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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 17 February, 2020

Title race back on? Son on target as Tottenham close gap at top

Meanwhile, Leicester City’s resurgence continued with a 2-0 home win over Stoke City

Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-Min (centre) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game.
Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-Min (centre) celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game.
Image: Nick Potts

TOTTENHAM BREATHED FRESH life into the Premier League title race as Eric Dier and Son Heung-Min inspired a 2-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday.

With Chelsea surprisingly losing 2-1 at home to Crystal Palace, Mauricio Pochettino’s second placed side closed the gap to seven points on the leaders to set up an enthralling last six weeks of the season.

England international Dier opened the scoring midway through the second half and South Korea forward Son sealed the points soon after.

Spurs arrived in Lancashire trying to catch Chelsea while also stealing a march on Manchester City, who do not play until Sunday, as the race to secure Champions League qualification gathers pace and they departed with both targets still in reach.

Without star striker Harry Kane, injured in their FA Cup quarter-final win over Millwall last month, question have been asked about Tottenham’s potency and urgency up front.

But Dele Alli has been in lethal form recently and so Spurs looked to him and Vincent Janssen to damage Burnley.

However, early on in this contest, Spurs had little interest in getting forward and opted to start the game with five at the back, hoping to douse any early Burnley attacks.

Fortunately for them, few were forthcoming as both sides struggled to find any momentum in the first half.

The opening period remained woeful until Spurs finally awoke close to the half hour mark as Alli squandered a glorious opportunity.

- Untroubled -

After putting Christian Eriksen through on goal down the left wing, Tom Heaton saved Eriksen’s low drive but parried right into the path of Alli, who blasted over when it appeared far easier to slide the ball into the empty net.

Burnley became more direct and dangerous, although Hugo Lloris remained relatively untroubled in the Spurs goal.

Spurs were not helped by the loss of Victor Wanyama and Harry Winks – the latter stretchered from the pitch after colliding with firstly Stephen Ward and then an icebox close to the Burnley dugout.

After the restart, both sides seemed more sprightly and direct and Janssen rifled one low shot at Heaton, who did well to block that effort and the rebound which fell at the feet of Moussa Sissoko.

Soon after, Ben Davies also forced Heaton into a decent save as Spurs looked to twist the knife.

After 66 minutes, their superiority was handsomely rewarded as Dier slotted home from six yards out after react quickest to a loose ball in the area following a corner.

That goal gave Spurs the confidence and freedom to pour forward at will as they looked to put the result beyond doubt, something they managed to do with aplomb with 13 minutes remaining.

Alli, as fast and threatening as always, produced a fine ball for Son who could not miss from six yards out, slotting into an empty net as Heaton scrambled across.

A fascinating end to the Premier League season could now be in store if Spurs remain as determined and as impressive as they were here.

Meanwhile, Leicester City’s resurgence continued with a 2-0 home win over Stoke City that gave Craig Shakespeare a fifth successive victory since succeeding Claudio Ranieri as manager.

The champions prevailed through a glorious 25-yard strike from Wilfred Ndidi and a sharp Jamie Vardy volley, leaving them six points clear of the relegation zone.

Bottom club Sunderland remain seven points from safety after Miguel Britos’s header earned Watford a 1-0 win at Vicarage Road.

Andy Robertson and Andrea Ranocchia wiped out Andy Carroll’s opener as third-bottom Hull City came from behind to win 2-1 at home to West Ham United.

It left Marco Silva’s side below fourth-bottom Swansea City on goal difference alone.

© – AFP, 2017

Crystal Palace stun Premier League leaders Chelsea to give title rivals hope>

Blow for Man United’s top-four hopes after slip-up at home to West Brom>

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