Spurs took care of business in emphatic fashion against Watford at White Hart Lane on Saturday, dominating an injury-depleted Hornets side 4-0 behind a brace from Son Heung-Min. Dele Alli and Eric Dier also scored for Spurs, and Hugo Lloris notched another clean sheet.
Vincent Janssen started the match for Spurs at the tip of the spear, and Hugo Lloris made his return to the staring 11 after missing the Swansea match due to illness. Victor Wanyama was originally named to the bench, but was replaced by Josh Onomah before kick-off.
It was slow going in the first half. Spurs came out looking a little flat, not pressing with their normal urgency and giving Watford some decent half-chances in transition. Watford’s crossing into the box was very good early on, with Hugo Lloris called into action to make some routine stops in the opening ten minutes.
Vincent Janssen had the first big chance for Spurs early on. After receiving the ball in the box, Janssen made a lovely turn and fired a shot at goal, but former Spurs keeper Gomes was there to make a fine save with his foot.
Janssen nearly opened the scoring again in the 21st minute. A cross into the box took a funky bounce, ricocheted off of Janssen, and hit the crossbar from a yard out. A difficult reaction shot, but one that Vincent probably should’ve bundled home.
That didn’t matter much in the end, as Dele Alli opened the scoring in the 32nd minute with an absolutely spectacular curling long-range effort from about 25 yards out that found the top right corner. It was a gorgeous ball that gave Gomes absolutely no chance to save. Son Heung-Min got the “Tom Carroll assist.”
Seven minutes later, Spurs doubled their lead. A Son cross took a deflection off of a Watford player and fell to a wide-open Eric Dier in the box, who easily slotted home to put Spurs up 2-0.
And the party wasn’t over yet! Son, who was everywhere in the first half, had another cracking goal just before halftime, shooting low to the near post and just past Gomes’ reach. It was Son’s third goal in three games and his tenth goal league this season.
It’s fair to say that Spurs weren’t even really playing their best football for much of the first half, but they were absolutely clinical with their shooting and took a 3-0 lead into halftime.
With the match pretty much settled by the interval, Spurs took their foot off the gas to start the second half. But that didn’t stop Son Heung-Min from putting in Spurs’ fourth goal in the 55th minute. Kieran Trippier found space on the right wing and put in a fantastic cross to the back post. Son found himself wide open and one-touched the ball into the net.
And then, almost to add insult to injury, Harry Kane returned. He came on in the 60th minute for Vincent Janssen to a standing ovation from the White Hart Lane faithful.
Kane had a chance to get on the scorer’s sheet midway through the half. A long ball found a streaking Kane who rounded Gomes like he wasn’t there. His shot was weak and from an acute angle and was easily scrambled away.
Sonny had two gorgeous opportunities late to complete his hat trick. Harry Kane laid the ball off to him on a counterattack, but the Korean attacker somehow put the ball wide. A few minutes later, Sonny struck the ball well from the right side of the box, only to see the ball carom off the crossbar.
Moussa Sissoko and Josh Onomah were late subs for Spurs as they saw off the remainder of the clock. But it was Kane who got the last shot on goal. Kane rattled the crossbar on a free kick with the last touch of the game after being fouled just out of the box.
The final score was 4-0. That’s a paddlin’.
- Football is super fun!
- Dele’s goal was absolutely scintillating, and one of the best Tottenham goals I’ve seen all season. Especially since Dele was super quiet to start the match.
- The scoreline at halftime seemed a bit flattering as Spurs really didn’t seem to be out of second gear. But they were absolutely clinical in attack today. When you’re shooting like that, you don’t have to be wonderful in every possession.
- Sonny really wanted that hatty today, and had his chances. Would’ve been great to see him get it, too. Easily Spurs’ best player on the day.
- I was really impressed with Vincent Janssen today. No, he didn’t score, but he had a couple of good shots on target, and you can see his confidence gaining with every game. A shame Kane’s back now and he’ll never play again.
- Also a shout-out to Kieran Trippier who had a lovely match. His crossing was, for the most part, outstanding.
- Spurs may not win the title, but holy crap are they playing like the best team in England right now.
- Just by way of reminder:
Another IMPORTANT REMINDER from Cartilage Free Captain pic.twitter.com/25Vbcu4Tzo— Cartilage Free Capt. (@cartilagefree) January 16, 2017