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Spurs v Stoke, 09.12.17

PREMIER LEAGUE
SATURDAY 9th DECEMBER, 2017
(3pm - at Wembley)
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 5(1) STOKE CITY 1(0)

Spurs scorers:-
Shawcross (o.g.), 21
Son, 53
Kane, 54,65
Eriksen, 74

Stoke scorer:-
Shawcross, 80

Attendance:- 62,202

Referee:- Roger East
Assistants:- Adrian Holmes & Mick McDonough
Fourth official:- Paul Tierney

Teams:-
Spurs (4-2-3-1):- Lloris (Capt.); Trippier, Dier, Vertonghen, Davies; Dembele, Winks (sub Sissoko, 78); Eriksen, Dele (sub Lamela, 67), Son (sub Llorente, 86); Kane

Subs not used:- Vorm; Aurier, Foyth, Rose

Booked:- Dembele (foul on Allen)

Stoke (3-4-3):- Butland; Zouma, Shawcross (Capt.), Wimmer; Edwards (sub Crouch, 70), Allen (sub Afellay, 80), Fletcher, Pieters; Shaqiri (sub Cameron, 75), Diouf, Choupo-Moting

Subs not used:- Grant; Sobhi, Adam, Berahino

No bookings

Another Wizard performance against "The Potters"!

At half-time it did not look as if Spurs had any chance of getting near their three previous 4-0 wins over Mark Hughes' Stoke City. Spurs had been the dominating side, but only held a 1-0 lead courtesy of Son Heung-min's low cross/shot being inadvertently deflected into goal by Stoke skipper Ryan Shawcross. England contender Jack Butland had been the busier of the two goalkeepers, but, at best, we could hope for perhaps one more goal in the second half.

It turned into another master class and a thrashing by Spurs, who scored two goals in two minutes to put the game beyond the visitors with a goal by Son and the first of two goals by Harry Kane. Like lions, Spurs became rampant, and when they led 5-0 and Shawcross scored a consolation at the right end, the remaining Stoke fans raised a laugh with a chant of "5-0 and you f****d it up.

Only Alan Shearer has score his first 90 Premier League goals quicker than Kane, who has done it in his 131st game. Kane has only scored more Premier League goals against Leicester (9) than he has against Stoke(8).

Spurs became the first team in the Premier League to score four or more goals in four consecutive games against the same team. Stoke, of course, have the dubious pleasure of holding the reverse of that record.

Once again, Pochettino made 8 changes from his previous team. Only Harry Winks, Dele Alli and Son had started on Wednesday against APOEL. "Poch" settled on a 4-2-3-1 formation, leaving Foyth on the bench.

Stoke played three at the back including Kevin Wimmer. His "best friend" Son tended to be on the opposite flank, and I wouldn't say Wimmer was embarrassed by any of his former team-mates. "Two metre Peter" Crouch was on the bench, but got a big cheer from the home fans when he did come on, by which time we were 3-0 up anyway.

Spurs tended towards the tentative side of their playing style for much of the first half. After five minutes, Trippier fed the ball to Eriksen on the right and his quickly fired cross won a corner. It was a while before the next meaningful attack. Dembele fed the ball to Dele who gave it quickly again to Davies. Davies passed inside to Son, who moved in towards the centre before hitting a right footed shot which was easy for Jack Butland.

Stoke did look a little dangerous on the counter in the first half at times, and after 16 minutes, Joe Allen was allowed too much space and made a run where Jan Vertonghen was forced to put the ball out for a corner.

Spurs went ahead though in the 21st minute, and it was Son who created the goal with a low flashing cross into the 6 yard box,which was put past Butland by Shawcross, with Dele Alli lurking.

Son was looking the liveliest of the Spurs attackers, and he intercepted a Stoke ball, in the Spurs half, following a Stoke corner, before taking it on himself, and making a run deep into Stoke territory. Butland was equal to the shot.

After a pretty cynical foul on Dele Alli (with no card shown), Eriksen took a decent free kick which Butland saved moving to his right. Then there was a period of pressure for Spurs, who won three corners in quick succession, before finally Dembele had a shot (this is an event in itself!) which was saved with a little difficulty by Butland with the ball bouncing just in front of him.

Son hit a good cross from the left which Harry Kane met with a header, but he had already been called offside. Son was the provider of a lovely through ball for Harry, who dummied the defender before hitting a right foot shot wide, with the goal beckoning. Shortly after this Kane pushed a ball out wide to Trippier, who crossed before Son fired over.

Spurs were certainly picking up the pace, but Hugo Lloris had to stretch and punch clear a Pieters cross, conceding a corner. This came after a wrong decision by Eric Dier regarding a defensive header. Just before the break Harry Kane had a shot blocked after Trippier's cross. Somewhere in this play was the suggestion of a Stoke handball, but nothing was given.

In the second half Spurs started to play with more penetration, with good use of space and plenty of good threaded or diagonal balls. Son made an early run for Ben Davies, feeding the ball back to the left back, who crossed and won a corner, taken by Trippier on the other side. Harry Kane had a chance in the box after this, but was again called offside.

A good through ball by Trippier was left by Eriksen for Dele, whose chance was cleared. It wasn't long though before this attractive play led to a second goal. Dele played a lovely threaded pass for Son moving to his right before firing home past the keeper with his right foot.

In no time at all it was 3-0. After a bit of a mix-up which led to Butland just managing to put the ball out of a corner against Kane, the corner was taken and Davies crossed from the left before Harry headed home at the back post.

Harry became provider receiving a lovely pass before feeding it to Son who gave Dembele a shooting chance. This effort was at least 5yards wide. The Spurs attacks were becoming relentless. Stoke cleared from Dele Alli after Kane and Eriksen passed. Son pushed a nice ball out to Kane on but he hit his right footed shot wide of the far post.

Stoke had a good effort from Shaqiri which Lloris was required to save and push out to his right for a Stoke corner. Nothing came of that but five minutes later Spurs went 4-0 up, and my dreams of a "4x4" were looking like coming to fruition. Eriksen moved with pace down the right wing to take on the ball crossing to Dele Alli, again became provider with a lovely diagonal ball, which Kane finished off with aplomb with his left foot to the right of Butland.

Dele was replaced by Lamela, who took up the right midfield position, which allowed Son to move to the left. Lamela almost assisted Harry Kane to a hat-trick with a short pass met by Harry's shot but well saved by Butland.

Son picked up a Davies pass and hit a lovely cross/shot cleared by the goalkeeper with Lamela threatening. Spurs' fifth goal came with a play out of their own half, and a ball to Son, who had options. He chose Eriksen, who scored with a left foot finish right of the keeper.

Shawcross got his goal at the right end with a header at the back post from a corner on the right. Eriksen had another chance, with Son getting the final pass, but Butland made a great save.

Spurs had a couple more chances through Dele and Harry Kane, so the score could have been more. We move above Arsenal on goal difference but they play at Southampton tomorrow. Chelsea's defeat at West Ham's ground is a bonus to us, and we look in good shape for the visit of Brighton on Wednesday.

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