Tottenham take heart from rivals' defeats before Boro victory
Toby Alderweireld admits Tottenham were spurred on to beat Middlesbrough after seeing their Premier League title rivals drop points.
Arsenal's defeat to Chelsea as well as a surprise loss for Liverpool against Hull allowed Spurs to move nine points behind Antonio Conte's men with a 1-0 win at White Hart Lane in Saturday's evening kick-off.
Harry Kane's second-half penalty was enough to steer Tottenham three points clear of the Gunners and four ahead of Liverpool, who they play at Anfield on Saturday.
"You are always hungry before a game at the Lane but other results gave us the feeling we could get more points than our opponents so it was important to get the three points today, especially with Liverpool away being our next game," Alderweireld told the official club website.
"We defended well. We could have made it easier by scoring a second or third goal but it's important just to win these games, especially with teams around us dropping points."
Liverpool have won only once in their last 10 matches in all competitions and they now trail Chelsea by 13 points.
It means Tottenham could all but end the Reds' title hopes with a victory next weekend but Alderweireld insists Jurgen Klopp's side cannot be underestimated.
"We've seen they're not on the greatest run but they're still a very, very good team and they're going to be dangerous to play against, especially at home," Alderweireld said.
"It's one we're looking forward to and we've got to go into it looking to get the points."
Boro, meanwhile, stay 15th but only one point above the relegation zone after both Sunderland and Hull had earlier registered victories.
Aitor Karanka's men are struggling for goals, particularly away from home, but they could have snatched a draw against Spurs, with Alvaro Negredo and Marten de Roon both going close late on.
"We had a couple of chances at the end. We had done so well to hang in there, we could have got a draw," Patrick Bamford said.
"If you looked at the boys in the second half they were all absolutely knackered. That was testament to how much running we were doing but also how well Spurs kept the ball.
"The lads can take a lot from playing a top team like Spurs and almost coming away with something and we probably even should have."