Watford vs Tottenham match report: Harry Kane and Dele Alli both hit double as Spurs' winning ways continue

Watford 1 Tottenham Hotspur 4: The visitors' victory was never in doubt as Mauricio Pochettino's men cruised to their fourth consecutive victory

Nick Szczepanik
Sunday 01 January 2017 15:54
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Tottenham's players celebrate the side's fourth goal
Tottenham's players celebrate the side's fourth goal

Harry Kane and Dele Alli each scored twice as Tottenham cruised past injury-weakened Watford and into the top four of the Premier League in advance of the London derby at home to Chelsea on Wednesday.

The gap between Spurs and the Premier League leaders is ten points, but Mauricio Pochettino's men will have extra incentive to reduce it to seven after the events of last season, when Chelsea raised their game in a fiery encounter at Stamford Bridge to end Tottenham's chances of overhauling Leciester City in the race for the title. Preventing Chelsea from setting a new Premier League record of 14 successive wins would be a bonus.

Of course they will not expect the Chelsea game to be anywhere near as easy as this demolition of ailing mid-table opposition who could not muster a single shot on target until Younes Kaboul's injury-time reply, but they will approach it full of confidence.

Harry Kane strikes to put Tottenham ahead

It was Spurs' fourth win in succession, and they seem finally to have mastered the art of imposing themselves on lesser opponents on the road after a sequence of eight away matches without a win in all competitions. The 4-1 victory at Southampton on December 28 suggested that a corner had been turned and the win at Vicarage Road looked very much like confirmation that whatever mental block was preventing Mauricio Pochettino's men from turning domination of possession into points has been overcome.

They showed the hapless Hornets little mercy and could have scored even more had they not eased off in the second half with a sterner challenge ahead. They did not have to perform at a level much above that of a training session as Watford head coach Walter Mazzarri, already without eight injured first-team players, lost a ninth when Camilo Zuniga felt a twinge in the warm-up.

Heung-Min Son tested former Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes with an early 25-yarder and after ten minutes a first-time shot by Christian Eriksen hit the raised arm of another former Spurs player, Etienne Capoue, and was deflected wide but Michael Oliver, the referee, showed no interest in awarding a penalty.

After 23 minutes, Tottenham produced a clever move that should have brought a goal. Alli dummied Eriksen's pass along the edge of the penalty area allowing Danny Rose to collect the ball and line up a shot but his right-foot effort went high over the crossbar.

Kane celebrates his second

Spurs, though, were getting closer and in the 25th minute Alli let fly, again from distance. This time the ball bounced back from the angle of post and crossbar. But they would not be denied and after 26 minutes they were ahead. Kane, Kieran Trippier and Eriksen were allowed to pass the ball among themselves on the right until Trippier spotted that Jose Holebas was on the wrong side of Kane. The England striker turned onto Trippier's pass, advanced towards goal and, although the angle was daunting, hit the ball between Gomes and his near post.

A second followed on the half-hour. Again Trippier was the provider, and as his well-struck cross arced into the six-yard area, Kane charged between the stationary Craig Cathcart and Sebastian Prodll to volley in off the bar with the outside of his right foot.

Dele Alli in action for Spurs

Watford tried to reply and Tottenham were momentarily in danger when Alli misdirected an attempted clearing header, but Kane hacked the ball to safety off Watford captain Troy Deeney.

But it should have been 3-0 to the visitors six minutes before the interval as Watford failed to react to Eriksen's free kick to the near post. However, Son volleyed wide with Kane unmarked behind him.

That hardly mattered as Spurs made it 3-0 two minutes later. Kaboul - yet another former Spur - mis-kicked horribly as he tried to clear Kane's deflected cross from the left and Alli beat Cathcart to the ball and rolled it past Gomes.

Alli strokes home Tottenham's fourth from a tight angle

Alli got his second in the opening minute of the second half when Kane spotted his England colleague unmarked as he rushed into space on the left and squeezed the ball past Gomes.

Son had several chances to add to the score, but Tottenham and their followers were more than content with four. Watford knew they had been humbled and barely celebrated their injury-time goal, Kaboul forcing the ball home at the far post following a free kick.

Watford (3-4-3): Gomes; Cathcart, Prodl, Kaboul; Ambrabat (Sinclair 75), Guediora, Capoue (Kabasele 79), Holebas (Mason 68); Doucoure, Ighalo, Deeney.

Subs not used: Pantilimon, Folivi, Stewart, Rowan.

Booked: Holebas, Prodl.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Rose (Davies 68); Wanyama, Dier; Eriksen, Alli (Winks 61), Son; Kane (Janssen 77).

Subs not used: Vorm, Sissoko, Dembele, Carter-Vickers.

Referee: M Oliver.

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