It was a day full of goals in the Premier League on Saturday, but this one was unable to live up to the days previous games at Spurs beat Boro by the single goal at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham were able to keep their nerve in the days late kick off to collect there very important points. In the context of the early results particularly with Liverpool and Arsenal suffering defeats. Spurs were also able to retain their impeccable home record, where they remain the only team left in the league to remain unbeaten at home (W10, D2).
One way traffic
In reality the score does not reflect the pattern of play, as Spurs were excellent and only a mixture of the poor final ball or a string of important saves from Victor Valdes kept the score respectable.
Middlesbrough did threaten early on however with a lively Adama Traore standing up a cross to the back post, only for Negredo to nod over from 7 yards. It was a day where you felt Middlesbrough had to take one of these chances to get anything at the lane.
Son forced a wonderful save from Valdes down to his left after 7 minutes and various cross balls from the likes of Eriksen and Alli only needed the faintest touch to divert them goalbound, but often Kane was just short of delivering the final touch. Eriksen did manage to beat the first man from a corner on 24 mins and Toby alderweireld’s flick clipped the outside of Valdes’ right hand post.
The first half was concluded with a fabulous move from Spurs. A low ball from Son finding the toe of Harry Kane and over Valdes only to be ruled out correctly for offside.
The second half followed much of the same pattern, consisting of last ditch defending from Middlesbrough and constant pressure from Spurs.
On 57 minutes the deadlock was finally broken. Son was involved again, dancing into the box until he was clearly clipped by Bernardo. It was very similar to the penalty that he won against West Ham where Nordtveit was too slow and sent Son tumbling. From the spot there was never any doubt. Harry Kane put the balled down and coolly hit the net to score his 14th goal of the season.
Son continued his good performance by dancing into the box before firing a shot against the post yet again on 61 minutes. After the goal the onslaught continued and a combination of Valdes and poor counter attack finishing kept Middlesbrough in the game.
Heading into the last 10 mins, Karanka threw on Bamford to give Spurs a bit more to think about at the back and it became obvious that long balls were going to be flying into the box. The Spurs defence were mostly up to the task with nothing really coming of them.
Last Gasp chance
However in the last minute Negredo managed to flick the ball on into the path of Martin de Roon who fired towards goal. The whole ground took a big sigh of relief when it was the side netting that was rustling, with Lloris seemingly stranded.
Overall, this is a massive 3 points for Spurs, who pull three clear of Arsenal and four clear of Liverpool and Man City. The next game for Spurs is at Anfield, which gives them the chance to bury Liverpool with a possible 7 point advantage should they claim maximum points.
Whilst nothing is won or lost at this stage of the season, these are exactly the sort of games they need to be winning and find a way to get over the line in order to set up the last 10 games of the season in order to be in the race for either top 4 or maybe even the title should Chelsea slip up.