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 By Ben Pearce

Hugo Lloris scores 9/10 rating for settling shaky Spurs nerves

In a sense, this was a match which followed the expected script as Tottenham secured a 2-0 home win over a Watford side with a poor away record, while Harry Kane was on target.

In truth though, this was a harder-fought victory than the scoreline suggests. Having been gifted a breakthrough when Orestis Karnezis dropped a cross that led to a Dele Alli, Spurs seemed to become complacent, and Hugo Lloris had to make three key interventions to maintain the hosts' lead.

But the north Londoners were more focused after the break and Kane's 48th-minute strike -- his 27th Premier League goal of the season --  settled the nerves. Watford were unfortunate not to score, but Tottenham could also have added to their tally.

Positives

Spurs are five points clear of Chelsea again in the fight for Champions League qualification, and that is all that really matters.

Mauricio Pochettino's men could extend their lead to eight points when they visit bottom side West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, and Chelsea then have a tricky fixture against Liverpool on Sunday. The race could be over at the weekend, with two matches still to play.

Lloris and Kane also played key roles after having dips in form recently.

Negatives

Spurs' carelessness in the first half was a little concerning, given they started the evening just two points ahead of Chelsea, and only Lloris' heroics saved them from losing a lead for the third match in a row. Mousa Dembele was also below his best and limped off in the second half, increasing concerns about his long-term fitness and the feeling that he could leave Tottenham this summer.

Manager rating out of 10

8 -- Pochettino picked his first-choice XI and, after a lacklustre first-half display, whatever he said at half-time had an immediate effect. His players looked much more focused after the break and Kane's goal came within three minutes of the restart.

Lloris save vs Watford 180430
Hugo Lloris kept Tottenham in the game with some crucial first-half saves against Watford.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Hugo Lloris, 9 -- Made three crucial contributions in the first half, denying Andre Gray and Richarlison one-on-one and then rushing out of his box to tackle Abdoulaye Doucoure. The captain has made a few errors in the last month but was a hero here.

DF Kieran Trippier, 7 -- His crossing was inconsistent and he was beaten a few times out wide, but the opening goal came from his delivery into a dangerous area and he also teed up Kane for the second.

DF Davinson Sanchez, 7 -- Generally solid on the ground and in the air, although Watford got in on goal down his side a few times. One powerful aerial challenge floored Will Hughes.

DF Jan Vertonghen, 8 -- Another fine display with and without the ball. The Belgian made some important interventions in his own box and also posed a threat at the other end, heading against the post and skilfully setting Kane up for a goal that was disallowed for offside.

DF Ben Davies, 6 -- Solid defensively but his work-load over the course of the season understandably seems to have affected his offensive impact.

MF Eric Dier, 6 -- Played some nice diagonal passes out to Trippier but was a little careless over shorter distances in the first half, with one intercepted pass resulting in a good chance or Gray. He improved in the second half though.

MF Mousa Dembele, 6 -- Looked off the pace in the first half, contributing to the team's lack of intensity and urgency, while Spurs' defence also looked vulnerable at times, lacking a midfield shield. The Belgian was more of a force after the break but limped off just after the hour-mark.

MF Christian Eriksen, 7 -- Set up the opening goal with his 10th Premier League assist of the season, nicking the ball away from Karnezis to pass to Alli, and passed the ball intelligently while working hard throughout.

MF Dele Alli, 8 -- One of Spurs' best players in the first half, the 22-year-old scored his fourth goal in five games and then played a part in Kane's strike too with a neat through ball to Son.

MF Son Heung-Min, 6 -- Had a penalty appeal turned down and then got in behind in the build-up to Kane's goal, but the South Korean has had better displays at Wembley.

FW Harry Kane, 7 -- Had a forgettable first half but picked himself off the floor to score an important goal early in the second period. Kane then had another strike ruled out for offside after carelessly moving too early, but he should have had an assist when he played Moussa Sissoko in on goal with a fine through ball.

Substitutes:

MF Victor Wanyama, 6 -- Replaced Dembele just after the hour-mark and was very unlucky to be booked when Richarlison hit him with a high foot.

MF Erik Lamela, NR -- Gave Spurs fresh legs on the counter-attack but perhaps could have made more of a couple of promising situations.

MF Moussa Sissoko, NR -- Fired wastefully over inside the box.

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