Tottenham edged Stoke 2-1, with Harry Kane's touch off a Christian Eriksen free kick the difference.

By 90Min
April 07, 2018

Stoke City's valiant efforts were not enough as Tottenham managed to grind out a hard-fought 2-1 win. After a goalless first half, Christian Eriksen took the lead for the visitors, before Mame Biram Diouf found an equalizer in bizarre circumstances. Spurs however rallied to score a winner, as Harry Kane appeared to glance in Eriksen's free kick, piling further misery on Paul Lambert's side.

It was a tepid start to the contest at the bet365 Stadium, before Stoke wasted a golden opportunity on the 12th minute. Erik Pieters overlapped Ramadan Sobhi well down the left hand side, before he delivered a dangerous low cross that Diouf could only sky from just six yards out. 

Tottenham had failed to get going in the opening 20 minutes, before they squandered their first big chance in the game. Dele Alli threaded a cute ball behind Stoke's central defenders into the path of Heung-Min Son. The South Korean however couldn't find a way past Jack Butland, who was off his line quickly and spread himself well to block the shot.  

Mauricio Pochettino's side began to see more of the ball throughout the remainder of the half, although the quality wasn't quite their as the final cross or pass only seemed to find a Stoke defender, as the game remained goalless heading into half time. 

For as well as Paul Lambert's side defended in the first half, it took seven second half minutes before Spurs found a breakthrough. Alli was played in behind following Mousa Dembele's ball from midfield. The England international patiently waited, before laying the ball off to an onrushing Eriksen, who calmly slotted the ball past Butland and open the scoring. 

One almost become two for Spurs seconds later, but a combination of Ryan Shawcross and Butland managed to thwart Son, before Stoke managed to find an equalizer through Diouf in bizarre circumstances.

Xherdan Shaqiri played a ball in behind the Spurs backline, looking for the run of Diouf. Hugo Lloris appeared to have read the situation. The Frenchman then however fired his clearance straight at the Stoke striker, who despite a heavy collision managed to remain composed to slot home a gift of a leveler. 

Stoke however could only remain level for the best part of six minutes, before Spurs managed to restore their lead. Eriksen was at the heart of it once more, whipping in a free kick from the left, with Kane appearing to glance his header past a motionless Butland and retake the lead; although it was hard to see whether Kane did indeed get the final touch. 

Stoke's best chances of finding a second equalizer came through set pieces. Substitute Tyrease Campbell headed wide from a corner, before Shaqiri rattled the crossbar with a free kick on the edge of the area with Lloris beaten.

Diouf then wasted a great opportunity with just over five minutes remaining, failing to pick out a single Stoke player despite being in acres of space, while Erik Lamela's effort drifted just wide of Butland's post as remainder of Spurs' threat on the counter. 

It proved to be a tense finish to the game, as Stroke desperately probed to find their second goal of the game. Shawcross couldn't direct his header on target late on in what proved to be the final chance for Stoke as Spurs held on for all three points.

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