Mauricio Pochettino retaining hope as Tottenham win and Chelsea lose

01 April 2017 10:08

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says his side "still believe" after cutting Chelsea's Premier League lead to seven points.

Second-half goals from Eric Dier and Heung-min Son handed Spurs a comfortable 2-0 success at Burnley as table-topping Chelsea suffered a surprise reverse against Crystal Palace.

Chelsea's advantage is still a considerable one with just nine games of the season remaining but now there is just enough hope for Pochettino to cling to in the run-in.

"I am very happy, very pleased. It's an important, a massive three points for us to still believe we can fight for the title," said the Argentinian.

"We showed great belief and character and faith. It is always difficult in the first game after international duty, all the players arrive at different dates we were very professional.

"That makes us proud."

Spurs certainly did not look like title challengers in a stodgy first half and saw their game plan disrupted by injuries to Harry Winks and Victor Wanyama shortly before half-time.

But they rallied, aided by a controlled display from Wanyama's replacement Mousa Dembele, and when Dier pounced on Jeff Hendrick's error in the 66th minute it looked to be enough.

Christian Eriksen's glorious pass and Dele Alli's square ball allowed substitute Son to make it safe 13 minutes from time, leaving Pochettino a satisfied man.

"It's true, in the first half it was difficult to play in the way we normally play but throughout the second half we dominated the game and created chances," he said.

"We fully deserved the three points. Maybe it was not brilliant but it was very professional.

"It's always a difficult place to play, Burnley, many teams struggle to get a good result. But for to analyse the game after 90 minutes, we fully deserved this result."

Burnley boss Sean Dyche has now seen his side go seven games without a win in the league, drawing them back into a relegation battle they looked to be edging clear of.

Their buffer zone over the bottom three is now just five points and a change in fortunes is badly needed to see the Clarets away from a nerve-wracking end to the season.

Dyche is not surprised by that, though, insisting there is plenty to be won and lost at both ends of the table.

"My lads know they still have a challenge ahead. There are no done deals in the Premier League," he said.

"Each team has different goals. Chelsea are striving to win it and got beat today. They don't think it's a given, I'm sure. Tottenham don't think they're out of it, I'm sure they'll chase it.

"And we certainly don't think we're in easy street. We know there's work to do, it's the nature of the Premier League."

Burnley host Stoke on Tuesday and Dyche is hoping to put a challenging sequence of fixtures behind him on the night.

"We're coming out a run five of six games away, of the two home games one was against Chelsea, who are top, and one against Spurs, who are second," he said.

"We knew it would be tough, we're not delusional about the nature of this division."

Source: PA