Mauricio Pochettino has hailed Tottenham's "fantastic" performance to end Chelsea's 13-match winning streak with a 2-0 victory over their London rivals on Wednesday night (4 January). Yet, the Argentinian boss believes that Spurs must keep that consistency during the whole season if they want to win the Premier League.
Dele Alli scored one goal in each half to end Chelsea's impressive run and move Tottenham to third in the Premier League, only seven points behind the London leaders and a mere two adrift of Liverpool.
Pochettino couldn't hide his delight at the result but challenged his players to keep that level throughout the rest of the campaign.
"It's only one game," the Tottenham boss was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
"We need to be regular and consistent during the whole season. We're happy for the victory, but it's only three points. If we want to fight until the end of the season for big things, for trophies, you need to keep that intensity. That is always the challenge."
"It was important for us to reduce the gap," Pochettino said after the win. "The top four is very competitive, it's very close. It's true the gap still is important to Chelsea. It was the perfect thing for us to arrive to third place and be close. That is important for us and there are a lot of games before the end of the season."
Tottenham made an admirable challenge for the Premier League title during the 2015-2016 season but were pipped by Leicester City after being held to a draw at Chelsea in May. However, Pochettino admitted following the match on Wednesday that his Spurs side showed the competitive edge they missed during the last campaign.
"The performance was fantastic," he said. "The most important thing was that we showed great character. We were very competitive. Maybe that was the problem last season, that we missed to compete in a competitive way. You need to play, you need to suffer, you need to fight. Sometimes you need to give the ball to them because they push you. Today we understood what it means to be competitive."