Heung-min Son at the double as Spurs enjoy comfortable 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town
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Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur 2 Huddersfield Town 0
A brace from Heung-min Son secured Tottenham Hotspur another three points in the Premier League with a 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town at Wembley this afternoon.
Mauricio Pochettino’s team could have won by more, but once more they produced an excellent display to extend their unbeaten run to 17 matches in all competitions.
The result temporarily moves Spurs up to third in the table and crucially gives them a five point cushion over fifth-placed Chelsea, who face Manchester City on Sunday.
Jan Vertonghen was able to start after recovering from the ankle issue which sidelined him for two weeks.
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He was one of two changes made by Pochettino from the team which claimed a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace last Sunday.
Victor Wanyama and Erik Lamela dropped to the bench so Vertonghen slotted in at the back, allowing Eric Dier to move into the centre of midfield and Son, fresh from his two goals against Rochdale, returned to the starting XI in the league.
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Alex Pritchard was included in the Terriers team and in the process faced his old club for the first time in his career.
The 24-year-old departed Spurs in 2016, ending his seven-year association with the Lilywhites after progressing through the academy, and despite struggling with injuries at Norwich City, he has flourished since moving to Huddersfield in January.
Pritchard has played an integral part in David Wagner’s side regaining some form in February and would have been relishing the prospect of facing some of his old team-mates, like Harry Kane, under the Wembley arch this afternoon.
Despite the cold weather and travelling conditions not the best, Wembley looked very full which was an impressive feat from both sets of supporters.
Huddersfield got play underway and immediately attacked and Serge Aurier had to make a crucial interception inside the opening minute.
Spurs responded and won a corner in the third minute, but it came to nothing and the game showed no signs of settling down.
Tottenham threatened once more through Son, as he got away from three opponents before finding Aurier on the right, but his cross was cleared.
A minute later, with five on the clock, and Christian Eriksen found Kane and his cross just evaded Dele Alli at the back post, who punched the net in frustration.
With seven played the same duo were involved again as the England midfield drifted away from a Huddersfield rival on the left, but his through ball to Kane was just in front of the striker.
Given the frantic start to the match, it was somewhat a surprise it remained goalless with 10 played at Wembley.
While all this was going on, the stadium announcer made several requests over the tannoy asking for any qualified referees in the crowd after Mike Jones pulled a calf in the warm-up and had to be replaced by fourth official Kevin Friend.
In the 13th minute a contingency plan was reached for who would act as the fourth official and it was Jones, as a chair was put down on the touchline for him and he had to limp to it and sit down with the electronic board.
There was still plenty of drama on the pitch as Kane went close in the 17th minute as Son got away from Florent Hadergjonaj and crossed into the area, but Jonas Lossl saved the close range effort from the Spurs forward.
Spurs almost took the lead again two minutes later when Eriksen’s 25-yard free kick hit the Huddersfield wall and curled towards goal, but hit the post and went wide.
Predictably, the game entered a lull period after that opportunity and Tottenham didn’t create another chance until the 26th minute when Eriksen flicked the ball past Jonathan Hogg, yet could only fire straight at Lossl.
It was a decent chance wasted and it didn’t take Spurs long to produce another and this time they took it.
Eriksen won the ball back from a Huddersfield throw, Dier found Kane and he chest down for Alli, who played Son through on goal with a perfectly weighted through ball and the 25-year-old rounded Lossl and fired in via the post with 27 on the clock.
After going nine games without a goal during January and February, the former Bayer Leverkusen attacker has netted three times in his last two games now.
The visitors produced a rare attack just past the half an hour mark when Rajiv van la Parra was picked out on the left, but his low shot was easily saved by Hugo Lloris.
Huddersfield made a change with 33 on the clock as Colin Quaner was replaced by Tom Ince after picking up an injury.
The onslaught continued though with Alli finding Kane in space inside the area, but his effort was straight at Lossl from 12-yards in the 38th minute.
Spurs continued to press for a second and two Dier crosses caused the Terriers problems on the stroke of half time, but they managed to survive.
Wagner was forced into another change just before the break as Pritchard had to come off with an injury, leaving to warm applause before Philip Billing replaced him.
Two minutes of stoppage time was added on at the end of the 45, but it went by without anything to note and ensured Tottenham held a one-goal lead at the interval.
Pochettino’s men had absolutely dominated the first half, enjoying 75 per cent of the possession, but the fact they were only 1-0 up meant there was still work to do.
The message from a Spurs point of view after the break was clear and Dier created a chance for Kane with a good cross from the right, but his effort was deflected wide by a Huddersfield player.
It wasn’t a sign of things to come though, with the Terriers enjoying a good spell of possession and forcing a corner moments later.
Aurier then had a spot of bother with Steve Mounie before Spurs should have made it 2-0 in the 51st minute.
Ben Davies’ shot was controlled by Son inside the area, he worked a yard of space, but Terence Kongolo, on the ground, appeared to handle the ball before the rest of the visitors defence crowded him out.
Tottenham were almost made to pay for that missed chance when Ince was played in on goal in the 53rd minute, but Lloris parried his 20-yard effort and it remained 1-0.
Less than 60 seconds later and the second goal of the game arrived and it went to the home side.
Alli forced a misplaced pass on the right and Kane latched onto the loose ball, brought it forward before producing a wonderful cross to Son and the unmarked Spurs number seven headed past Lossl for his second of the day.
The hosts thought they had made it 3-0 with 58 on the clock when Eriksen’s free kick was headed home by Vertonghen, but Huddersfield had perfected the offside trap and it was correctly ruled out.
Wagner’s team, to their credit, continued to try and find a way back into the contest and Davies was required to make a timely sliding challenge in the 67th minute to stop Danny Williams latching onto van La Parra’s through ball.
Pochettino, perhaps with an eye on Wednesday’s Champions League tie with Juventus, made two changes soon after as Son and Dembele made way with Lamela and Moussa Sissoko replacing them.
Spurs nearly made it three with 11 minutes left, but Kane fired wide after Eriksen had picked him out perfectly from a corner.
Alli was the next man to come off and he also left to a standing ovation with Lucas Moura given another cameo off the bench.
Kane and Lamela both tested Lossl in the final exchanges as the Lilywhites went in search of a third, but it wasn’t forthcoming and they had to settle for a 2-0 success.
The victory moves Spurs up to third and gives them another boost ahead of hosting Juventus in the last-16 of the Champions League on Wednesday and provided the perfect late present for boss Pochettino, who celebrated his 46th birthday on Friday.
Meanwhile Tottenham, just like last season, are approaching the business end of the season bang in form.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies; Dier, Dembele (Sissoko 76); Eriksen, Alli (Moura 82), Son (Lamela 70); Kane.
Unused substitutes: Vorm, Trippier, Rose, Wanyama.
Huddersfield Town: Lossl; Kongolo, Schindler, Zanka, Hadergjonaj; Williams, Hogg (Depoitre 83), van La Parra, Quaner (Ince 33), Pritchard (Billing 45); Mounie.
Unused substitutes: Green, Smith, Malone, Lowe.