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English Premier League

Spurs title chances fading, admits Mauricio Pochettino after West Brom hold out for Wembley draw

Manchester City can go 13 points ahead of Tottenham with victory against Huddersfield and Tottenham boss says the gap is ‘massive’

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 November, 2017, 1:53pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 November, 2017, 1:53pm

Mauricio Pochettino admits Tottenham’s chances of making a realistic challenge for the Premier League title are fading as once again they struggled to break down a defence-minded team at Wembley.

Before Saturday’s 1-1 draw with managerless West Bromwich Albion, Pochettino’s men had just one Premier League goal in three matches and had also drawn with Burnley and Swansea at home.

Pep Guardiola’s league leaders Manchester City, having no such problems in creating or scoring against all-comers, are 10 points ahead of Spurs as they go into Sunday’s match at Huddersfield.

“We moved the ball so slow in the first half-hour,” said Pochettino. “But maybe because we concede the goal – it was a massive impact for us.

“In the last 15 minutes we played better, moved the ball better and found better space. The second half was very good, the team played very well and we created many chances.

“It is disappointing to drop two points. But it is difficult for me to explain why we have not won the game today.”

Despite boasting the attacking talents of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen, Spurs have struggled to breach teams who are prepared to defend deep.

In the first half in particular, Tottenham lacked the guile to slice through West Brom and were often reduced to shots from distance and visiting keeper Ben Foster was rarely troubled.

“The effort against West Bromwich was massive but in the last third, we need to be more clinical in front of goal,” added Pochettino.

“I don’t like to talk about the start. But the team created the chances to win and the possibility to score. Only Harry [Kane] rescued one point but it is true our performance was enough to win but we didn’t win.”

Should City win, they will be 13 points clear of Spurs. Asked if that was too big a gap, Pochettino conceded: “Yes it is true. The gap is now 10 points and that is massive in the Premier League.

“We need to be focused and be more consistent here at Wembley. It is different to White Hart Lane but that is our reality.”