Spurs golden goal over Golden Boys
Written By: Robert Halter
Watford had not won any of their last eight meetings with Tottenham Hotspur in all competitions prior to an early February confrontation at White Hart Lane. On seven minutes, a ball over the top by Kevin Wimmer, was latched upon by Harry Kane but his shirt was pulled by Nathan Ake, which put him off his shot as Hornets goalkeeper, Heurelho Gomes, collected the ball against his former club. Spurs were back in action on twenty four minutes, when from an Eric Dier cross, it was snuffed out by Allan Nyom, to stop Nacer Chadli, who was the poacher in the box and then a minute later, from an Erik Lamela corner, the ball was driven wide by Mousa Dembele. Just before the half hour mark, as Christian Eriksen’s through ball was met by Ben Davies, again Nyom got in an important block. Two minutes later, as Eriksen started the move, before Davies combined with Chadli, the final shot by Davies was kept out by Gomes, before Miguel Britos, hooked the ball clear. On thirty four minutes, after Ake clipped the heels of Kieran Trippier, from an in swinging free kick by Lamela, the ball was put high and wide by Chadli. But a mix up by Wimmer, gave a shot at goal for the Hornets’ Alman Abdi, who spotted Hugo Lloris off his line, but put the ball on the outside roof of the net, in the thirty fifth minute. But within sixty seconds, Gomes made two crucial saves, first to stop Davies, who had combined with Chadli and then from a short corner by Eriksen, a low strike by Lamela, was clawed away by Gomes. In the fortieth minute, Dier picked out Kane with an over the top ball, but Kane volleyed the ball over the crossbar. Before the second half resumed, Valon Behrami replaced Mario Suarez and Troy Deeney appeared for Abdi for two Watford changes. On fifty minutes, the Golden Boys escaped a penalty claim, after a clumsy challenge by Gomes on Kane. Then two minutes later, Gomes was forced to palm away a long range shot by Kane, after being played on by Lamela. But the Hornets used up all their substitutions as Britos, who had picked up a knock from Chadli, was replaced by Sebastian Prodl. Another Kane penalty appeal went a rye, after he was pushed in the back by Nyom. The Lilywhites made a change of Dele Alli for Chadli, and after being on, Alli set up Lamela, who could not apply the finish, in the sixty third minute. But finally Spurs broke the deadlock a minute later, as Dembele lead the charge, before a quality delivery from the right foot of Alli, gave Trippier the easiest of chances, to turn the ball into an empty net for Trippier’s first goal in a Tottenham shirt. In the sixty eighth minute, from an Eriksen pass, a strike by Lamela was put wide. After Odion Ighalo fouled Dier, Spurs then brought on Heung-Min Son for Lamela, and after collecting a pass from Trippier, a low strike by Son, tested Gomes in the seventy fifth minute. Son then paved the way for Eriksen in the eighty first minute, whose shot was kept out by Gomes, with the rebound going too far over for Alli. Three minutes later, Son was creator again as Trippier fired in a cross that Gomes pushed clear. On eighty six minutes, as Son combined with Alli, as the ball went over to Davies, a body block by Gomes corrected the situation. In stoppage time, Tom Carroll took the place of Eriksen, as Tottenham Hotspur secured a 1-0 victory to move five points behind league leaders, Leicester City, into second place.