Spurs hit quickfire treble to beat Man United at White Hart Lane for the first time in 15 years
Tottenham recorded their first home win over Manchester United for 15 years in emphatic style, striking three times in six second-half minutes to secure a 3-0 victory.
Dele Alli broke the deadlock 20 minutes from time, and Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela then found the net shortly afterwards to ensure a memorable triumph at White Hart Lane.
It kept second-placed Spurs in the Premier League title race, although they still trail Leicester City by seven points after the leaders won 2-0 at Sunderland earlier in the day.
But, just as importantly, Mauricio Pochettino’s Lilywhites have taken a big step towards securing a top-four finish and Champions League qualification after moving 12 points clear of fifth-placed United, who have a game in hand but are surely now too far behind to catch Tottenham.
There were two changes to the Spurs side that had drawn 1-1 at Anfield in their previous outing. The returning Jan Vertonghen was immediately brought back into the line-up after missing two and a half months with a knee injury – replacing the unfortunate Kevin Wimmer – and Lamela was preferred to Heung-Min Son, having been absent for the trip to Liverpool.
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Kick-off was delayed was half an hour as the visitors’ team bus got stuck in traffic, and United therefore had to do a shortened version of their usual warm-up – yet they made the brighter start.
Vertonghen was quickly forced into action, making a challenge to stop the onrushing Anthony Martial on the edge of his box, and Timothy Fosu-Mensah then attacked down the right side and saw a low shot deflected wide for a corner.
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But Tottenham began to respond after the 15-minute mark and the busy Lamela delivered a low cross for Harry Kane, who was denied by David De Gea at close range and was flagged offside anyway.
Christian Eriksen whipped a 25-yard effort wide of goal, and the Dane then chipped in a delightful cross for Lamela, who arrived six yards out but somehow directed his header wide of goal.
It was a bad miss but the pressure on United was growing and Kyle Walker rampaged up the right flank and cut inside Marcos Rojo to get through on goal, only to be denied by a last-ditch challenge.
Spurs picked up where they had left off after the break, with De Gea having to stop shots from Eriksen and Eric Dier in quick succession, while Kane also tested the goalkeeper with a 20-yard snapshot.
Louis van Gaal’s side began to build some momentum of their own around the hour-mark, though. Jesse Lingard shot wide before Martial embarked on a mazy run, darting inside between Walker and Dier and getting into the centre of the box but then shooting too close to Lloris.
Yet the game swayed Tottenham’s way again as Danny Rose’s deflected cross was saved by Dea Gea, while Walker got in behind on the far side but was unable to capitalise with a lofted cross.
The opening goal swiftly arrived and was followed by two more as Spurs struck three times between the 70th and 76th minutes.
First, Eriksen put in a low cross for Alli, who arrived to finish past De Gea – and four minutes later Lamela swung in a free kick for Alderweireld, who leapt to head home. The Spurs fans were in dreamland, and it got even better moments later as Rose attacked down the left side once again and cut the ball across to Lamela, who swept it into the net.
The home side nearly extended their lead further before the end. Kane saw a header tipped over by De Gea and Lamela drove a low cross in front of the goalmouth, with Walker sliding in at the back post but hitting the woodwork at close range.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Dier, Dembele, Lamela (Chadli 87), Alli (Mason 90), Eriksen, Kane (Son 89)
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs