Tot­ten­ham hit top form for ti­tle chal­lenge

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FOOTBALL -

TOT­TEN­HAM man­ager Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino has warned lead­ers Le­ices­ter that his side are get­ting stronger in the last lap of the ti­tle race.

Harry Kane scored twice, the first af­ter 44 sec­onds, then set up a third for Chris­tian Erik­sen as Bournemouth were swept aside at White Hart Lane.

It means the gap be­tween Tot­ten­ham and Le­ices­ter is back to five points, fol­low­ing the lat­ter’s win at Crys­tal Palace on Satur­day, but Po­chet­tino’s men are now free of dis­trac­tions af­ter last week’s Europa League exit.

He said: “We’ll play one game ev­ery week, and we’ll have time to pre­pare games in a dif­fer­ent way, to train, to im­prove and do a lot of things that were im­pos­si­ble be­fore. Le­ices­ter have a good ad­van­tage but we need to fight and be­lieve.”

Liverpool tossed away a two-goal at Southamp­ton. The vis­i­tors dom­i­nated early on and should have been fur­ther ahead than the two-goal lead given to them cour­tesy of Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Stur­ridge’s strikes.

Home boss Ron­ald Koe­man brought on both Sa­dio Mane and for­mer Celtic mid­fielder Vic­tor Wanyama at the in­ter­val – with the for­mer go­ing on to miss a 49th-minute penalty.

But the Sene­gal in­ter­na­tional dusted him­self off and scored a brace ei­ther side of a Graziano Pelle strike. Koe­man said: “It is my birth­day to­mor­row and this is the best present I could get.” Liverpool man­ager Jur­gen Klopp said: “It was a per­fect first half and we could have scored more. In the se­cond-half Southamp­ton de­served it.”

Alek­san­dar Mitro­vic ended New­cas­tle’s mis­er­able derby run against Sun­der­land with a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw which left both clubs still in the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

Jer­main De­foe’s first-half vol­ley at St James’ Park looked like hand­ing Sun­der­land a sev­enth-straight derby win be­fore the Serb’s 83rd-minute header handed Rafael Ben­itez his first point.

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