Dele, Kane score as Spurs beat Watford

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  • Dele, Kane score
  • Spurs eye third place
  • Watford stays 13th

Tottenham Hotspur earned some breathing room in the Top Four race with a 2-0 win over Watford at Wembley Stadium on Monday.

Dele Alli and Harry Kane scored for Spurs, who are a point back of second place Liverpool and have a match-in-hand on the Reds. Chelsea is five back of Tottenham and four behind Liverpool.

Watford is now winless in its last seven Premier League matches, and sits six points clear of 18th place Southampton.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

An unremarkable quarter hour gave way to Dele’s fitting opener, as Watford goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis fumbled a catch to Christian Eriksen. The Dane passed to Dele, who calmly slotted low into the goal.

Watford came close to leveling the score when ex-Spurs man Etienne Capoue slid Andre Gray on goal, but the English striker’s less-than-perfect low effort was saved by Hugo Lloris.

The Frenchman made a save on a breaking Richarlison in the 44th minute, and then rushed out of his  box to slide the ball away from Abdoulaye Doucoure.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

While the Hornets made it to the break down one, the deficit expanded less than three minutes into the second half.

Heung-Min Son‘s pass was behind a slipping Harry Kane, but the English striker righted himself to pot Kieran Trippier‘s square ball back into the mixer.

Kane would later have a goal disallowed, while Moussa Sissoko skied a 90th minute effort over the bar from inside the 18.

Lloris made a fine stop deep in stoppage time to preserve the clean sheet.

Pochettino: Spurs draw not about squad rotation

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Tuesday was an opportunity lost for Tottenham Hotspur, which gave away its game-in-hand on third-place Liverpool and failed to keep pace in the race for second place with Manchester United.

Full credit to Brighton and Hove Albion, who fully deserved a point against the visiting North Londoners, but Harry Kane‘s goal was the only marker Spurs could manage against a Gulls side which hasn’t kept a clean sheet since a nil-nil with Newcastle on Dec. 30.

[ RECAP: Brighton 1-1 Spurs ]

The questions for boss Mauricio Pochettino centered around his squad rotation, with Lucas Moura, Moussa Sissoko, and Toby Alderweireld among those handed starts.

“In the second half we dominated, created chances but not enough to win the game. The draw is a little bit disappointing because the intention was to get all three.

“We were thinking of giving the team fresh legs because Saturday’s game against Manchester City was tough mentally and physically. We have a squad good enough to win games. Today was not because we rotated the team. Everyone is ready to play but Brighton was a very difficult opponent and we need to give credit to them.”

Chris Hughton‘s Gulls are a bonafide club who deserves to stay in the Premier League, but Spurs inability to find a second goal Tuesday is quite the surprise. Spurs now get Manchester United at Wembley for Saturday’s FA Cup semifinal.

Rochdale 2-2 Tottenham: Davies stuns Spurs late

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A valiant effort from a League One side has rewarded the minnows with a replay set to be played at Wembley Stadium.

Tottenham Hotspur looked on its way towards the FA Cup sixth round on Sunday, but a late finish by Steven Davies gave Rochdale a 2-2 draw with the Premier League club at the Spotland Stadium.

[ MORE: Willian stars as Chelsea routs Hull in FA Cup ]

Harry Kane — who scored his 34th goal on the season in all competitions — converted from the penalty spot in the 88th minute, however, Davies had the final say deep into stoppage time to send the two sides towards a replay.

Ian Henderson’s finish in the 45th minute gave Rochdale a gift at the conclusion of the first stanza, after the hosts capitalized on a Spurs giveaway near midfield.

Meanwhile, Tottenham managed to level the match at 1-1 on the hour mark when Lucas Moura calmly slotted his close-range shot past goalkeeper Josh Lillis after a timely through ball from Moussa Sissoko picked out the former PSG man.

The visitors began pressing on in the second half, with Mauricio Pochettino‘s side having trailed at the halftime break.

The two sides will now meet on either Feb. 27 or 28 in the reverse fixture to decide which team advances. The winner will either meet Sheffield Wednesday or Swansea City in the quarterfinals.

Spurs cruise in replay vs. Newport, reach FA Cup 5th round

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It should have never come to Wednesday’s FA Cup replay, but Tottenham Hotspur have, at long last, defeated League Two side Newport County in the fourth round of the FA Cup, 2-0 at Wembley Stadium.

[ MORE: Forecasting the Premier League’s top-four race ]

Tottenham failed to control proceedings last time out and had to come back from a goal down just to secure a 1-1 draw and the subsequent replay.

With the north London derby coming up on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com), Mauricio Pochettino opted to leave the likes of Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Davinson Sanchez (all four on the bench), Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen and Eric Dier out of Wednesday’s starting 11.

[ MORE: PFA urges Mahrez, Leicester to resolve standoff “ASAP” ]

The gamble paid off for Pochettino — to the tune of 24 shots to 3, and 6-1 on target — thanks in part to a 26th-minute own goal which was forced, somewhat, by Moussa Sissoko.

Spurs doubled their advantage just after the half-hour mark, courtesy of a composed finish from Erik Lamela, who made just his third start (and second 90-minute performance) since returning from 14 months on the sideline with a hip injury.

Up next in the Cup for Spurs is a trip to take on League One side Rochdale in the fifth round.

Watch Live: Southampton vs. Tottenham Hotspur

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Hugo Lloris and Christian Eriksen miss out as sickness-hit Tottenham Hotspur visits struggling Southampton at St. Mary’s on Sunday (Watch live at 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com)

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That opens up spots in the lineup for Michel Vorm and Moussa Sissoko, as Spurs aim to go level on points with fourth-place Liverpool.

Saints dipped into the drop zone when Stoke City won on Saturday, but will sit 14th if they can spring a home win over Spurs.

Mauricio Pellegrino is giving Mario Lemina and Manolo Gabbiadini, as well as in-form James Ward-Prowse, the starters’ chance to stop the rot. Southampton is winless in 10 league matches, but has drawn three of the last five.

LINEUPS

Southampton: McCarthy, Cedric, Stephens, Hoedt, Bertrand, Lemina, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Tadic, Hojbjerg, Gabbiadini. Subs: Forster, Pied, Bednarek, Davis, Boufal, Redmond, Obafemi.

Tottenham Hotspur: Vorm, Aurier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Sissoko, Dele, Son, Kane. Subs: Gazzaniga, Foyth, Trippier, Walker-Peters, Wanyama, Lamela, Llorente.