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Are Tottenham Still In The Title Race?

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The title race was thrown open on Wednesday night after Chelsea suffered their first defeat in 14 Premier League games at the hands of Tottenham at the White Hart Lane. The loss saw the Blues’ lead over 2nd placed Liverpool reduce to 5 points, while Tottenham and Manchester City are not too far behind on 7 points.

What once looked like a 2-horse race some few matchdays ago has now become a 4-team battle as a result, and clearly, Tottenham Hotspur are in the title race for the first time this season.

Since matchday 10 when the Premier League log started taking shape, the White Hart Lane outfit has largely been in top 5, with the first time they saw defeat was at the Stamford Bridge on matchday 13 in November.

But despite boasting the longest unbeaten run up till that point, Tottenham never for once looked like genuine title contenders, no thanks in no small part to 6 draws – including against West Brom, Leicester and Bournemouth, they had played.

Considering they only missed out on a chance to finish 2nd last season on the final matchday, a lot was expected of Mauricio Pochettino’s men this term. But all they had to show was a solid defence that conceded the least goals (8) until matchday 12 and didn’t concede from open play until the matchday 10 against the defending champions.

However, that solid defence was only earning them draws, with a lesser-in-quality attack looking incapable of mounting a tough challenge. Until now! The emphatic victory against Chelsea was arguably their best performance this term, and it signified a straight 5th Premier League win – the only time they have managed such a run this season.


Tottenham’s attack have now upped its game, scoring with reckless abandon and it’s no longer heavily and solely reliant on Harry Kane. The defence, midfield and attack are all in impressive form right now, with that masterpiece display against Chelsea a proof, and it is a big reason and indicator that Spurs are still in this title race.

For the first time ever this term, Tottenham can be considered as a contender for that top prize, and Mauricio Pochettino has been a great inspiration to their form, with his dynamism and with his tactics yielding rewards. The Argentine mirrored Chelsea’s 3-4-3 formation on Wednesday night, and his team played better despite taking such risk.

The only other time Spurs employed a 3-4-3 formation this term was against Hull City mid last month, and the game finished in a 3-nil victory. Chelsea were well beaten at their own game too, as the attacking full-back duo of Rose and Walker made light work of their opposing counterparts Moses, and Alonso.

Switching his game plan might have done the trick against Chelsea, and though it’s not likely they continue with the formation, Mauricio Pochettino can always be expected to make the necessary tweaks to his squad as at when due. That’s the hallmark of great tacticians, and it takes one to win the English Premier League.

When action resumes next weekend, Tottenham would hope to build on their most recent victories when they host one of their trickiest customers West Bromwich Albion, and also when they visit Manchester City a fortnight from now. Maximum points from these games and the bookies won’t hesitate to make the north London club the new favourites to clinch the title.

Just about everything has worked perfectly well for Tottenham since that narrow loss to Manchester United last month and Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal have to be wary of them when they meet. Wednesday’s night victory proved beyond any doubt that Spurs have got their title credentials back, and it’s a huge reason why they are still in the 2016-17 title race.