Saturday 23 September 2017

Pochettino keeping faith in title chase

Burnley 0 Tottenham Hotspur 2

Eric Dier is mobbed after scoring for Tottenham
Eric Dier is mobbed after scoring for Tottenham

Rory Dollard

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says his side "still believe" after cutting Chelsea's Premier League lead to seven points.

Second-half goals from Eric Dier and Heung-min Son handed Spurs a comfortable 2-0 success at Burnley as table-topping Chelsea suffered a surprise reverse against Crystal Palace.

Harry Winks was carried off on a stretcher at Turf Moor. Photo:
Harry Winks was carried off on a stretcher at Turf Moor. Photo:

Chelsea's advantage is still a considerable one with just nine games of the season remaining but now there is just enough hope for Pochettino to cling to in the run-in. "I am very happy, very pleased. It's an important, a massive three points for us to still believe we can fight for the title," said the Argentinian.

"We showed great belief and character and faith. It is always difficult in the first game after international duty, all the players arrive at different dates. We were very professional. That makes us proud."

Spurs certainly did not look like title challengers in a stodgy first half and saw their game plan disrupted by injuries to Harry Winks and Victor Wanyama shortly before half-time.

But they rallied, aided by a controlled display from Wanyama's replacement Mousa Dembele, and when Dier pounced on Jeff Hendrick's error in the 66th minute, it looked to be enough.

Tottenham are now only seven points behind leaders Chelsea as they capitalised on the Blues' defeat to the Eagles.
Tottenham are now only seven points behind leaders Chelsea as they capitalised on the Blues' defeat to the Eagles.

Christian Eriksen's glorious pass and Dele Alli's square ball allowed substitute Son to make it safe 13 minutes from time.

Burnley boss Sean Dyche has now seen his side go seven games without a win in the league, drawing them back into a relegation battle they looked to be edging clear of.

Their buffer zone over the bottom three is now just five points and a change in fortunes is badly needed to see the Clarets away from a nerve-wracking end to the season. Dyche is not surprised by that, though, insisting there is plenty to be won and lost at both ends of the table.

"My lads know they still have a challenge ahead. There are no done deals in the Premier League," he said.

 

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