April 8, 2017 / 5:12 PM / 3 months ago

Soccer-Tottenham rout Watford to keep up Chelsea chase

4 Min Read

LONDON, April 8 (Reuters) - The pack chasing Premier League leaders Chelsea all won on Saturday with second-placed Tottenham Hotspur's 4-0 mauling of Watford most significant as it reduced the gap at the top to four points.

On a day of unbroken sunshine across the country, Tottenham's South Korean forward Son Heung-min scored twice as the north London side chalked up a sixth successive victory to turn up the heat on Chelsea who play Bournemouth later.

Fourth-placed Manchester City ended a four-game run without a league win as they beat relegation-threatened Hull City 3-1 with Sergio Aguero among the scorers at The Etihad Stadium.

Liverpool, who are third but have played more games than their rivals, left it late as substitutes Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino earned a precious 2-1 victory at Stoke City.

At the bottom West Ham United eased their relegation fears when they ended a five-match losing streak with a 1-0 victory over third-from-bottom Swansea City at London Stadium.

Second-from-bottom Middlesbrough's hopes of beating the drop are slipping away though after they could only draw 0-0 at home to Burnley -- stretching their winless run to 14 league games.

Tottenham kicked off the day's action at White Hart Lane and for 33 minutes it looked as though Watford could frustrate Mauricio Pochettino's side's ambitions of reeling in Chelsea.

Dele Alli then scored a superb goal -- his 16th of the season in the league -- before Eric Dier and Son made it 3-0 before halftime with top-notch finishes.

Son, who had become the first South Korean to score 10 goals in a Premier League season, scored again after the break.

Tottenham's 11th consecutive home league win and seventh league victory in which they have scored at least four goals put them on 68 points and had Pochettino purring.

"We keep pushing. We're in a very good position, second in the table and now we'll go home, be calm and watch the game!" he said, referring to Chelsea's late kickoff at Bournemouth.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp made the surprise decision to leave out Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino at Stoke and when Jonathan Walters gave the hosts the lead just before halftime it appeared to be a costly decision.

The two Brazilians both struck in the second half, however -- Firmino with a superb lob -- as Liverpool hit back to move to 63 points -- nine ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal who have three games in hand, starting away to Crystal Palace on Monday.

"Job done, feels good. Nice weather, 63 points and I couldn't feel any better," Klopp, who said Coutinho had been ill during the week, said.

City are two points behind Liverpool with a game in hand and manager Pep Guardiola knows, having already conceded the title is beyond them, his team face a scrap to finish in the top four.

"It was important for us to win after many days without a win," he said. "It will definitely go to the last day."

There were sighs of relief in east London where West Ham claimed victory in a six-pointer against a Swansea side who are now without a win in five games.

Cheikhou Kouyate scored the winner just before halftime to leave the Hammers eight points above Swansea.

"We were out of the relegation battle six games ago and we are out of it again. We don't want to be in it again," West Ham manager Slaven Bilic said.

Southampton won the day's mid-table battle 1-0 at West Bromwich Albion. (Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below