55 long years have passed since Tottenham Hotspur last won the premier league title. Spurs became the first club in the 20th century to achieve the league and cup double, winning both competitions in the 1960-61 season. They have not challenged for the title in 31 years. Their fans are dreaming again thanks to manager Mauricio Pochettino and his young side.
Tottenham came into their fixture against Stoke City with three wins in their last four games. They had scored nine goals and only conceded once during this period. Stoke had won just once in their last four with eleven goals conceded which didn’t bode well for them going into this fixture.
Spurs started strongly and didn’t have to wait long to make their early pressure count. In the 9th minute, Mousa Dembele won the ball in midfield and drove towards the box. He fed Harry Kane who curled a brilliant shot past a diving Shay Given to put Spurs in the lead. Stoke tested Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris in the 27th minute but he saved Marko Arnautovic’s powerful shot.
Shortly before the halftime break, Spurs again found a way through the Stoke defense with Dele Alli putting Christian Eriksen through on goal. The Dane should have scored but he rattled his shot off the crossbar. A lucky escape for Stoke. Their luck didn’t hold for long as Delle Alli chipped over an onrushing Shay Given in the 66th minute. Two nil Spurs and a mountain to climb for Stoke. Alli could have had a second goal shortly afterwards but somehow squandered a golden chance. With an open goal at his mercy after having rounded a stranded Shay Given, he could only hit the upright.
Stoke, in an effort to get back into the game, pushed men upfront which played into Tottenham’s hands. Spurs sprung another counter attack in the 70th with Erik Lamela teeing Harry kane up for his second goal and Spurs third for the night.
Can this young team with an average age of 24 years win the league? They’ve had a great run of late and have the quality to beat anyone on their day but a tough four games await between now and the end of the season. They will undoubtedly be going into each game as if it were a cup final and we can only expect fireworks as the young lions go hunting for foxes.