Tottenham cut Leicester’s lead at the Barclays Premier League summit to five points as two goals each by Harry Kane and Dele Alli secured a win at Stoke which was as comprehensive as it was timely.
Following Leicester’s fractious draw with West Ham on Sunday, Mauricio Pochettino’s men capitalised in style.
“Leicester City, we’re coming for you” bellowed the raucous travelling support after Kane’s ninth-minute opener, and Spurs never looked back.
It was a result that looked likely from the outset as Shay Given, making his first Premier League start for the club, just two days before he turned 40, prevented Kane turning home a threaded Erik Lamela pass.
The in-form striker would only be denied for a matter of minutes, though. Linking up with Mousa Dembele and collecting the ball on the edge of the box, Kane cut inside and bent home superbly to the delight of the 2,849 travelling fans.
It capped an impressive start by Spurs that Alli was doing his utmost to add to, having an effort blocked, charging down a clearance and firing over from an acute angle in quick succession.
Stoke upped their game but Toby Alderweireld marshalled the Spurs defence impressively, with a fierce Marko Arnautovic strike the first to get through to Hugo Lloris. Arnautovic then nodded wide and Bojan fired over before Spurs regrouped when play became more fluid, and Kane’s fine cross evaded Lamela before Dembele came close with a fizzing strike from distance.
Pochettino’s men upped the ante as half-time approached and Lamela passed to Alli, whose superb flick put Eriksen through and the Danish playmaker struck the crossbar.
Alli had an effort blocked and Kane struck across the face of goal before the half-time whistle gave Stoke some welcome respite.
Ibrahim Afellay and Arnautovic failed with attempts to level the score early in the second half, which was nine minutes old when Alli blazed over after Eriksen intelligently cushioned the ball.
Lamela saw a near-post effort denied and Alderweireld had penalty appeals ignored after going down under pressure from Ryan Shawcross.
However, Spurs would soon get the goal that gave them breathing space as Eriksen showed wonderful vision to find Alli, the midfielder showing composure and skill to lift the ball over Given.
Pochettino punched the deck in anger when Alli next went through as composure turned into complacency, rounding the goalkeeper only to strike the post.
That was soon forgotten, though, as Stoke’s complaints for offside were rightly ignored and Lamela squared for Kane to direct home.
Mark Hughes’ side were now being completely outplayed and things got even worse for them in the 82nd minute, when Eriksen’s cross was met by a well-controlled volley by Alli which fizzed low into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
STOKE: Given, Cameron, Shawcross, Wollscheid, Muniesa, Whelan (Adam 76), Imbula, Shaqiri (Joselu 46), Afellay, Arnautovic, Krkic. Subs Not Used: Bardsley,I reland, Diouf, Crouch, Haugaard.
TOTTENHAM: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Dier, Dembele (Mason 87), Lamela (Son 90), Alli (Chadli 84), Eriksen, Kane. Subs Not Used: Vorm,T rippier, Wimmer, Davies.