Premier League: Harry Kane guides Tottenham to massive win
Kane and Dele Alli score against Watford at Wembley as Spurs inch closer to Champions League qualification
Tottenham Hotspur 2 Watford 0
Harry Kane rediscovered his scoring touch last night as Tottenham beat Watford 2-0 to take a significant step towards automatic qualification for next season’s Champions League.
Now five points clear of Chelsea, Tottenham remain fourth and are just a point behind Liverpool, with a game more to play than their rivals. Liverpool travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday for a match that could have a major bearing on who finishes third, fourth and fifth.
“It was a game we had to win and we won, so I’m happy about that,” said Tottenham manager Pochettino. “Maybe the performance was not great, but the most important thing is to get the three points.”
Describing the victory as “massive” in the context of securing Champions League football next season, Pochettino added: “It puts us in a very good position fighting for the top four and that is the objective for the rest of the season.”
Tottenham couldn’t ask for an easier run-in with the Lilywhites travelling to bottom-placed West Brom at the weekend before hosting Newcastle United next Wednesday and Leicester City on the final day of the season. Win all three and Spurs will finish third, leaving Chelsea and Liverpool to fight it out for fourth.
The fact Kane got back to business against Watford will be a big boost for Tottenham given his uncharacteristically lean spell in spring. The England striker had scored just twice in his last eight matches before last night - and one of those was the controversial goal against Stoke when he claimed Christian Eriksen’s free-kick had glanced his shoulder en route to the back of the net - and he started against the Hornets looking a man short on self-belief.
Two opportunities came his way early on but he wasted both, his touch not good enough in front of goal, but fortunately for Tottenham there was no such diffidence from Dele Alli. The England midfielder capitalised on good work from Eriksen to put the hosts in front on 16 minutes.
Kane made it 2-0 three minutes into the second period, firing home Kieran Trippier’s pull-back for a goal that pleased both Pochettino and the watching Gareth Southgate.
Spurs came close to adding a third when Jan Vertonghen headed against the post, but Watford created chances of their own and Spurs had goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to thank for denying Andre Gray and Richarlison.
“He is working hard to try to recover his real performance,” said Pochettino, when asked about Kane. “He is chasing [Mohamed Salah] but the most important thing is to score goals for the team.”
He’s scored 38 this season, 27 of which have come in the league, and Kane expressed his satisfaction at his latest effort against Watford.
“I feel good,” he said. “I would like to have played better over the last few games but so would the team. I feel good and sharp, I could have a got a couple more [against Watford] but I’m good and want to finish strong.”