For the third Premier League game in a row, Tottenham required a late goal to see off their opponents, as talismanic Heung-Min Son grabbed an 81st-minute winner to help see off Newcastle United on Saturday.
Buoyed by their stunning victory over champions Manchester City, Newcastle looked chock full of confidence as they attempted to spring another upset in their bid to avoid relegation.
The away side came closest to opening the scoring when striker Salomon Rondon hit the post early in the second half, but it was Son who proved to be the difference as his 81st-minute strike from outside the area went under Martin Dubravka and into the Newcastle United net.
This is the second game in a row the returning Son has helped rescue Spurs after his late goal gave hope of a victory before Llorente grabbed the winner against Watford.
The week before it was Harry Winks, whose last gasp header put strugglers Fulham to the sword.
Do you see the pattern starting to emerge?
Poch Right In Sticking To His Guns
Yes, Pochettino’s side were knocked out of two cups in the space of a week by Chelsea and Crystal Palace respectively but considering they’re missing two of their most important players, the Argentine must, for the most part, be praised for how he’s coped with the loss of Kane and Alli. (and to a lesser extent Son)
Spurs’ win over Newcastle sees them leapfrog Manchester City in second, although the champions do have a game in hand, and brings them within four points of leaders Liverpool, the Reds also have a game in hand.
Pochettino could have easily caved to the pressure of calls for him to add to his strikeforce in the January transfer market. There was talk of Michy Batshuayi from Chelsea or Marko Arnautovic from West Ham but the Spurs boss stuck to his guns and showed faith in a side that he has largely built from the bottom up.
It’s quite clear that Spurs’ run of fixtures has been very kind to them and with a hit and miss Leicester side coming to town next you’d expect them to probably get three points but it could’ve been so easy for Spurs to wilt and fall away from the top following defeat to Manchester United and an injury crisis afoot.
For this, Pochettino deserves credit.
Tougher Tests Await
Spurs have impressively navigated the initial choppy waters of a sea without Alli and Kane, but with a tie with German table-toppers Borussia Dortmund on the horizon and a North London derby at the start of March, the true colours of this Tottenham side will show soon.
Will they prove that they are still contenders in the space of untold adversary? Or by the time Dele Alli and Harry Kane come back to action will their season be unretrievable?
Time will tell.
For another win on Saturday, Spurs and Pochettino deserves plaudits certainly, but the question remains. How long can Tottenham keep leaving it late to rescue all three points?