a couple of good chances with his crossing.
Liverpool away in the Premier League. Saturday 11th February. Kick Off at 17:30.