Sun | Jan 20, 2019

Spurs keep EPL top 4 hopes on track

Published:Monday | March 12, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-Min (right) scores his side's third goal of the game against AFC Bournemouth during their English Premier League match at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth yesterday.


A goal down and Harry Kane injured, Tottenham's campaign for a third consecutive English Premier League (EPL) top-four finish looked to be taking a serious hit.

But Mauricio Pochettino's team had other ideas, delivering a stirring comeback to defeat Bournemouth 4-1 yesterday.

Dele Alli equalised, before Son Heung-min struck twice and Serge Aurier nodded in to show Tottenham are far more than the "Harry Kane team," as it was described by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola earlier this season.

"Sometimes it looks that in football only are important are the 11 players that play every week," Pochettino said. "But for me, it's so important the squad, because with a greater squad, with everyone fighting for the same objective, you can achieve all that you want."

Spurs moved into third, a point above Liverpool, and five points clear of fifth-place Chelsea. Eight rounds remain in the race for the four UEFA Champions League spots.

Earlier yesterday, Arsenal defeated Watford 3-0 as Petr Cech became the first goalkeeper to reach 200 EPL clean sheets.

The former Chelsea 'keeper saved Troy Deeney's penalty as goals from Shkodran Mustafi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan ensured the Gunners ended a run of three straight league defeats.

Despite the victory, Arsenal are 12 points adrift of fourth place and Arsene Wenger's team selection suggested his attention is now firmly focused on the Gunners' UEFA Europa League campaign.




While Tottenham's win keeps it in a strong position for now, it will desperately hope that Kane is fit to return for their next league game, against Chelsea in three weeks' time.

"I am concerned, until he has a scan (today) we cannot say nothing more," Pochettino said. "We hope it's not a massive issue for him and for the team and as soon as possible, he can recover again and be available."

The anxiety over Kane's condition, after an apparent injury to his right ankle, will not be limited to Tottenham. The EPL's joint top scorer - tied with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah on 24 goals this season - is expected to lead the attack for England at this summer's FIFA World Cup in Russia.

England's opening game is against Tunisia in Volgograd on June 18.