Match Report: Spurs vs Watford
Spurs defeated Watford with ease as they extended the distance between themselves and 5th place Chelsea. Harry Kane closes in on Mo Salah by one, and Dele Alli scores his fourth Premier League goal in his last five matches.
Tottenham were able to find holes in the Watford defence almost immediately and registered two shots within the space of seven minutes. Dembele demonstrated his trickery on the left flank before whipping a ball into the middle for Eric Dier; who couldn’t quite keep his header from rising over the bar.
Dele Alli opened the scoring for Spurs in the 16th minute. Kieran Trippier started the move off by curling a dangerous cross into the box from the right side. The goal, it must be said, had come via a terrible mistake from the Watford keeper. Although Trippier’s ball was faultless, the keeper dropped it when attempting to pluck it from the air. He made an absolute hash of it, and Eriksen flicked it on to Dele Alli. Alli took control of the ball, made no mistake, and fired into the bottom corner of the open net.
Watford had a chance to equalise in the 26th minute. Eric Dier’s pass was intercepted by Capoue. Capoue sent a through ball to Gray who found himself one-on-one with the Hugo Lloris, who got down to his left quickly to beat the effort away.
Eriksen had a shot from distance on the half an hour mark after finding himself in acres of space, but his powerful shot dipped the wrong side of the post. Watford had a nice passage of play five minutes later which resulted in a shot from Doucoure. Hugo Lloris scooped up the effort with ease. It was a delightful pass from Will Hughes to set Doucoure up.
Watford had an excellent chance in 43 minutes as Kieran Trippier was nowhere to be seen in his right-back position. Richarlison was left free, and drew a shot across the goal of Lloris; his effort was saved again. Immediately after, Alli was dispossessed by Hughes and split the Spurs defence with a pass through to Doucoure. Hugo Lloris made an incredible decision to sprint 25 yards and slide tackle Doucoure himself to quell the danger. The skipper had rescued Spurs in the first half.
After a ropey end to the first half, Spurs came out lively after the break. Dele Alli sent a lovely through ball to Heung-Min Son with the outside of his boot, Son then squared the ball to Harry Kane who slipped on the turf. The ball went straight through to Trippier who returned the ball to the middle, and Kane had a chance to rectify his mistake. Kane just side-footed the ball past Karnezis to double the lead.
Spurs had a chance to add to their lead in the 68th minute. Trippier had an excellent game when attacking Watford. His balls in had been dangerous all game, it is just a shame that he left his defence position naked on quite a few occasions. He sent another excellent ball in from a free kick to the back post. Jan Vertonghen rose to strike a blinding header off the Watford woodwork.
Watford had the ball in the back of the net with twenty minutes to go. Substitute Gerard Deulofeu side-stepped Lloris and found the net but he was later ruled offside. The exact same situation occurred again for Spurs not three minutes later. Dele Alli floated a ball towards Vertonghen, who found himself at the edge of the Watford penalty area. He controlled the ball with aplomb and passed it on to Harry who curled it past the keeper. There was no need for Kane to be offside he could see everyone that mattered. He went slightly too early, t just seems like another reminder that the striker is yet to return to his fully fit, alert and clinical self.
Spurs have returned to winning ways. They looked fluid in attack and created a lot of chances. However, if Watford were more clinical in the final third this could have been a very different story. Spurs left serious holes at the back, and no doubt Pochettino will be looking to rectify this on the training ground before the next match.
Spurs vs Watford Attendance
Wembley Stadium: 52,675
Starting Line-ups: Spurs vs Watford
Watford: Karnezis, Mariappa, Cathcart, Kabasele, Holebas, Capoue, Doucoure, Femenia, Hughes, de Andrade, Gray
“I think it was a good night for us. We took the three points which allow us to be in a good position on the table. It is important to win the game, we might not have played the way we wanted – the performance wasn’t great. It has now been 10 months of competition, its hard to keep playing good football. They played well, they created great chances, there were a few situations that showed why Lloris is one of the best keepers in the world.”
Man of the Match
The official man of the match was awarded to Kieran Trippier. The right-back had been dangerous going forward all game, and it was his dangerous balls in that eventually led to both goals. What Kieran does best is provide the support and skill of an extra midfielder when going forward. He has the vision, the ability, and the pace to cause trouble to opponent fullbacks. He must make sure he can cover his tracks, however, a more clinical side could have punished Spurs a few times.
Personally, I believe that Hugo Lloris deserves to be singled out in this fixture. After a few weeks where the skipper had not quite performed at his best, he seemed to have returned to top form against Watford. He saved Spurs on a couple of occasions when the back four were beaten. He alone kept Watford off the scoresheet.
What’s next for Tottenham Hotspur?
Spurs travel to the West Midlands on Saturday to battle it out with Premier League bottomers West Bromwich Albion. The relegation-bound Baggies have found a new lease of life under caretaker manager Darren Moore, will Spurs be able to send them packing to the Championship.