Mauricio Pochettino hailed his Tottenham Hotspur side’s belief after seeing them reduce Chelsea’s lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points.
Harry Kane’s brace looked to have put Tottenham in the driving seat against Everton on Sunday lunchtime, but Romelu Lukaku struck late on to reduce the hosts’ advantage.
Dele Alli restored the two-goal lead in stoppage time, only for the visitors’ Enner Valencia to round off the scoring with virtually the last kick of the game.
Tottenham vs Everton player ratings
Tottenham vs Everton player ratings
1/22 Hugo Lloris – 5 out of 10
Aside from Lukaku’s strike, it was a very quiet afternoon for Lloris.
2/22 Eric Dier – 6 out of 10
Held the shape well and used possession efficiently to begin moves from the back.
3/22 Toby Alderweireld – 6 out of 10
Another encouraging display. Cleverly marked Lukaku out of the game for the majority.
4/22 Jan Vertonghen – 7 out of 10
Aside from his slip for the Everton goal, he was on exquisite form. He tackled hard and worked relentlessly.
5/22 Kyle Walker – 7 out of 10
Was good defensively, but even better going forward. He caused problems for the Everton defence with his deliveries.
6/22 Victor Wanyama – 6 out of 10
Rattled the woodwork with a sublime strike. Began a number of Spurs moves going forward.
7/22 Mousa Dembele – 5 out of 10
Made a habit of giving possession away with unnecessary inputs of skill.
8/22 Ben Davies – 6 out of 10
Caused problems for Coleman all day and he was tracking back well to support the defence.
9/22 Christian Eriksen – 7 out of 10
His deliveries throughout were difficult to defend for Everton. He was a key element to every Spurs attack.
10/22 Dele Alli – 6 out of 10
Drifted out of the game at times, but deserved his goal to cap off a great team performance.
11/22 Harry Kane – 9 out of 10
Began the scoring with a moment of magic and doubled his tally with another clinical finish. He’s a defenders worst nightmare.
12/22 Joel Robles – 4 out of 10
His poor decision to roll the ball out gave Kane his second goal on a plate – should be doing better than that.
13/22 Seamus Coleman – 5 out of 10
Gave Davies too much space out wide and should have had more of an input from an attacking perspective.
14/22 Ashley Williams – 6 out of 10
Lost the ball for Kane’s second, but it arguably was not his fault. Had a tough day defending the likes of Kane and Eriksen.
15/22 Ramiro Funes Mori – 5 out of 10
Looked lost against such striking ability. However, he did make a number of vital tackles throughout.
16/22 Leighton Baines – 6 out of 10
Defensively he did his job at the back, but it would have been encouraging to see him moving up the pitch more.
17/22 Idrissa Gueye – 7 out of 10
Worked relentlessly throughout and found himself on the end of every loose ball. Clumsy in his challenges at times though.
18/22 Morgan Schneiderlin – 5 out of 10
Was also at fault for Kane’s second goal. Incredibly quiet throughout and failed to make an impact.
19/22 Gareth Barry – 6 out of 10
Read the game well, but lost most midfield battles – needed to be stronger.
20/22 Tom Davies – 5 out of 10
Struggled to find his feet in his new attacking position. Failed to show his ability in possession.
21/22 Ross Barkley – 7 out of 10
Continued to create chances from nowhere and was hunting for possession constantly. His work rate is faultless.
22/22 Romelu Lukaku – 6 out of 10
Aside from his goal, it was a quiet display from the team’s top goal scorer. He was marked out of the game and received very little service from the midfield.
Lukaku’s strike forced Tottenham to tighten up and protect a lead which had not previously seemed under threat, and Pochettino believes the performance showed his players have the character to keep pressure on the league leaders and last the course.
“The most important is to show that we believe and today we showed that more than talk or speak,” he said.
“It's better that the team showed that performance because they believe we need to be there. It's not up to us, of course, but it's up to us to be there if they [Chelsea] fail.
“The gap is seven points. I'd like to be closer than seven points but if you keep going in that way maybe we will achieve.”
Chelsea travel to West Ham United, who knocked them out of this season’s League Cup, in this week’s Monday night fixture.
Antonio Conte’s side have shown little sign of giving ground to those chasing them, but Pochettino remains confident that his players can push them all the way, especially after recording a ninth consecutive home win.
It is the first time that Tottenham have achieved such a feat in the Premier League era.
“It's fantastic to make history with our supporters,” said Pochettino. “The three points keep us in a very good position in the table. We keep working hard and we need to keep going.”Reuse content