EPL Wrap: Son helps Tottenham keep pressure on Chelsea with win over Watford
LONDON (AP) — South Korea forward Son Heung-min scored two goals and was involved in two others as Tottenham thrashed Watford 4-0 in the Premier League on Saturday, earning an 11th straight home win that kept the pressure on first-placed Chelsea.
Dele Alli and Eric Dier also scored at a sun-kissed White Hart Lane for Spurs, who moved to within four points of Chelsea with seven games remaining. The leader visits Bournemouth later Saturday.
On a virtually perfect day for Tottenham, top scorer Harry Kane made his return from four weeks out injured as a 61st-minute substitute. By then, the score was already 4-0 — mainly thanks to Son.
Son has stepped up in the absence of Kane, scoring now in three successive games — having also found the net against Burnley and Swansea over the past week.
His first contribution was to provide a lay-off for Alli, who curled a shot into the top corner from 25 meters (yards) in the 33rd minute.
Dier then slammed home a low finish from the edge of the area in the 39th after Son's cross from the left wing was deflected out.
A tough 11-minute spell for Watford was capped by Son picking up Christian Eriksen's short pass, running forward and burying a low, left-foot shot from 20 meters in the 44th.
A club-record sixth straight win in the Premier League was already secure but Tottenham wanted more — and so did Son.
Kieran Trippier, deputizing for the rested Kyle Walker at right back, crossed to the far post and Son arrived to apply a calm, side-footed volley inside goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes' near post in the 54th.
Son, who moved onto 11 league goals for the season, wasted a great chance to grab his hat trick after being unselfishly played through by Kane in the 81st. One on one with Gomes, Son placed his shot wide and held his head in his hands. He was doing the same moments later when he sent a dipping shot against the crossbar.
With the last kick of the game, Kane slammed a free kick against the crossbar.
Watford, which rested captain Troy Deeney and was playing a patched-up defense, has not beaten Tottenham in a league match at White Hart Lane since November 1985.
Spurs' 11th straight home win in a single season matched a club record in the top flight, set in 1922.
BOURNEMOUTH, England (AP) — Chelsea answered Tottenham's win with its own by beating Bournemouth 3-1 to restore its seven-point lead in the English Premier League on Saturday.
Tottenham, Chelsea's only remaining title rival, applied pressure by defeating Watford 4-0 hours earlier.
But Chelsea got going early through a fortuitous own goal and Eden Hazard's calm finish.
Josh King pulled one back for Bournemouth, only for Marcos Alonso's stunning free kick to seal victory for Chelsea.
The effectiveness of Antonio Conte's wing backs in his preferred 3-4-3 formation was apparent once more as the returning Victor Moses played a crucial role in the opener before Alonso produced a moment of individual brilliance.
Moses, who has been absent for Chelsea's last two games, took just 17 minutes to show his importance again as he surged down the right and centered for Diego Costa, whose miskicked effort deflected in off the unfortunate Adam Smith.
But Bournemouth did not lie down.
Benik Afobe struck the post with a well-controlled volley from Charlie Daniels' cross.
Bournemouth's luck turned just before the break when Josh King's powerful effort from the edge of the box flew into the top corner via a deflection from David Luiz, leaving Thibaut Courtois with no chance.
The home side continued to make Chelsea uncomfortable after halftime until Alonso delivered the decisive blow in the 68th.
Costa won a free kick 25 yards out and Alonso did the rest. Boruc could only watch as the ball curled into his top corner.
Manchester City 3-1 Hull City
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City got its Champions League qualification hopes back on track by beating English Premier League struggler Hull 3-1 on Saturday.
A stunning team move finished by Sergio Aguero and a Fabian Delph strike ensured City ended a run of four EPL games without a win after an Ahmed Elmohamady own goal gave it the lead.
Having been effectively eliminated from the title race by its defeat to leader Chelsea on Wednesday, City's focus is on securing qualification for Europe's top competition next season.
Despite the defeat, Hull remained two points clear of the relegation zone, as its chief relegation-threatened rival Swansea also lost at West Ham.
Hull managed to contain City early on but came unstuck in the 31st minute when makeshift right back Jesus Navas' cross evaded Aguero, but was poked into his own net by Elmohamady under pressure from Leroy Sane at the back post.
The hosts doubled their lead after halftime with a stunning team move, during which every City player touched the ball.
With recalled goalkeeper Claudio Bravo having held possession moments earlier, the ball found its way to Raheem Sterling in the final third, and he burst into the Hull box and centered for Aguero to score.
Any remaining doubts were put aside in the 64th when Delph punctuated a second consecutive EPL start with a fine drive from the edge of the box.
Hull grabbed a late consolation when substitute Shaun Maloney set up Andrea Ranocchia to finish from close range five minutes from time.
The point moved Middlesbrough six points from safety with seven games left, but it will need to dramatically improve a record of just 22 goals this season.