Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino told fans to dream after his side ignited their title challenge with a dramatic – and controversial – 2-1 win at Manchester City.
Spurs benefited from a dubious penalty decision in a highly-charged Barclays Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium but Christian Eriksen’s 83rd-minute winner lifted Pochettino’s men within two points of leaders Leicester.
City had fought back after Harry Kane’s disputed spot-kick to level through Kelechi Iheanacho but a late lapse allowed Eriksen to pounce, snatching victory and damaging the hosts’ own title hopes in the process.
Pochettino refused to get carried away as Spurs enhanced their prospects of a first league championship since 1961 but he accepted it might be a different story for success-starved supporters.
For Daniel Storey’s 16 Conclusions on the game, click here.
He said: “The supporters are right to dream of the title. They showed big support from the beginning of the season and I say thank you to them. It is important for our supporters to believe.
“It is a very important moment to share with our fans. They are always fantastic and you need to show and say thank you in different ways. This is the way that is most important for them to appreciate and show they are very important for us.
“Always in football the supporters are the most important thing and they deserve, from our position, to say thank you. It was a very important victory.
“Our players deserve full credit for the performance. Like always you need to try and improve every day and we are now in a position, but is too early to talk about titles.”
He added: “Before the game people [said] it was a big test for us and it is important to show we can win. It is important to tell you that we are the youngest squad in the Premier League. It is important to start to feel that you can win in a stadium like Manchester City’s against a big, big team and you can win.”
The first half was keenly contested but lacking in clear-cut chances. The complexion of the game changed dramatically after the break as Raheem Sterling was harshly ruled to have handled inside the area as he turned his back to block a Danny Rose cross.
There was intense debate over whether it hit his arm at all, or how it could even have been deliberate. It was also only just inside the box. Kane brushed aside the controversy to register his 19th goal of the season.
City rallied and hit the bar through Yaya Toure before Iheanacho lashed in a fine leveller.
But as City pushed for a winner that would have lifted them within three points of the top, Toure lost possession and Erik Lamela charged forward to set up Eriksen.