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3-min read

EPL: Liverpool, Tottenham Record Victories To Increase Heat On Chelsea

Tottenham Hotspur overpowered Watford 4-0 while Liverpool were rescued by substitutes Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firminho against Stoke as both teams recorded wins to increase the pressure on league leaders Chelsea.

AFP

Updated:April 8, 2017, 10:46 PM IST
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EPL: Liverpool, Tottenham Record Victories To Increase Heat On Chelsea
Liverpool players celebrate after Roberto Firminho (shirtless) scored the winning goal. (Reuters Photo)
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London: South Korean forward Son Heung-Min scored twice as Tottenham Hotspur overpowered Watford 4-0 on Saturday to put pressure on Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Dele Alli and Eric Dier were also on target as Spurs closed to within four points of Chelsea, who visit Bournemouth later in the day.

"The message for us is to keep pushing, winning games," said Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino. "That's our job and then what happens this afternoon with Chelsea is their problem."

Liverpool remain third after Brazilian substitutes Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino inspired a 2-1 comeback win at Stoke City, while fourth-place Manchester City beat Hull City 3-1.

Spurs overwhelmed Watford at a sun-soaked White Hart Lane to register their 11th successive home win in the league.

Alli opened the deadlock with a sublime effort in the 33rd minute, arcing a shot into the top-right corner from 25 yards, before his England team-mate Dier battered in Spurs' second.

Son struck either side of half time -- a left-foot curler followed by an adroit right-foot volley -- and spurned two late chances to complete his hat-trick.

"The team deserve full credit because the energy and the way they played was fantastic," added Pochettino, who also welcomed back top scorer Harry Kane after an ankle injury.

Liverpool sit five points below Spurs, having played a game more, after Firmino's stunning strike secured victory at Stoke.

Jonathan Walters's header -- his seventh league goal against Liverpool -- put Stoke ahead shortly before half time.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp made a double change at the break, sending on Coutinho and Firmino for teenagers Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ben Woodburn, and it proved a winning move.

Coutinho, a pre-match doubt due to illness, levelled in the 70th minute and two minutes later Georginio Wijnaldum freed Firmino to thump in a glorious, dipping winner from 20 yards.

- Guardiola Frustrated -

"Second half was really good, but we played a big gamble on a low battery bringing on Firmino and Coutinho," said Klopp.

"No team in the world wins only the very, very good games. You need to win games like this."

Manchester City trail Liverpool by two points, but have a game in hand, after seeing off Hull at the Etihad Stadium to end a run of four league games without victory.

City manager Pep Guardiola, who recalled goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, saw his side take a 31st-minute lead when Ahmed Elmohamady turned in Jesus Navas's cross for an own goal.

Sergio Aguero made it 2-0 early in the second half, polishing off Raheem Sterling's cross after a sweeping team move, and Fabian Delph lashed in the hosts' third.

Andrea Ranocchia replied for Hull, who remain two points above the bottom three in 17th place.

City now have a seven-point cushion in the fourth and final Champions League qualifying spot, although fifth-place Arsenal and sixth-place Manchester United each have two games in hand.

"It was important for us to win after many days without a win," said Guardiola, whose side lost 2-1 at Chelsea in mid-week after three successive draws.

"We could have scored many more goals. It is frustrating not to get a clean sheet, but we defended poorly at set-pieces."

West Ham United eased their relegation fears as Cheikhou Kouyate's low drive secured a 1-0 home win over third-bottom Swansea City, who trail Hull by two points.

Second-bottom Middlesbrough squandered an opportunity to claim a precious win in a 0-0 draw at home to Burnley.

Jordie Clasie struck from Dusan Tadic's lay-off as ninth-place Southampton won 1-0 at eighth-place West Bromwich Albion.

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| Edited by: Arnab Sen
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