Son shines as Tottenham crush Watford to close gap

Son Heung-min
Tottenham striker Son Heung-Min (L) watches the ball pass Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes and score during their Premier League match at White Hart Lane in London, on Saturday. — AFP
Shukriya Pakistan

LONDON: Title-chasing Tottenham Hotspur made hay in the sunshine as Son Heung-min scored twice in a 4-0 thrashing of Watford that closed the gap on Premier League leaders Chelsea to four points in Saturday’s early kickoff.

After Dele Alli’s majestic curler broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute at White Hart Lane, an 11th consecutive home league win never looked in doubt for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

Eric Dier made it 2-0 six minutes later before Son added a third with a low shot just before halftime to become the first South Korean to score 10 goals in a Premier League season.

Son crashed in his second on the volley in the 54th minute and could have grabbed a hat-trick before being substituted to a standing ovation from the home crowd.

Second-placed Tottenham’s sixth successive league victory took them to 68 points from 31 games, turning up the pressure on Chelsea (72) who play Bournemouth away later.

“The team deserve full credit because the energy and the way they played was fantastic,” Pochettino, whose side trailed 1-0 in the 88th minute at Swansea in midweek before scoring three late goals, told Sky Sports.

“It was 4-0 but we deserved some more goals.”

With fit-again leading scorer Harry Kane sunning himself on the bench as one of Tottenham’s substitutes, Dutchman Vincent Janssen was given a rare chance to impress.

He had his head in his hands after 19 minutes when somehow failing to divert Kieran Trippier’s low cross from in front of goal – the ball striking his thigh and then the bar.

Watford frustrated Tottenham early on but were undone by a piece of Alli magic. A flowing counter-attack began by Moussa Dembele ended with the ball at the feet of Alli who curled an unstoppable shot past former Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes for his 16th league goal of the season.

A free-flowing Tottenham doubled their lead six minutes later when Dier smashed home Son’s low cross.

Son then put the game to bed on the stroke of halftime with superb left-foot shot from outside the area.

With Tottenham cruising Son struck again with a sumptuous half-volley from man-of-the-match Trippier’s cross.

Kane replaced Janssen on the hour and the England forward almost marked his return from a month out with an ankle injury with a stoppage-time free kick that shook the bar.

He also set up Son for what should have been a hat-trick but he shot agonisingly wide hitting the crossbar with a first-time shot from Trippier’s pass.

Watford, who conceded four at home to Spurs, had only two shots on target.