May 26, 2018

Tottenham manager Pochettino lauds 'massive win' over Watford

02 May 2018, 01:19 | Kristopher Drake

Tottenham manager Pochettino lauds 'massive win' over Watford

Spurs inch closer to top-four safety

Spurs are now on course to finish third if they win their three remaining games this season, with the club one point behind Liverpool with a game in hand, and should they do so they will finish behind Manchester City and likely United, with Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal among those behind.

It is almost two years since Mauricio Pochettino joked his side "do not exist" without Mousa Dembele but it is still hard to imagine Tottenham without the Belgian, who has been described as a "genius" by his manager. The win is Tottenham's 21st of the season and puts them well in fourth place over Chelsea.

'Hopefully I can finish strong like I did last season going into a big (World Cup) summer.' Before Kane's goal, Dele Alli had given the hosts the lead after 16 minutes as Spurs profited from a blunder by Watford keeper Orestis Karnezis.

After taking the early lead through Alli, the home side were nearly made to pay for a sloppy pass by Eric Dier after 26 minutes that was intercepted by Etienne Capoue who fed Andre Gray but his low drive was saved by the diving Lloris. The forward's low shot was kept out by under-pressure goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Hugo Lloris made good saves from Andre Gray, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Richarlison - with Pochettino recognising his contribution to the win.

Kane was primed to tap in Son Heung-min's cross but lost his footing at the vital moment, only to get back on his feet and turn home Trippier's centre.

Kane put Spurs two goals ahead in the 48th when he tucked away a cross from the right by Trippier and they nearly had a third when Jan Vertonghen hit the post with a late header.

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Watford have now taken just two points from their last seven league games and, although highly unlikely, they could still be dragged into a battle for survival.

Both players responded against the Hornets.

Combine that with what Spurs have achieved under Pochettino since he took the role in 2014 and Neville believes that it is more than enough to stake his claim as Mourinho's successor once the Portuguese's reign at Old Trafford ends.

Last season Kane was three goals behind Romelu Lukaku and ended up finishing with four goals ahead.

Watford's winter of discontent on the road continued with yet another failure to win away.

Pochettino's side were purring in the FA Cup semifinal against Manchester United before Dembele starting hobbling and for all the wider reasons for that defeat, it was an out-of-sorts Dembele who lost the ball to Paul Pogba for United's equaliser that cost them as much as anything else. To be fair to Gracia and his players, the club's dismal record at Spurs now stretched back eight matches to 1985, when Graham Taylor masterminded a 5-1 win at White Hart Lane.

Tottenham Hotspur returns to Premier League action on Saturday, May 5 when they travel to the Hawthorns to face West Bromwich Albion (3pm).

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