Spurs, City keep title hopes alive
Tottenham Hotspur kept their pursuit of the Premier League title going with a 3-2 win at home to Everton on Sunday as Manchester City beat bottom-of-the-table Sunderland 2-0.
Victory saw second-placed Spurs move to within seven points of leaders Chelsea, who will again be 10 points in front if they win at West Ham in a London derby on Monday.
England striker Harry Kane’s double meant Spurs were in control for the majority of the contest at White Hart Lane until Romelu Lukaku’s goal for Everton with 10 minutes left set up a frantic finale.
Dele Alli restored Spurs’ two-goal cushion in stoppage time only for Everton substitute Enner Valencia to add what proved a consolation goal seconds later.
“We did so well to win the game and get 2-0 up,” Kane, who has now scored 24 goals in 28 appearances this season, told Sky Sports.
“We should have been three or four up and (2-0) is always a dodgy scoreline.”
North London club Tottenham have not been crowned champions of England since their celebrated ‘Double’ season of 1960/61, when they also lifted the FA Cup.
But manager Mauricio Pochettino insisted the title was still in their sights.
“The most important thing is to show the belief on the pitch and today I think we showed that,” Pochettino said.
Everton’s first defeat in 10 league games saw them stay seventh and remain tantalisingly close to European qualification, although they are still five points adrift of sixth-placed Manchester United.
“I think overall Spurs were the better team,” said Everton manager Ronald Koeman.
“They created more chances than we did. They had more chances to score from good football and from the creativity in the Tottenham team but we know if we make the mistakes we did for the second and the third goals, you don’t get a point out of the game.”
At the Stadium of Light, well-taken goals either side of halftime from Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane saw City to a comfortable win over Sunderland.
The home side had done well to keep the game scoreless for most of the first half until, three minutes before the break, Aguero scored at the near post following a deflected cross from Raheem Sterling.
Sane then showed his impressive pace in the 59th minute, racing clear of defender Billy Jones, before his angled shot beat Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and went in off the post.
“We are so happy,” City manager Pep Guardiola told the BBC. “We played good. We expected aggression and intensity. It was a very good first goal. It was important to go into halftime 1-0 up
“Leroy Sane is every day getting better. He has gaps to improve but he’s only 21. He’s an intelligent guy and a very nice guy. We are here to help him become what he can be.”
For northeast side Sunderland, six points adrift of safety, it was an all too familiar story of simply being outclassed.
Sunderland manager David Moyes insisted his team could not be faulted for effort, saying: “They gave everything. I don’t think you can fault the players for any of that. We lacked quality at times though.
“I hope our players understand the position that we’re in, but we’re not panicking.”