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    Stoke City 0-4 Tottenham Hotspur: Match Report

    By Tom Regan

    Tottenham Hotspur produced a breath-taking performance to hammer Stoke and move five points behind leaders Leicester City with four games of the Premier League campaign remaining.
    Mauricio Pochettino fielded an unchanged side who were highly determined from the off to take advantage of the Foxes dropping two points against West Ham on Sunday.

    Spurs kicked off, playing away from their fans who were occupying the Marstons Pedigree Stand. It took 6 minutes for the first real opportunity as Kyle Walker did well to win the ball then passed inside to Christian Eriksen. The Danish playmaker fed Erik Lamela, who passed to Harry Kane, but Shay Given saved Harry’s effort in the centre of his goal.
    Three minutes later, the north Londoners were celebrating a fine goal. Kane chased a ball down the left flank by Jan Vertonghen and passed to Mousa Dembele, who returned the ball to his left. Harry curled a sublime right footed shot across the goal, beating Given inside his left post.

    Dele Alli’s effort was blocked after being fed by Kane. Danny Rose sent a diagonal ball towards Lamela who flicked the ball wonderfully to Alli. Dele played in the advancing Walker, but Kyle’s effort sailed high over the target.
    Hugo Lloris saved a shot from Marko Arnautovic after the Potters won a corner. Mark Hughes’ side were having plenty of shots on goal, but most of them were going everywhere but on target.

    Rose played in Kane, but Harry was deliberately fouled by Glen Whelan. Neil Swarbrick decided not to produce a yellow card much to the dismay of the visitors. After the free kick, the ball fell for Eric Dier with Alli and Kane breaking down the left. Kane crossed, but Lamela was unable to connect with the ball as it crossed the goal.
    After a free kick to the Lilywhites, Lamela and Alli combined before feeding Eriksen in the middle. Christian looked odds on to score, but instead found the cross-bar. Kane saw his effort drift wide just before half-time.

    During the interval, Stoke decided to bring on Joselu for Xherdan Shaqiri. Walker broke forward and passed to Eriksen, who crossed to Alli, but Dele fired over.
    Tottenham were looking extremely slick at this stage. Giannelli Imbula got the first booking of the night for a foul on Dier. Pochettino’s side doubled their lead in the 67th minute after Eriksen’s beautifully executed pass found Alli, who expertly dinked the ball over Given.

    Shortly after, Alli failed to find the target when it was easier to score. Dele had rounded the keeper with the goal at his mercy, but inexplicably hit the bottom of the post much to the anguish of Pochettino on the touchline.

    Luckily, Alli’s miss didn’t come back to haunt his side. Spurs soon had a third, and Alli was heavily involved as he linked well with Eriksen to provide Lamela the ball on the left. Erik fed Harry who had all the time in the world to stroke the ball home from close range.
    The north Londoners were in cruise control and never looked back from this position. Charlie Adam came on for Whelan as Hughes tried to tighten things up in the middle of the park. Adam saw yellow shortly after his arrival for a foul on Lamela.

    The Lilywhites scored a fourth on 82 minutes. Eriksen ran with the ball into the left side of the area, and chipped a pass to Alli, who found the net for a second time with a fierce shot to the left of Given.
    Tottenham have a full week to prepare for their next game at home to West Brom. Leicester host Swansea on Sunday afternoon, with the Swans facing an uphill task at the King Power Stadium. Pochettino’s side probably need to win every remaining fixture to stand any chance of securing the Premier League title. Whatever happens, it has not been a dull season.
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    Item Reviewed: Stoke City 0-4 Tottenham Hotspur: Match Report Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Tom Regan
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