Spurs hit Stoke for four
Tottenham Hotspur hammered Stoke City 4-0 away from home and at the same time closed the gap at the top of the Premier League table. Spurs are now only five points behind Leicester City and the Premier League title race is definitely back on! It took Tottenham only nine minutes to take the lead at Stoke. Harry Kane scored with a wonderful curling shot from outside the penalty area for his 23rd goal of the season. Christian Eriksen should have got the second when he was set free by a wonderful backheel from Dele Alli, but he could only hit the crossbar. In the second-half, it was all Tottenham and they would have scored again but for a really bad miss from Alli. The midfielder went round the goalkeeper and only needed to roll the ball into an empty net, but he hit the post. If the pressure was starting to get to Spurs, they didn't show it. A few minutes later, Spurs got their second and it was Alli who scored with a lovely chip over the keeper. Just four minutes later, Kane scored his second of the match and with a few minutes left, Alli also got his second with a powerful volley. Delight for Tottenham but misery for Stoke. It was their worst home result in over three years!
"Thankfully I scored two and we won. Hopefully my miss will be forgotten, but I'm sure it won't be. Eric Dier's already teased me about it ." Dele Alli, Tottenham Hotspur.
Who is Dele Alli?
Dele Alli might collect his first trophy of the season on the 24th of April, when the winners of the PFA Awards are announced. Alli has been nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year Award. The other nominees are Everton pair Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley, Stoke City's goalkeeper, Jack Butland, and Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder, Philippe Coutinho. Alli's main rival for the prize, however, is his club and international teammate, Harry Kane, who has also been nominated. Kane is trying to become only the third player, after Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, to win both the Young Player of the Year and the main award in the same season.
"He's the best young midfield player I've seen in England for many years, probably going as far back as Paul Gascoigne. The boy's got everything." Sir Alex Ferguson, ex-Manchester Utd manger.
Is Dele Alli the best young player in the Premier League?
Dele Alli was born in April 1996, in Milton Keynes, a large town in the south of England. His mum is English and his dad Nigerian, so he could have chosen to play for either national team, but after playing for England as a youth player he decided to play for them. This is the opposite of Arsenal's young forward, Alex Iwobi, who played for England as a youth player but has decided to play for Nigeria. Alli's first professional club was MK Dons, based in his hometown. He played 88 times for the Dons, before moving to Spurs in the summer of 2015 for £5 million. He has said that his target at the start of the season was to play ten matches for the first-team, but he has exceeded all expectations. He has scored ten goals and played over 30 times in the Premier League this season and become one of the team's most important players. He also made his England debut in October, scored his first goal for England in November (against teammate Hugo Lloris in a 2-0 win against France), and was named man of the match in England's 3-2 win in Germany, in March. Not only has Alli made a name for himself in the Premier League this season, but he is also hoping to make a name for himself on the international stage at this summer's European Championships in France.
"It would be fantastic, I think Dele Alli deserves it. Winning the award would be a big achievement for him and the club." Spurs manager, Mauricio Pochettino.
Can Spurs catch the Foxes?
Spurs are now five points behind Leicester City, with four matches left to play. After their fantastic performance against Stoke, the momentum is with Spurs and Leicester might start to feel the pressure as they have never been in this position in the club's history. Leicester's top scorer, Jamie Vardy, will be suspended for possibly the next two matches after his red card against West Ham and might struggle to score goals, but with 10 men they managed to get a 95th minute equaliser, which shows their determination to win the title. Each team has two matches at home and two matches away from home. The home matches look easy on paper, but nothing is easy at this stage of the season, while the away matches look a little more difficult. Both teams have to play Chelsea while the Foxes have to go to Old trafford and Spurs have to play Newcastle on the final day, who might need to win to avoid relegation. Have a look at the table below, which shows how we think the season will finish. Let us know in the comments section if you agree or not?
|Round 35||Round 36||Round 37||Round 38||Final Points|
|Swansea (W)||Manchester Utd (L)||Everton (W)||Chelsea (D)||79 (Champions)|
|WBA (W)||Chelsea (D)||Southampton (W)||Newcastle Utd (W)||77|
Did you know......?
- Eight of Dele Alli's 10 Premier League goals have come away from home.
- His first name is actually Bamidele and he uses Dele for short.
- Alli was a Liverpool fan growing up, and Steven Gerrard was his childhood hero.
- Tottenham have lost just one of their past 16 Premier League away matches.
- Harry Kane has 45 Premier League goals since the start of last season, only Sergio Aguero (47) has more.
What do you think?
- Will Alli win the PFA Young Player of the Year Award?
- Is Alli the best young player in the Premier League? If not, who is?
- There are just four Premier League matches left. We predict that Spurs will finish on 77 points and Leicester on 79. What do you think?
|Swansea City (W)||Manchester Utd (L)||Everton (W)||Chelsea (D)||79 (Champions)|
|West Brom (W)||Chelsea (D)||Southampton (W)||Newcastle Utd (W)||77