Belfast Telegraph

Goal hero says Tottenham have sent a warning to rivals

By Robert Jones

Dele Alli declared Tottenham's 2-0 victory over Chelsea as a "big statement" as the Blues' 13-game winning run in the Premier League came to an end at White Hart Lane.

The Blues were seeking to equal the Premier League's record of 14 consecutive wins but Alli's double either side of half-time finally brought the leaders to a halt.

The England midfielder opened the scoring for Spurs just before the break with a well-placed header from Christian Eriksen's cross and headed his second goal of the game on 54 minutes from the same source.

Alli now has 20 goals from 52 Premier League matches, and seven in his last four, but the 20-year-old is keen to keep his head down.

"It's a big statement for us but we're happy to stay under the radar and keep taking each game as it comes," he said.

"Like we did last season, we just dug away and kept performing and kept getting the wins and that's what we're going to do this season. We're just going to focus on the next game now.

"I didn't get on the ball as much as I would have liked today but it was important for the team we got the goals, most importantly we won the game.

"We had to stick to the game plan. We knew how big the game was, not just for us but for the fans as well, and it was important we got the win."

Tottenham have now won five games in a row and sit third in the table, seven points adrift of Chelsea after 20 games.

They host Aston Villa in the FA Cup before welcoming West Brom to White Hart Lane in the Premier League on January 14.

Eric Dier, who was deployed in defence, said: "This game was huge for us, for many different reasons. To stop their winning streak is nice and to close the gap on them as well - hopefully we can kick on even further."

Chelsea's lead over second-placed Liverpool is down to five points after their first defeat since September.

Next up for the Blues is the FA Cup third-round clash at home to Peterborough on Sunday before they travel to reigning champions Leicester.

And Blues defender Gary Cahill is determined to bounce back.

He said: "The run has been fantastic, (but) we dust ourselves off (and) we go again. It won't affect us mentally. We've got strong personalities in that dressing room.

"We're disappointed. We came here to get the win and it wasn't to be.

"Maybe we're not robust but, at the same time, we're disappointed because I thought we could have gone to that next level.

"We weren't as sharp and weren't as quick as we have been. We were just a little bit short of the levels we have set this season.

"We can't be short at places like this, you have to be on your game all of the time."

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