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Dublin: 10°C Friday 16 April 2021


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Hello, and welcome to tonight’s liveblog.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail, tweet @the42_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Mark Hughes tells Sky that Stoke will “benefit from Shay Given’s experience” and added that he’s “a good talker behind the back four”.

Of the dropped Thomas Haugland, he says that the young goalkeeper has “done well,” but “it’s important that we protect him”.


It’s been a quiet enough start. An Erik Lamela free kick has just been comfortably headed away.

Spurs have had more of the possession and territory early on.


Harry Kane is played through on goal.

However, the striker’s first touch is poor and his shot is eventually blocked.


Kane receives the ball on the edge of the box, Stoke back off and the English striker curls the ball beautifully into the corner of the net.

That will certainly settle any early Spurs nerves.


Dele Alli is found by Kane on the edge of the box and his shot deflects over the bar.

It’s been all Spurs so far.


Dele Alli and Harry Kane have both taken knocks from late challenges in the last few minutes.

Signs of the old tough-tackling Stoke re-emerging perhaps?


Shay Given turns 40 on Wednesday.

Sky informs me that he tonight becomes the oldest Premier League player to take to the field this season.


Stoke have just steadied the ship of late after Tottenham’s dominant opening.

Mark Hughes’ side have enjoyed a bit more control and possession in recent minutes.


Walker powers forward on the counter-attack.

His pass is overhit before the ball falls to Lamela, whose shot goes well over the bar.


A decent attempt by Arnautovic from the edge of the box is parried away by Lloris.

Stoke are coming more into this game now.


Stoke haven’t been able to get their creative players into the game yet.

Tottenham have looked relatively comfortable so far, which is rare for an away team at the Britannia, though as I type, Alderweireld is forced to head a dangerous-looking cross out for a corner.


The ball falls to Bojan on the edge of the box but he shoots woefully over the bar. Moments later, Imbula sees a shot from a similar position blocked.

Stoke have the momentum on their side right now, as emphasised by the stat showing that 41% of the play has been in Spurs’ final third in the last 10 minutes.


Walker’s shot is blocked, before Dembele fires an audacious attempt narrowly over.

Just two out of six attempts on target so far for Spurs.


Walker bursts forward down the right again, but his ball into the box goes straight into Shay Given’s hands.

The full-back has got a lot of joy down the right already, though his final ball needs to be much better.


Shaqiri finds Arnautovic but his shot is well off target.

He showed some decent movement off the ball there, but it’s been a largely frustrating evening so far for the Austrian striker.


Big chance missed by Spurs! A lovely flick on by Alli from Lamela’s initial pass sends Eriksen through.

The Dane, however, hits the bar with just Given to beat.


Alli plays through Kane but the striker’s shot from a tight angle goes well wide.

Spurs will hope they don’t ultimately come to rue these missed opportunities.


Half-time, and Spurs deservedly lead 1-0 at the Britannia.

Tottenham started brightly and were rewarded on nine minutes, as Harry Kane scored with a beautiful curling effort, in the process putting him at the top of the Premier League scoring charts with 23 goals now in total

Since then, Spurs have looked relatively solid and should have extended their advantage just before half-time, as Christian Eriksen missed a one-on-one.

Stoke haven’t really looked like scoring, but Spurs will be nervous for as long as it remains 1-0.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side will also surely have the reverse fixture from earlier in the season on his mind, when Mark Hughes’ men came back from 2-0 down to earn an unlikely draw.



Change for Stoke at half-time. Shaqiri picked up a knock in the first half, so Joselu replaces him.

He’ll certainly be more of a physical threat to the Spurs defence.



An Arnautovic free kick is only half cleared, before Afellay hits the ball well wide from the edge of the box.

Shortly thereafter, Rose surges into the box and goes down under a challenge, but the ref ignores Spurs’ claims for a penalty.

It looks a good call judging by replays, as he slipped more than anything else.


Both sides have started this second half in positive fashion.

The game’s been played at a very high level of intensity so far.


Dele Alli fires over from just inside the box. Spurs need to be more clinical.

Mauricio Pochettino is looking very frustrated on the sideline.


Another swift break by Spurs, as Lamela forces Given into a save following Walker’s cross.

The other Spurs players will not be happy that Lamela chose to shoot from a difficult angle rather than pulling the ball back with options available in the centre.


Shawcross clearly pulls Alderweireld back as a corner is played into the box.

Perhaps not surprisingly though, the referee ignores it despite appearing to have a clear view of the incident.


Spurs have been totally in control in these last few minutes.

They really could do with a second goal though.


A weak shot from Afellay drifts harmlessly wide.

Stoke have looked really poor in the final third tonight, though it’s no small part thanks to the fine work done by likes of Dier and Dembele in protecting the back four.


Eriksen plays a gloriously disguised through pass, which Alli controls with aplomb, before dinking the ball over Given and into the net.

That’s been coming!

Stoke now need to repeat their two-goal comeback from last August’s game against Spurs.


A moment of brilliance from Dele Alli followed by a moment to forget.

He’s played through again and rounds Given. However, with an open goal in front of him, he hits the post.


This is some statement from Spurs, who have been on a different level to Stoke tonight.

Lamela beats the offside trap with a perfectly-timed run, before unselfishly squaring to Kane, who slots the ball home with the goal at his mercy as Alli should have done moments earlier.

That’s Kane’s 24th of the season, and he’s now two ahead of Vardy in the race for the golden boot.


Charlie Adam replaces Glenn Whelan, and immediately gets booked, for what was effectively a rugby tackle on Lamela.

Adam is not Spurs’ fans favourite player, having committed more than one bad challenge on Gareth Bale during the Welshman’s time in London.


4-0 and it’s another beautiful goal from Alli.

Eriksen crosses to the English international, who shows superb technique to volley the ball into the corner.


It’s Alli’s last act as he’s replaced by Nacer Chadli.

That’s 10 Premier League goals this season now for the 20-year-old, who has produced another excellent performance, that open-goal howler apart.


Spurs make another change, as Mason replaces Dembele.

“Are you watching Arsenal?” sing the Tottenham fans.


Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur - Barclays Premier League - Britannia Stadium Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli scores his side's second goal. Source: Nick Potts


Chadli dribbles past a few Stoke players before firing the ball over the bar when through.

Spurs make a final change, as Lamela goes off for Son Heung-min.



So that’s that!

Tottenham reduce the gap at the top to five points with a classy performance at the Britannia. Leicester will be feeling a little more nervous now.

The visitors fully deserved this emphatic victory, as they dominated Stoke for much of the 90 minutes, scoring some lovely goals to boot.

As good as Spurs were though, Stoke were awful. It was an uncharacteristically tame performance from Mark Hughes’ side, with a few players already on their holidays in mind if not body.

The hosts never looked like scoring, and were incredibly wasteful on the rare occasions they got into decent positions in the final third.

By the end, it even looked like Stoke had stopped trying.

Okay, that’s all from me for now.

Thanks for reading and commenting, and stick around, as we’ll have more reaction on the site shortly.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy