Unbelievably, Tottenham have narrowed Chelsea’s once seemingly insurmountable lead at the top of the Premier League to just four points. For the second time in as many weeks, Tottenham won by a 4-0 scorelines as Spurs beat Bournemouth in gameweek 33.
Mousa Dembele, Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane had the match settled before the 50 minute mark. Vincent Janssen rounded things off as Spurs are now one goal behind Liverpool for the most scored in the Premier League. Eight times this season, Mauricio Pochettino’s team have scored four or more goals in a game. Five of those fixtures have been 4-0 scorelines, and four of those have come at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham have been on a fantastic run of late, winning seven consecutive Premier League matches and many of which were without star striker Kane. It has been a complete team effort with Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Son all stepping up when needed. The four attacking Spurs’ stars have accounted for 55 goals combined.
But it hasn’t just been the attack that has been clicking. Tottenham have given up the fewest goals of any Premier League side (22). Fifteen times this term the team have kept a clean sheet, including back-to-back games, which has many White Hart Lane faithful dreaming that Spurs can do the unthinkable and overhaul Chelsea.
Just a few weeks ago, Chelsea were considered the Champions-elect. Yet, two losses in their last four have put the halt on celebrations. Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Manchester United was a shock to say the least, especially with Chelsea hammering Jose Mourinho’s side 4-0 earlier this season.
Antonio Conte’s Chelsea have slipped in recent weeks and the intensity that they showed just a few months ago has waned. Conte’s Chelsea don’t have the fortune that his Juventus sides did in years past. Juventus could afford a few slip ups late on as Serie A competition wasn’t as strong as the Tottenham team that is chasing the Blues currently.
Spurs nearly won the Premier League last season, but in the final weeks did the characteristically Tottenham thing of screwing it up. This year could be different, and under Mauricio Pochettino the team just keep getting better.
Pochettino studied under the tree of “El Loco” Marcelo Bielsa, whom Pochettino played for at Newell’s Old Boys. The two also hooked up for the Argentine national team as well as at Espanyol; a club Pochettino spent nine and a half years at as a player.
In 2009, it was Espanyol that gave the coach his first chance at managing a top-flight side; or any side for that matter. Fresh off gaining his coaching license and working with the club’s women’s team, he was tasked with saving Espanyol from relegation. The third coach of the season, he made an immediate impact using the same tactics he had learned from Biesla, and helped the team overachieve.
Despite being sacked in the early stages of the 2012-13 season, people took notice. However, when he was appointed as Southampton coach a few months later, fans who thought he was a poor signing can be forgiven. He proved any naysayers wrong and excelled and amassed a 23-18-19 record.
At Spurs, Pochettino has improved the side each season and after 32 games over the last three years the team have gained more points each term: 54, 62 and 71.
Tottenham’s tough road
Spurs will play Chelsea one more time this season, but that will come in the FA Cup semifinal next weekend. Unfortunately for Tottenham, the team have the more difficult of the two fixture lists over the last six games. Spurs must play both Arsenal and Manchester United at home. The team will also play Crystal Palace, West Ham, Leicester and Hull.
Chelsea on the other hand will see games against Southampton, Everton, Middlesbrough, West Brom, Watford and Sunderland. If Spurs can win the Premier League, the team will need some help from the rest of the league.