Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Spurs score four, move to fourth in Prem

Published:Monday | January 2, 2017 | 1:00 AM

WATFORD, England (AP):

Harry Kane and Dele Alli both scored twice yesterday as Tottenham climbed to fourth in the English Premier League with a 4-1 victory over Watford.

Tottenham are seeking a route back into the Champions League next season through a top-four finish after being eliminated in the group stage on their return to the competition after a five-year absence.

"It was a solid performance from the start," Alli said, after making it 18 goals from 51 Premier League matches. "Watford started the game really quick and made it difficult for us, but after we got the first goal, it was a pretty comfortable win in the end."

Tottenham took full advantage of Manchester City losing at Liverpool on Saturday, with Pep Guardiola's side sliding from third to fifth over the New Year weekend.

Chelsea lead the way, holding a six-point advantage over Liverpool after winning 13 consecutive league matches before making the trip across London to Tottenham on Wednesday.

Chelsea ended Tottenham's title challenge last season when Kane and Alli's combined attacking force was so devastating in scoring and assisting 50 goals in the league.

Their chemistry was on display against a fragile Watford side on New Year's Day.

Watford, which was hamstrung by injuries, contributed to their own downfall with poor defending. Watford, which dropped to 13th, has kept only three clean sheets in its last 24 league games.

Watford looked exhausted after half an hour and Spurs finally made their pressure pay in the form of three goals in 14 minutes.

Moments after Alli had rattled the crossbar with a fizzing shot from 25 yards (metres), Kieran Trippier promptly slid Kane in behind a dozing JosÈ Holebas. Kane lifted the ball over former Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes at the near post in the 27th.

Tottenham doubled their advantage six minutes later with the same trio combining again. Alli looped a pass out wide to Trippier, who whipped a half-volleyed cross to the back post, where Kane beat Craig Cathcart to side-foot home.

Son Heung-min, unmarked at the near post, should then have steered in Christian Eriksen's free kick, but Alli did find the net four minutes before the interval. Younes Kaboul scuffed a clearance into the unsuspecting Cathcart, who was then outmuscled by Alli, and the midfielder sent the ball into the bottom right-hand corner.

The half-time whistle was greeted by boos from Watford supporters and Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris appeared almost apologetic as he hung an arm around fellow Frenchman and former teammate …tienne Capoue.

The home fans' discontent, however, had little impact. A minute after the restart, Spurs hit their fourth. Sebastian Prodl gifted the ball to Kane, who crossed to the back post, where Alli had time to control and slide under Gomes.

The only consolation for Watford was Kaboul bundling the ball in from close range in stoppage time.