Tottenham vs. Watford: Winners and Losers from Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur moved up to second place in the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Watford in Saturday.
The hosts dominated possession throughout the match and created all the best chances, but they had to wait until the 64th minute for the breakthrough as substitute Dele Alli's inch-perfect cross set up Kieran Trippier for a tap-in.
With the win, Tottenham overtook Manchester City in second place and are five points behind leaders Leicester City.
Here Bleacher Report selects winners and losers from the match.
Winner: Kieran Trippier
Kieran Trippier turned in an excellent performance for Tottenham at right-back and picked an excellent time to score his first goal for the club. In the 64th minute, his persistence paid off as he continued a run down the right and tapped in at the far post following Dele Alli's outstanding cross.
Throughout his time on the pitch, Trippier showed a great ability to get forward into the attack, consistently posing a threat down the right flank. With loads of energy, he was a joy to watch for the home fans.
In addition to his attacking contribution, the 25-year-old made four successful tackles and recovered the ball six times, per FourFourTwo Stats Zone. All in all, it was a great day at the office for Trippier.
Loser: Roger East
Referee Roger East missed at least one penalty decision that should have gone Tottenham's way, though the supporters at White Hart Lane might argue he botched three calls.
In the eighth minute, Harry Kane glided past Nathan Ake as he controlled a pass from Toby Alderweireld on the right. Ake pulled Kane back, but the striker kept his feet. Had he gone down, he surely would have won a penalty, so why was it not a foul anyway?
Another close call came in the 51st minute, when Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes lunged for a ball and made contact with Kane inside the box. East's view might have been obscured—otherwise he surely couldn't have missed such an obvious penalty call.
Four minutes later, Kane went down again as substitute Sebastian Prodl bundled into him. Again Tottenham could have had a penalty, but again East was unmoved.
In the end, the missed decisions didn't matter. But if Watford had found a late equalizer, Spurs would have had every right to feel harshly treated.
Winner: Dele Alli
Until Dele Alli entered the match as a substitute in the 61st minute, Tottenham's dominant showing had lacked a certain something in the final third. Alli provided that missing ingredient rather quickly, setting up the game's only goal within four minutes of coming on.
As a Tottenham attack flowed down the right, Alli accepted a pass and curled a brilliant cross with the outside of his foot to Trippier. All Trippier had to do was tap in from close range.
With each passing game, Alli's star continues to rise. At just 19 years old, his potential is vast.
Winner: Mauricio Pochettino
Saturday's victory took Spurs up to second place ahead of Manchester City, who lost 3-1 at home to Leciester City. Although Leicester are undeniably the feel-good story of the Premier League season, Tottenham are potentially writing a fairy tale of their own.
More than five decades have passed since Spurs last won the title, 1960-61, but this team has as good a shot as any at ending that barren run. For that, Mauricio Pochettino deserves massive credit.
The 43-year-old Argentinian has built a strong squad that might lack the star power of a team like Manchester City, but it's obviously much more than the sum of its parts.
As it stands, Spurs are five points off top spot with 13 matches to go. Why can't they win the title?
Loser: Mario Suarez
Watford picked up Mario Suarez at the end of the winter transfer window, signing a player with bags of experience in Europe's top leagues. It seems inevitable a player of Suarez's quality will be a success in England, but on Saturday, he was off the pace.
Making his first start since joining Watford from Fiorentina, Suarez struggled with the speed of the match and was substituted at halftime. As he found out at White Hart Lane, it could take some time to adjust to life in the Premier League.
Winner: Heurelho Gomes
Heurelho Gomes wasn't able to beat his former team on Saturday, but the Brazilian goalkeeper produced a top performance for Watford. He finished with eight saves, per ESPN FC, and he kept his side in the game with good stops in each half.
During his time at Spurs, Gomes was always good at shot-stopping, and that skill was on show on Saturday. Even after the hosts took the lead, he made good saves in the 75th, 81st and 86th minutes to deny Heung-Min Son, Christian Eriksen and Ben Davies respectively.
Poor decision-making was Gomes' problem at White Hart Lane, but he avoided any such calamities on Saturday in what was an excellent showing.
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