Son Heung-Min’s 89th-minute strike sent Tottenham Hotspur third in the Premier League on Monday in a 2-1 win at Watford, as Louis van Gaal prepared for what may prove his final game as Manchester United manager.
Tottenham took a 17th-minute lead when Erik Lamela stabbed home following a defensive mix-up, before Odion Ighalo stabbed home his 14th goal of the season to equalise for Watford four minutes before half-time.
But Watford lost Nathan Ake to a red card for a waist-high foul on Lamela in the 63rd minute and Son struck at the death, gathering Kieran Trippier’s half-volleyed pass and beating Heurelho Gomes.
“The victory is very important for us,” said Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino, whose side are now three points below leaders Leicester City.
“We worked hard to try and win and are happy because Watford are a difficult team and beat Liverpool recently.
“We need to feel proud for the players. It was a great effort after only playing 48 hours ago.”
Pochettino’s side go third on goal difference above Manchester City, who visit Leicester on Tuesday, while Quique Sanchez Flores’s Watford, beaten for the first time in six games, stay seventh.
Crystal Palace remain in fifth place, four points below the Champions League berths, following a goalless home draw with Swansea City.
Meanwhile, in-form Austrian forward Marko Arnautovic scored a stoppage-time winner from the penalty spot as Stoke City edged Everton 4-3 in a thrilling game at Goodison Park.
– Villa cut adrift –
Stoke twice went ahead through Xherdan Shaqiri, the second goal an exquisite lob, only for Romelu Lukaku to equalise twice to draw level with Leicester’s Jamie Vardy on 15 goals at the top of the scoring charts.
Gerard Deulofeu put Everton ahead from Ross Barkley’s pass in the 71st minute, but Joselu drew Stoke level 10 minutes from time before Arnautovic settled the game from the spot after he had been fouled by John Stones.
Goals in each half from Jonny Howson and Dieumerci Mbokani gave Norwich City a 2-0 win over Aston Villa that left the Midlands club 11 points adrift at the foot of the table.
Newcastle United also remain in the bottom three, along with northeast rivals Sunderland, after falling to a 78th-minute Darren Fletcher header in a 1-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion.