Tottenham were in full flight on Saturday as they demolished Bournemouth 4-0 at White Hart Lane.
Bournemouth and their fans probably should have stayed home and saved themselves the trip to London such was the utter dominance of Tottenham.
Two goals in three minutes midway through the first half put them firmly in control allowing fans to relax. At one stage, Spurs fans taunted the opposition chanting ‘are you Arsenal in disguise?’.
This was Spurs at their clinical, ruthless best with dominant performances across the park. Victor Janssen even got in on the action scoring his first goal from open play in the English Premier League. The win to puts the pressure back on Chelsea who have a crucial match against Manchester United tomorrow afternoon.
Here are three thoughts from today’s game.
1. Harry Kane makes a successful return from injury
After suffering an ankle injury several weeks ago, Harry Kane made a welcome return to the starting line-up, continuing his excellent form he displayed before his short layoff. Kane caused havoc mainly with his back towards goal – a position we are less accustomed to seeing him in.
His layoff to set up Son’s goal was sublime – with his back facing the goal against his defender, his deft backheel put Son through on the right. Son had plenty to do and finished with aplomb but it was Kane’s brilliant lead up play that set it all up.
Spurs’ third goal was a real team effort. A neat midfield interchange on the right wing lead to an entry pass to the feet of Kane. Kane inexplicably turned Francis before showing quick feet setting up a neat left footed finish into the bottom left corner.
2. Jan Vertonghen’s passing is just as important as his defensive skills
Toby Alderweireld has taken much of the praise for Spurs defensive improvement and deservedly so but we should spare a thought for his defensive partner in crime. Vertonghen was strong in the tackle and managed his limited defensive duties with diligence.
The passing from deep positions exhibited by Spurs was as usual outstanding. Alderweireld hit beautifully angled long balls while Vertonghen specialised in the ground passes. Time and again, Vertonghen would bypass the first line of defence with piercing ground passes that almost always found the feet of their grateful midfield recipients.
This enabled Spurs midfielders to turn safely and get the team on the front foot in the opposition half.
3. The title race could be over by tomorrow afternoon
Spurs maintained the pressure on Chelsea by reducing the gap to four points with six games to play. Chelsea play tomorrow afternoon against a Manchester United side that is vying for a coveted place in the top four.
Spurs will be relying on Jose Mourinho and United to do them a big favour. With games against fellow top six rivals Manchester United and Arsenal and games against a resurgent Leicester and Palace to come, Spurs have a difficult run home.
If Chelsea win at United the title race is as good as over but if they drop points, the title race is still alive.