Son Heung-min notched the game’s only goal on his 200th Premier League appearance for Tottenham as Spurs saw off Watford 1-0 to go top.
Tottenham were buoyed by the return of Harry Kane to the starting eleven pre-match. With Man City’s pursuit of the England captain over at least until January, Kane took his customary place at the spearhead of Spurs’ front-line.
Tottenham amassed large quantities of possession in the early going but were finding Watford stubborn opponents to break down. Oliver Skipp controlled the tempo in the middle, showcasing calmness and composure well beyond his years.
Winger Ismaila Sarr was predicted to be Watford’s main attacking outlet before kick-off. A burst of acceleration past Dele Alli in the 15th minute saw the Senegalese flyer craft a shooting opportunity which Hugo Lloris was equal to.
The unlikely figure of Japhet Tanganga saw a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock then go begging. After Watford failed to clear their lines at a corner, the makeshift right-back jabbed a close-range effort goalward that prompted a superb stop from Daniel Bachmann.
With the game threatening to go into the break goal-less, the ever-reliable Son Heung-min opened the scoring in the 42nd minute.
The South Korean whipped a teasing free-kick won by Steven Bergwijn into the corridor of uncertainty. Bachmann didn’t know whether to stick or twist as the ball sailed untouched into the far corner of the net.
⚽️ Most goals in first 200 PL apps for Tottenham
137 Harry Kane
85 Teddy Sheringham
81 Robbie Keane
72 HEUNG-MIN SON
68 Jermain Defoe pic.twitter.com/oUYU1DcMT7
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) August 29, 2021
Kane had been kept relatively quiet for much of the contest, though did pick up a yellow card during stoppage time for a lunge on Sarr.
Craig Cathcart appeared to suffer a dead leg soon after the break. Hornets manager Xisco called upon Jeremy Ngakia to replace the injured defender.
Watford saw two superb opportunities to restore parity go begging soon after through Juraj Kucka and Sarr. Kucka saw his strike sail harmlessly over the crossbar before Joshua King got in Sarr’s way to prevent Lloris from being truly tested.
Spurs were struggling to break down a well-organised Watford backline when pushing forward. But with half an hour remaining, they led 1-0 for the third time in three Premier League matches this season.
A sweeping counter could’ve remedied any lingering nerves, but Alli couldn’t finish off the move that included Kane and Son.
Tottenham looked dangerous on the counter as the visitors pushed in search of an equaliser. Substitute Lucas Moura earned a corner after unleashing a fierce drive that stung the palms of Bachmann.
Bachmann produced a superb stop to deny Kane late on, but it mattered not as Tottenham won for the third successive league match to go top.