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2015-16 Barclays Premier League

Full-time: Stoke 0-4 Tottenham

  • Tottenham cut Leicester's lead at the top of the Premier League to five points after a thoroughly comprehensive victory at the Britannia Stadium
  • England duo Harry Kane and Dele Alli both notched braces as lacklustre Stoke were brushed aside with ease
  • The hosts remain ninth, six points adrift of the final Europa League qualifying spot
Dele Alli and Mauricio Pochettino
Dele Alli is congratulated by Mauricio Pochettino after his brace against Stoke AFP

That is all from IBTimes UK for now, but join us again tomorrow night for more live coverage of the Premier League as Newcastle look to momentarily haul themselves out of the relegation zone with a home clash against City at St James' Park.


So what's next on the agenda? For Tottenham, they will hope Leicester, missing the suspended Vardy, slip up at home to Swansea before the Monday night visit of Tony Pulis' West Brom.

As for Stoke, they stay ninth and four points adrift of Liverpool ahead of a difficult trip to Manchester City on Saturday.

Pressure... what pressure? That was a seriously impressive showing from Tottenham, who produce one of their best displays under Pochettino to blitz an underwhelming Stoke side and cut Leicester's lead at the top down to five points.

They may not end up winning it, but it's impossible not to be bowled over by this ruthless side spearheaded by fantastic young English talent in the likes of goalscorers Kane and Alli. With four games left to play, they continue to give themselves a fighting chance of a first top-flight title since 1961.


Stoke 0-4 Tottenham

Son looks to quickly get in on the act, but he can't keep his shot down.

Chadli takes advantage of some woefully slack defending to burrow his way through before shooting over the crossbar. Tottenham's final change sees Heung-Min Son replace Lamela.

Three minutes of added time to be played as Joselu's header on target is easily saved by Lloris.

Plenty of red seats around the place now, although Tottenham's 2,849 travelling fans are in fine voice.

I'm not quite sure that Alli song fits, mind you...

Two late changes from Pochettino, who opts to rest both Alli and Dembele. Nacer Chadli and Ryan Mason are on.

It's officially a rout at the Britannia and Alli makes up for that shocking miss to grab his brace. Eriksen is again the provider on the break, coming down the left wing before setting up his midfield colleague to volley expertly past Given.

This has been a blistering performance from Tottenham. Leicester beware.

Dele Alli

Goal: Stoke 0-4 Tottenham (Dele Alli)

Arnautovic goes down holding his head after a collision with Lamela. It looks like he will be OK to continue after some treatment.

Adam's first involvement is to drag down Lamela and give the linesman an earful before being shown a swift yellow card. That's one way to make an impact, I suppose.

Stoke have been simply blown away by a superior side tonight and Hughes replaces Whelan with Charlie Adam. 15 minutes plus added time remaining.

Pochettino sinks to his knees in a mixture of anger and sheer disbelief as Alli is sent through one-on-one for a second time. He waits for Given to commit to ground and easily goes around him before inexplicably driving the ball against the post.

That frustration proves to be shortlived, however, as a ruthless counter sees Alli pick out Lamela. The Argentine strides through on goal before unselfishly squaring for Kane to pass into an empty net.

Harry Kane

Goal: Stoke 0-3 Tottenham (Harry Kane)

That should just about wrap things up for Tottenham and cut Leicester's lead at the top to five points. A delightful clipped ball over the top from Eriksen finds Alli, who dinks over the onrushing Given with ease.

Dele Alli

Goal: Stoke 0-2 Tottenham (Dele Alli)

Eriksen concedes a cheap foul midway inside his own half. Lloris elects to punch Arnautovic's free-kick and again Afellay fails to produce a decent shot.

Bojan then comes again to set up Joselu, who tries to bend one into the top corner but balloons high over the crossbar.

Stoke's early attacking promise in this second half has rather fizzled out. Bojan tries to pick out Arnautovic with a cross, but Jan Vertonghen is on hand to clear.

With an hour on the clock, the first yellow card of the evening is shown to Imbula following a spirited battle with Eric Dier. It's unclear if that booking was for the challenge or his unwise decision to whack the ball away afterwards.

A reverse of roles there as Kane declines to pick out the run of Lamela and instead produces a tame shot that fails to hit the target.

The issue of grappling in the penalty area at set pieces also rears its ugly head again, this time Shawcross hauls down Alderweireld in full view of the referee. Perhaps understandably given the furore that surrounded Jonathan Moss's performance at Leicester, Swarbrick is going nowhere near it.

Walker is providing a constant threat with his lung-busting overlaps down that right flank. His latest cross finds its way to Lamela at the back post, who ignores the movement of Kane to force a shot from a tough angle that is parried behind by Given.

The tricky Bojan weaves his way past Rose but eventually runs out of room past the byline. At the other end, Shawcross hacks away Walker's ball in and Eriksen does brilliantly to tee up Alli.

Pochettino bangs the top of the dugout in frustration as the ex-MK Dons prodigy fires over under pressure from Whelan.

Muted shouts for a Tottenham penalty are waved away as Rose goes head-to-head with Cameron before appearing to lose his footing inside the area.

Much more purpose about Stoke in the early stages of this second 45. Afellay, operating in a central position with Joselu up front and Bojan now drifting out wide, tries his luck again but drags a shot beyond Lloris' right-hand post.

Afellay shoots over following a useful knockdown from Joselu and a defensive miscue almost allows Arnautovic to sneak in. Alderweireld recovers well.

Hughes has opted to make one change at the break, withdrawing Shaqiri and sending on another forward in Joselu. The second half is underway.

So far, so good for impressive Spurs. They showcased some nifty passing football during that opening 45 minutes and deservedly lead through Kane's 23rd Premier League goal of the season. If anything, Pochettino will be frustrated that they are not further ahead after Eriksen opted for power and smashed against the bar instead of trying to pick out the bottom corner.

Stoke started very slowly indeed and have failed to cause too many problems aside from a powerful Arnautovic drive that was batted away by Lloris.

Marko Arnautovic


Stoke 0-1 Tottenham

Alli's vision and quick passing is beginning to cause Stoke real problems. His latest ball is slid down the side of the penalty box for Kane, but his low strike lacks power and trickles harmlessly wide.

One minute of stoppage time has been signalled by the fourth official.

Only the woodwork prevents Tottenham from doubling their lead. Lamela's pass to Alli draws out Shawcross and is cleverly flicked around the corner to Christian Eriksen, who is denied his ninth goal of the season with a fierce shot that cannons back off the crossbar.

Arnautovic races away through the middle and gets ahead of Alderweireld to collect a sweeping pass from Shaqiri. However, there are no other red and white shirts in support and his pass across the six-yard box comes to nothing.

Lamela keeps a Tottenham attack alive and Wollscheid has to be alert to block Walker's hopeful attempt. The rebound falls for Dembele, who is not closed down by Shaqiri and thunders a muscular strike over the top.

Alderweireld concedes another corner to Arnautovic, but Kane can clear before leading a charge that is unceremoniously halted by the cynical Whelan. That should be a yellow card, but he gets away with a stern warning.

The hosts are enjoying a sustained period of pressure now. After a corner, the ball is sent back out to Shaqiri and the former Bayern Munich playmaker's cross is cleared by Walker to Bojan, who lacks composure and shoots into row z.

Powerful running from Imbula, who tees up Arnautovic to beat Alderweireld and unleash a powerful strike that is parried by Hugo Lloris. He then nods wide of the far post.

Better from Stoke as Ibrahim Afellay finds Cameron and the United States international produces an inviting diagonal cross for Bojan that Alderweireld has to head behind.

Bojan's failure to cross leads to a swift Tottenham break that sees Walker gallop into acres of space down the right. His pass towards Lamela is deflected into the path of Alli, who fires high over the crossbar from a difficult angle.

Ironic cheers from the home fans as Swarbrick awards a free-kick for Kane's trip on Imbula. I'm not quite sure why they are feeling so hard done by. Meanwhile, Wollscheid's uncertain start continues with a clearance that is blocked in a dangerous area by Alli and another that sails straight out of play.

It's just not happening for Stoke so far.

Stoke win a corner of their own through Arnautovic, but Tottenham survive. Giannelli Imbula is then lucky not to give away a foul for a high foot on Kane and Alli looks to be in some discomfort after a heavy challenge from Shawcross.

The visitors come again but Alli's ambitious shot from a Kane lay-off is deflected over. The subsequent corner comes to nothing.

Just minutes after wasting a great opportunity to break the deadlock, Kane scores with an absolute belter. After exchanging passes with the surging Mousa Dembele, he cuts inside Wollscheid and Cameron before curling an unstoppable shot past Given and into the bottom corner. Fantastic.

"Leicester City, we're coming for you" is the chant from the visiting fans at the other end of the ground.

Harry Kane

Goal: Stoke 0-1 Tottenham (Harry Kane)

Ryan Shawcross is caught on his heels as Lamela slips a defence-splitting through ball ahead for Kane. You would back the England striker to score from there nine times out of ten, but a poor first touch costs him dearly and Given saves with his feet.

A lazy foul from Xherdan Shaqiri on Danny Rose leads to another well-placed Tottenham free-kick, but Stoke clear their lines effectively.

Stoke make early inroads down the left-hand flank, but Arnautovic's low cross lacks accuracy and is easily cut out by the imposing figure of Alderweireld. The Belgian, who signed from Atletico Madrid last summer after a spell on loan at Southampton, has been arguably English football's best centre-back this term.

An early chance for Tottenham to apply some pressure comes to nothing as a lofted free-kick from Erik Lamela is headed away by Philipp Wollscheid. The visitors' tireless pressing game is already noticeable during the opening few minutes.

The first half is off and running. Stoke are kicking from left to right donning their traditional red and white striped home shirts. Tottenham are in light blue.

The teams emerge from the tunnel and with the pre-match handshakes out of the way, we are ready to begin. After the PGMOL's controversial decision to remove Leicestershire native Kevin Friend from his officiating duties tonight, Neil Swarbrick is your referee.

Pochettino, meanwhile, has been full of praise for Hughes and his commendable work in erasing Stoke's unwanted reputation as uncultured cloggers:

I think he's one of the best British managers. I like the way Stoke play. They have very good players and it's a club that has changed its philosophy a lot in the last few years. It will be a very tough game. I think we've improved a lot since then.

It's true that was a disappointing game because we were 2-0 up and then 2-2. This is a different game in a different period and different circumstances. It's important for us to get the three points and that's not just because we play for a big objective, but because we also want to improve in our jobs every day.

[quotes via the official Tottenham Hotspur website]

An ominous statistic for the hosts?


Here is what Hughes has had to say ahead of tonight's clash against a Tottenham side that boast the highest number of away wins at Stoke:

Tottenham will feel that they need to win every game. They are running out of games now. Even if they win them all then their fate still isn't in their own hands. In terms of the game then they will have to come here and be positive and I think that will help us. We have struggled at times against teams who come here and sit back, but in the games against teams who come and back their ability against us, we tend to do well.

We have beaten Chelsea, Manchester City and United, so we are confident. If they aren't consistent in all aspects of their game then they could leave gaps for us. That said they are a top team and they have exceptional talent. They are having a great season and will feel that this is a real opportunity for them. We will be positive against them.

[quotes via the official Stoke City website]

As for Stoke, 39-year-old goalkeeper Shay Given makes his Premier League debut for the club after replacing young Jakob Haugaard in the aftermath of that Anfield humbling. Number one Jack Butland will be sidelined for the rest of the season and has been ruled out of Euro 2016 after fracturing his ankle during England's 3-2 friendly win in Germany last month.


Glenn Whelan's return from a back problem means that the versatile Geoff Cameron is shifted to right-back and Phil Bardsley drops to the bench. Marc Muniesa deputises for the suspended Erik Pieters despite suffering a knock in training last week, while Arnautovic replaces Peter Crouch and Slovakian defender Dionatan Teixeira is left out of the matchday squad.

Marc Wilson, Glen Johnson and Jonathan Walters all remain unavailable.

With very few injury worries, Tottenham stick with the same starting XI that initially struggled to break down Manchester United in north London last weekend before a blitz of three goals in just six second-half minutes from Dele Alli, Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela secured a comprehensive 3-0 victory.

There is one alteration to the bench, where Tom Carroll makes way for second-choice left-back Ben Davies. Back-up striker Clinton Njie is not quite ready to return just yet, despite completing a full week's training following four months out with a serious knee injury.

Nabil Bentaleb, who has been something of an afterthought under Pochettino this term, is still recovering from knee surgery.

Tottenham: Lloris (c), Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Dier, Dembele, Lamela, Eriksen, Alli, Kane

Subs: Vorm, Davies, Trippier, Wimmer, Mason, Chadli, Son

Stoke: Given, Cameron, Shawcross (c), Wollscheid, Muniesa, Whelan, Imbula, Shaqiri, Afellay, Arnautovic, Bojan

Subs: Haugaard, Bardsley, Adam, Ireland, Joselu, Diouf, Crouch

The team news is in...

Supremely fit and brilliantly drilled by a strict but approachable taskmaster in Pochettino, Spurs are a formidable opposition and boast comfortably the Premier League's best defence in addition to its joint-top scorer in prolific PFA Players' Player of the Year nominee Harry Kane.

While they have only lost one of their last 12 league games, those expecting them to simply roll over Stoke tonight may just be in for a rude awakening. Mark Hughes' ninth-place men are in the midst of a patchy run of form and were brushed aside 4-1 by Liverpool last time out despite a first-half effort from Bojan.

Mark Hughes

However, they remain in the hunt for a Europa League berth and tend to relish occasions such as these. Pochettino will be all too aware of the threat posed by the Potters, who were staring down the barrel of defeat at White Hart Lane in August but fought back to claim a point courtesy of two goals in the final 12 minutes from Marko Arnautovic and Mame Biram Diouf.

"Under Pressure", the 1982 number one hit single featuring Queen and the late, great David Bowie, would be an apt soundtrack to Tottenham's efforts tonight and indeed for the remaining weeks of this gloriously unpredictable top-flight campaign.

Mauricio Pochettino
Getty Images

This match is the first of three consecutive Monday outings for Spurs, who will play after Leicester every week until the final day visit of Southampton. That is far from an ideal scenario, although they may well take encouragement from Leicester's last-gasp draw against West Ham and the breaking news that Foxes talisman Jamie Vardy could be set to serve a two-game ban after being charged with improper conduct by the Football Association.

Good evening and welcome to IBTimes UK's live coverage of a pivotal evening at the summit of the Premier League.

Tonight's action is at the Britannia Stadium, where Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham look to capitalise on leaders Leicester's slight wobble yesterday and narrow the gap to just five points against Stoke City.

Kick-off is at 20.00 GMT, so stay with us for an injury update and breaking team news. We will also have confirmed lineups as they are released in addition to live updates throughout what is sure to be an absorbing 90 minutes.