Mauricio Pochettino has claimed that Tottenham Hotspur "need to believe" they can still win the Premier League title after his side responded to Leicester City's victory over Sunderland with a "perfect" 3-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday (10 April). The Argentinian boss, meanwhile, singled out Dele Alli for praise after the 19-year-old midfielder guided his side to the three points by scoring the opener in the 60th minute of the game following an unimpressive goalless first-half.
United controlled the game during a boring first-half of the game after the kick-off at White Hart Lane was delayed by half an hour because the United team bus was caught in traffic. However, Spurs managed to react in the second half of the game after Dele Alli, Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela scored three goals in a rampant six-minute spell to close the gap at the top of the table to seven points with five games remaining.
Leicester, having previously won 2-0 at Sunderland, will win the Premier League title if they win three of those games. Yet, Pochettino believes that Tottenham proved against United that they are not going to give up until the very end.
"(I am )Very pleased. I think that the performance was perfect and our players deserve full credit. We fully deserved the result, I'm happy," the manager said to BBC after the game. "We are still fighting for the title, seven points, we need to believe. It is true that after Leicester played the gap was at 10 points, it's difficult but it is important to show we are focusing on our job. I think we have shown maturity, personality, character. Since the beginning of the season the team has been improving so we feel very pleased."
"(The delay of the kick off) It was difficult because you change a little bit your habits but for both teams it was not easy. To stay on the coach stuck in traffic. I think our performance was good."
Alli was crucial for Tottenham as his eighth goal of the campaign a day before his 20th birthday let Tottenham to react to that unimpressive first half and ended the game with a 3-0 victory.
Pochettino said: "Dele Alli is 20 tomorrow. It was important for him, the first goal, and for the team, every opportunity he has he shows his real quality. He is very mature. He is like how he plays, outside, a very natural and spontaneous person, we are very happy with the way he behaves."