MANAGER Mauricio Pochettino is hopeful that Tottenham Hotspur will still be able to pile the pressure on Chelsea in the race for the Premier League title following their 2-0 victory over Arsenal on Sunday.
Second-half goals from Dele Alli and Harry Kane in the last ever north London derby to be played at White Hart Lane not only ensured that Spurs will finish above their bitter rivals for the first time in 22 years but also kept them just four points behind table-topping Chelsea – who enjoyed an equally impressive victory at Everton earlier in the day – with four matches left to play.
Pochettino is well aware that Chelsea remain firm favourites in the battle to be crowned champions, but Tottenham do have the potential advantage of playing first in the next round of matches – meaning that victory at West Ham United on Friday would see them close the gap to one point before Chelsea next take to the field against Middlesbrough on Monday.
And the manager believes that Spurs do still have a chance of catching the leaders as long as they can keep on applying the pressure.
“We are in the race and the gap is still four points,” Pochettino said. “We have to be focused now. We have another big game against West Ham, another difficult derby.
“That could be a chance to put psychological pressure on Chelsea. We play before them and, if we win, we will see what happens when Chelsea play Middlesbrough at Stamford Bridge on Monday.
“I can understand our fans being excited about finishing above Arsenal, but I don’t feel the same because for me it is about trying to win the title. It’s true that it will be difficult, but we will see what happens.”
Sunday’s win was Spurs’ ninth in a row in the league and Pochettino hailed his players after watching them see off Arsenal with some ease.
“It was a fantastic afternoon,” he added. “I’m so pleased for our players and our fans. It was an afternoon where they deserved to live the last derby at White Hart Lane. It was so emotional for everyone.
“We were always in control, we dominated and created the most important chances. I said at half-time to keep going.
“We changed a little our positions in offensive situations, we tried to find better solutions to create the chances. In the end it was a fantastic performance and we deserved the victory.
“The important thing is every time we play this season, we’re going to enjoy. We enjoy playing football and enjoy playing together. That is a fantastic thing. I’m so proud because I’m here and fighting for this club.”