Lucas Moura scored a brilliant hat-trick as Tottenham cruised past relegated Huddersfield and moved above Chelsea into third in the Premier League.
A much-changed Spurs side dominated from the off at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and deservedly went ahead when Victor Wanyama danced around Ben Hamer and slotted home midway through the first half.
Moura added their second just 144 seconds later as he rifled a low shot past Hamer after being played in by Moussa Sissoko.
The Brazilian was on the scoresheet again three minutes from time as he controlled and volleyed home Christian Eriksen’s cross.
And he completed his hat-trick deep into injury time with another emphatic finish past Hamer.
Christian Eriksen and Fernando Llorente had earlier hit the woodwork for Spurs as they piled on the pressure, although Hugo Lloris was called into action late on to tip a Leandro Bacuna free-kick on to the crossbar.
Huddersfield remain bottom and have now lost six consecutive league games.
With one eye firmly on Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg against Manchester City, Pochettino made seven changes to the starting XI that beat City 1-0 in the first leg.
Injured trio Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Harry Winks all dropped out of the squad, while in-form Son Heung-min was named among the substitutes, leaving Llorente and Moura to lead the line alongside Eriksen.
Spurs’ new-look front three were impressive; Llorente helped create the first by holding off his marker to make the space for Wanyama to run into, while Eriksen was his influential self and Moura stole the show.
The Brazilian produced two superb finishes for his first and third while he displayed impressive skill to control Eriksen’s cross for the second.
It remains to be seen who Pochettino will pick to start at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, and Son will almost certainly return, but Moura has certainly done his chances no harm.
And on this evidence, Pochettino has plenty of players to hurt City, even without talisman Kane.
Spurs back on track in league
Tottenham’s league form had faltered recently with only four points gained from their previous six league games.
But they have now strung together back-to-back league wins for the first time since early February, having beaten Crystal Palace and Huddersfield at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The hosts had 88% of the possession in the opening 15 minutes and that set the tone for a comfortable afternoon for Pochettino’s men.
The Terriers failed to get a shot on target in the first half and did little better in the second, meaning Spurs’ makeshift back five were rarely tested.
At the other end, Llorente failed to convert a host of chances as Spurs played through Huddersfield at will to claim arguably their easiest three points of the season.
Spurs sit third for now but they will drop to fourth if Chelsea beat Liverpool on Sunday while Arsenal and Manchester United remain hot on their heels.
And with Champions League opponents Manchester City next up for Pochettino’s side in the league too, a place in the top four is far from a foregone conclusion.
Source – BBC