Belfast Telegraph

Sensational Tottenham pile pressure on leaders Leicester with Stoke win

Stoke City 0-4 Tottenham

By Simon Peach

Tottenham cut Leicester's lead at the Premier League summit to five points as two goals each from Harry Kane and Dele Alli secured a win at Stoke which was as comprehensive as it was timely.

Sunday's fractious draw with West Ham saw Claudio Ranieri's men drop points for the first time since March 1 and Mauricio Pochettino's men capitalised in style at the Britannia Stadium.

Making light work of the pressure and scrutiny, Kane and Alli each netted a brace as Spurs despatched of Europa League hopefuls Stoke 4-0.

Thrilled Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino said: "It was a great game and I'm very pleased with the performance.

"We're still fighting. Our dream is to fight and to put pressure on Leicester and the performance and the result was fantastic.

"Today I feel very proud. Stoke wanted to win the game and we showed personality and character. Maybe today is one of the performances that you feel most proud of because of the character to cope with the pressure.

"We showed hunger and passion. I have a squad of players who feel passion about the game. They deserve praise and credit for their season."

Alli said: "We have had the same mentality all season, it is important to keep going all season. I don't know how I missed that chance! Finishing training for me I think.

"I am just enjoying playing, there is nothing to be scared of.

"Leicester know we are going to keep fighting."

Kane was full of praise for his side's stunning statement of intent.

"What a performance." he said.

"Stoke is a tough place to come and to win in the manner we did shows what sort of team we are. We are not going anywhere.

"We scored four, but could have had six or seven. It is one of our best performances all season, but that's what we can do. Leicester dropped points and I have been itching to play.

"I had to wait a whole day and a half.

"It doesn't get much better than that. We hardly put a foot wrong and could have scored more. I wanted the assist for Dele Alli's miss, he took it around the keeper and I don't know what he did wrong. He has been brilliant again though.

"Every single one of us put in a good performance and we have done for a while now. We are ready to put the pressure on Leicester. We think we can do it. Leicester are five points ahead, but we have closed the gap, that's all we could do."

'Leicester City, we're coming for you' bellowed the raucous travelling support after Kane's ninth-minute opener, which Christian Eriksen came close to adding to as half-time approached with a strike that rattled the crossbar.

Alli's exceptional flick put the Danish playmaker through and the roles reversed in the 67th minute when the England midfielder collected a stunning pass and coolly lifted the ball over Shay Given.

Kane ensured Alli's miss-of-the-season contender moments later mattered little by slotting home Spurs' third, taking his tally for the season to 24 - one more than rudderless Aston Villa have managed this term.

Alli volleyed home an exceptional fourth late on as Tottenham produced a display which shows Leicester they would be pushed to the end.

Stoke: Given, Cameron, Shawcross, Wollscheid, Muniesa, Whelan (Adam 76), Imbula, Shaqiri (Joselu 46), Afellay, Arnautovic, Krkic. Subs not used: Bardsley,Ireland,Diouf,Crouch,Haugaard.

Booked: Imbula,Adam.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Dier, Dembele (Mason 87), Lamela (Son 90), Alli (Chadli 84), Eriksen, Kane. Subs not used: Vorm, Trippier, Wimmer, Davies.

Goals: Kane 9, Alli 67, Kane 71, Alli 82.

Attendance: 27,442

Man of match: Dele Alli

Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire)

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