Stoke 0-4 Tottenham: Spurs hit four to narrow gap on Leicester
By Patrick Surlis
Last Updated: 19/04/16 9:16am
Harry Kane and Dele Alli struck twice each as Tottenham beat Stoke 4-0 at the Britannia Stadium on Monday to move within five points of Premier League leaders Leicester.
Kane gave Spurs the perfect start in the ninth minute, linking up with Mousa Dembele before finding the bottom corner.
The visitors had to wait until the 67th minute to double their advantage as Alli chipped home, but Kane quickly added a third as Tottenham turned on the style.
And Alli put the icing on the cake with a measured volley eight minutes from time to put the pressure back on Leicester after they dropped points against West Ham on Super Sunday.
The win moves Mauricio Pochettino's side onto 68 points, five behind the league leaders with four games to play.
Shay Given replaced Jakob Haugaard for his first Premier League start of the season, but the Stoke 'keeper was picking the ball out of his net after just nine minutes.
Kane had already squandered an easier chance when he curled home to put Spurs in front, playing a give-and-go with Dembele before finishing from just inside the box.
Two minutes before, the England forward's first touch had let him down in the penalty area, allowing Given to save his shovelled shot after Erik Lamela's through ball.
But Kane's 23rd league goal of the season was reward for Tottenham's strong start, and they largely controlled the first half.
Marko Arnautovic forced Hugo Lloris into a routine stop with Stoke's only shot on target in the opening 45 minutes, but the home side could have gone in further behind.
Lamela and Alli combined to free Christian Eriksen three minutes before the break, but the Dane rattled the crossbar with Given to beat.
The interval did little to halt Tottenham's momentum, and with Kyle Walker getting plenty of joy down the right, the chances continued to fall to the away side.
Given denied Lamela while Alli blazed over, but the England midfielder soon found the net. He latched onto Eriksen's through ball and chipped over the onrushing Stoke 'keeper to put Spurs in control.
He was left red-faced moments later after he hit the post with the goal gaping, but the miss didn't cost Tottenham as Kane quickly made it three.
Lamela broke behind a tired Stoke defence and squared for the striker to add his 24th league goal of the season, putting him two clear of Jamie Vardy in the race for the Golden Boot.
The hosts found it difficult to live with Tottenham's pace in attack, and despite the introduction of Joselu for an injured Xherdan Shaqiri at half-time, they tested Lloris just once more in the second half.
And Alli added his second, and Tottenham's fourth, with a fine volley from Eriksen's cross to add an exclamation point to already impressive performance.
Leicester will have the opportunity to restore their eight-point lead when they face Swansea next Sunday, before Spurs are in action again on Monday Night Football at home to West Brom.
Meanwhile, Stoke remain ninth on 47 points, with a trip to Man City on Saturday next.
Stoke: Given (5), Cameron (6), Shawcross (6), Wollscheid (6), Muniesa (5), Imbula (6), Whelan (5), Afellay (5), Shaqiri (5), Arnautovic (6), Bojan (5)
Subs used: Joselu (5), Adam (4)
Tottenham: Lloris (6), Walker (8), Alderweireld (7), Vertonghen (7), Rose (7), Dier (7), Dembele (7), Lamela (8), Eriksen (8), Alli (9), Kane (9)
Subs used: Son (6), Chadli (6), Mason (6)
Man of the match: Harry Kane