Tottenham 1 Watford 0
Was this match the most dominant 1-0 win ever? It certainly felt like that. 65 % possession. 25 shots to 3. Heurelho Gomes deservedly won man of the match. Qique Sanchez Flores graciously admitting that Tottenham were just superb. By every indicator, tangible and intangible, Spurs were clearly the superior team. Not many teams have been described as such when coming up against Watford this season.
Spurs are now second in the league. In terms of momentum, they are now second only to Leicester. Mauricio Pochettino’s men are playing some sublime football in midfield and attack while simultaneously boasting the best defence in the league. So, can Spurs win the league?
It’s a tricky question. Spurs don’t exactly have a successful history when it comes to close races against other teams. In recent seasons, Spurs have had eight-point leads in the battle for fourth as late as March and still bottled it. Keeping that in mind, most Spurs fans would be hesitant to boast considering they are still level with the Gunners on points. There is also the nagging fear that if something happens to Harry Kane, then what? These are valid points in support of the naysayers.
On the flip side, there are plenty of reasons to dream in this crazy season. Nothing has happened to Harry Kane yet. There were fears of him being a one-season wonder which have proven to be emphatically unfounded. Then there is the phenom that is Dele Alli. The young Englishman is playing some phenomenal football, propelling Spurs forward with excellent passing and finishing some glorious goals. Most importantly however, is the consistency in defence. Never has a Tottenham defence looked so solid. Eric Dier has done a great job as defensive shield, while Toby Alderweireld has to come into the reckoning when discussing the signing of the season. There was trepidation at Jan Vertonghen’s injury, but Kevin Wimmer looked just as smooth and confident alongside Alderweireld. Then there is the leadership and stature of Hugo Lloris. It’s often said that the tightest defences usually win leagues and that is the best omen for Spurs.
The fixture list provides a stern test. Home games against Arsenal and Manchester United are still to come, while they are still to travel to Chelsea and Liverpool. First up however, are City at the Etihad next weekend. Like Leicester before them, Spurs have an opportunity to make a statement. Whether they do will go a long way in determining Tottenham’s title credentials.