Take a look at Harry’s lions on the prowl picture and put it next to mug shots of Erik Lamela, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen and it’s hard not to snigger, but that just shows deceptive appearances can be. Those three along with Kane himself and Dembélé and Alderweireld and everyone else wearing a blue (or yellow in Hugo’s case) shirt were outstanding in this emphatic win. To hear a Stoke City manager say that his team weren’t able to cope with a Spurs side’s ‘extra bit of power’ is possibly yet another watershed in this season of boundaries being redrawn, long standing records being broken and fundamental truths being discredited.
Given a good a start…
We started this game on top and once Harry gave us the lead by making the sublime look ridiculously easy we never looked like gaining anything other than three points. Stoke slowly edged their way back into the game, mostly through Muniesa and Arnautovic finding space down our right but Hugo was only once called into serious action, whilst at the other end Kane and Alli threatened constantly to tilt the balance even further our way.
That it was only 1-0 at half time was due in the main to profligate finishing from Eriksen whose clip over Given but against the bar when through on the keeper means that Alli’s fantastic flick to set him up won’t get the publicity it deserves.
…Alli is possible
It’s fair to imagine Mark Hughes launching into his players at half time but it was the changes Poch made (whatever they were) that drew the sting from Stoke and we were totally dominant in the second half.
Alli, Kane and Alli again all scored beautifully crafted goals to make it a truly memorable evening. On paper this was set to be a challenging fixture but long before the end the fabled home support had eased off their Danny Rose baiting and begun to filter into the night leaving the red seats looking like bare gums as the emptying stands watched the home team systematically undressed.
The gaps around Shawcross at the back grew larger and the resistance waned further with each Spurs attack. The way Eriksen was allowed to waltz into the penalty area before providing the cut back for Alli’s second and our fourth was something you thought you’d never see a Stoke team allow. By then they were well and truly broken.
Alli trumped Eriksen’s miss in the first half, hitting a post after rounding Given; Kane, Chadli and Lamela could all have added to the total as well – it really could have been half a dozen.
Too little, too late?
We’re five points closer to Leicester but with only four games left there’s too much to do, as there has been realistically ever since Huth’s spawny header in January. What this win will do though is put a warning shot across their bows, letting them know that we’re keeping them honest. And what a disheartening blow it’ll be to fans of Woolwich. Two wins and a draw from our last four games and we’re guaranteed to finish above them. About time too of course, but that won’t stop it feeling any sweeter.
Next up for Harry’s lions
West Brom at the Lane next Monday and perhaps more of a Stoke type challenge than we actually got from Stoke.
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