Tottenham 1-0 Middlesbrough: Harry Kane penalty keeps Spurs nine points off top
By Gerard Brand
Last Updated: 04/02/17 10:10pm
Harry Kane's second-half penalty gave Tottenham a narrow 1-0 win over Middlesbrough at White Hart Lane on Saturday.
During a goalless first half, Toby Alderweireld hit the post with a near-post header, while Harry Kane headed over from a good position eight yards out.
Kane then put Spurs ahead in the 58th minute from the penalty spot after Heung-Min Son was brought down by Bernardo Espinosa, handing the striker his 16th goal of the season.
The result means Tottenham remain nine points behind leaders Chelsea in the Premier League title race, while Boro are 15th, just a point above the drop zone.
Spurs reintroduced goalkeeper Hugo Lloris for the clash, while Ben Davies replaced the injured Danny Rose at left-back.
The first chance of the game fell to Boro and Alvaro Negredo, who headed just over Lloris' bar from Adama Traore's superb right-wing cross.
Moments later, Victor Valdes palmed away Son's left-footed effort from just inside the box, while Dele Alli poked the ball into the side-netting from close range after a fine through ball by Christian Eriksen.
Spurs hit the post through Alderweireld halfway through the first half, striking the woodwork with a near-post header from Eriksen's corner, before Kane hooked a header just over the bar from Son's cross when he should have been hitting the target.
After the break, Eriksen forced Valdes to beat away a snap-shot from the edge the box, but moments later Spurs got the goal their possession warranted.
Turning inside the area, Son forced Bernardo into a foul, allowing Kane to step up from the penalty spot and find the bottom right corner.
Eriksen then forced Valdes into another fine save just after the opener, but Boro stood firm for the remainder of the second half, rarely threatening Lloris' goal.
Negredo did see an acrobatic effort fly a yard wide, before Marten de Roon missed Boro's best chance of the game in stoppage time, pulling his effort wide on the volley after Negredo's neat flick on.
Tottenham: Lloris (6), Walker (6), Alderweireld (8), Dier (7), Davies (6), Dembele (7), Wanyama (7), Dele (7), Eriksen (7), Son (7), Kane (7)
Subs: Sissoko (6)
Middlesbrough: Valdes (7), Chambers (7), Bernardo (5), Gibson (7), Fabio (6), Clayton (6), De Roon (6), Forshaw (6), Traore (7), Downing (6), Negredo (6)
Subs: Guedioura (6), Stuani (6), Bamford (6)
Man of the match: Toby Alderweireld