Llorente’s late winner against Watford breathes life into Tottenham title hopes

first_img WAT30TOT70% Liverpool miss chance to pull clear as Harry Maguire grabs point for Leicester 6 9 14 Spurs Off target 8 Watford 3 Spurs On target 1 Watford 9 Deeney 2 Trippier WAT TOT 30 70 Substitutes 23 Eriksen Fouls Goal attempts Share on Messenger 24 Aurier 27 Lucas Moura 4 Alderweireld 29 Capoue 16 Walker-Peters 26 Foster 6 Sanchez Share via Email Share on Twitter (s 79′) 8 Cleverley 10 Success 15 Dier 9 5 1 Lloris 15 Cathcart 3 Britos 37 Pereyra Watford 7 Deulofeu Lineups 52 Skipp 22 Gazzaniga Share on Facebook Danny Rose swung a cross from the left deep into Watford’s area and the ball hung in the air long enough for Llorente to rise above José Holebas and send a perfectly placed header into the far corner of the net for his first league goal in over 12 months. Perfect timing and, you could say in light of recent comments by Mauricio Pochettino, a perfect boost for Llorente’s ego.“Fernando works so hard for the team and today he helped the team win three points,” said the Tottenham manager. “It is a massive thing and will help build his confidence.”That will be the hope for all concerned at Spurs before Newcastle’s visit here on Saturday, when another victory for Pochettino’s men would see them overtake Manchester City in second and find themselves just four points behind Liverpool. Not bad for a side whose sense of purpose had yet again come into question following Sunday’s FA Cup defeat at Crystal Palace.“There are still a lot of games to play,” said Pochettino when asked about the significance of this result. “But this is a fantastic way to finish a little bit of the negativity that has been around in the last few days.”The biggest encouragement Pochettino can take from this contest is the spirit his players showed. Tottenham were not at their best, during the first-half especially, when their forward play was stodgy and predictable. But the second period proved very different as they performed with greater determination and aggression.Much of that came from Son, who put in a remarkable display given he only returned from the United Arab Emirates on Saturday. The South Korean performed with his usual energy and direct running and drove Spurs on as they searched for an equaliser following Craig Cathcart’s goal for Watford on 38 minutes, the defender sending a header into an empty net, via a deflection off Davinson Sánchez, after Hugo Lloris hesitated in his attempt to keep out Holebas’s corner.It was fitting Son should be the one who got Tottenham back into this game, thumping a close-range drive past Ben Foster on 80 minutes, as those in white and blue well and truly cranked up the pressure. “It was a great goal,” said Pochettino. “He [Son] showed massive commitment for the team.”That was the case from others in the home ranks, Llorente included, and, as such, it would have been a shame if his most memorable contribution of the game had been the moment he caught the rebound to his own shot with a knee and sent the ball over a practically open net.It was a howler yet it was Watford who were ultimately left feeling sick. As Javi Gracia said, his side “missed a very good chance to get points against a very good team” and while the visitors were second best in terms of possession and territory, they arguably deserved a draw given the togetherness they showed throughout. Instead they remain ninth having lost for the first time in 2019.center_img Share on WhatsApp Corners 25 Holebas 2 Janmaat 6 Mariappa Spurs 24 Wilmot Substitutes 11 Lamela Share on LinkedIn 8 Winks 20 Quina 17 Sissoko 3 Rose 1 Gomes Match stats Premier League 7 Son (s 69′) (s 66′) 11 Masina 18 Llorente Read more Topics Share on Pinterest Tottenham Hotspur 19 Hughes 12 Sema (s 46′) For Tottenham this was a night of a returning hero and, potentially, a new one. Time was running out, and the home side appeared to be heading for another defeat on the backs of those which had seen them depart two cup competitions in quick succession, when the goals they required for a turnaround arrived. The first was scored by Son Heung-min on his first appearance for Spurs since arriving back from the Asian Cup and then came the winner from someone who has been at the club all the while and finally may feel he belongs.The mix of relief and joy on Fernando Llorente’s face as he celebrated his goal with three minutes of this contest remaining was as eye-catching as it was understandable. The Spaniard has found it hard going ever since he joined Tottenham from Swansea two summers ago and especially in recent weeks as he has been asked to fill in for the injured Harry Kane. Quite simply, he is not in the England captain’s class, and that has been noticeable, painfully so at times, as was the case here on 52 minutes when he missed an absolute sitter. Cue howls of fury from the majority of the 29,164 people in attendance – Tottenham’s lowest ever crowd for a Premier League fixture at Wembley – yet they were in raptures when the player finally came good. match reports Watford (s 61′) 5 Vertonghen Possession Reuse this contentlast_img

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