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Wednesday 24 May 2017

Vertonghen wants more top six scalps

Spurs’ Jan Vertonghen
Spurs’ Jan Vertonghen

Jan Vertonghen insists Tottenham's triumph over Chelsea cannot be a one-off if they want to win the Premier League title.

Dele Alli's double sealed a superb 2-0 victory for Spurs at White Hart Lane, moving them up to third in the table, while ending Chelsea's hopes of a record-breaking 14th consecutive win.

It was only the second time this season that Tottenham have beaten a side in the top six, the other coming in a 2-0 victory against Manchester City in October.

They face City away in a fortnight's time, before travelling to Liverpool next month, but take on both Arsenal and Manchester United at home during the run-in.

Spurs still trail Chelsea by seven points and Vertonghen believes they will have to oust other title rivals if they are to be crowned champions.

"We are building a reputation at the Lane and it feels good to beat the big teams. It's a good sign we are progressing well," Vertonghen said.

"Maybe everyone thought at the start of the season it would be close with the other teams but you see a proper top six now. It means you have to win against your rivals, especially at home, and we've done that twice now, beating City as well here.

"It's a good feeling and we're getting stronger and stronger."

Challenge

Chelsea had looked virtually unbeatable during their 13-game winning streak but Tottenham were faster, stronger and more aggressive than their London rivals.

The victory is Spurs' fifth in a row in the league and with the likes of Alli and Christian Eriksen back in form, Mauricio Pochettino's men have underlined their ability to challenge again.

"It sends a message, in a good way, we played very well, didn't give chances away," Vertonghen said.

"We sent a message last year as well when we were challenging for the title and hopefully we can do it again now.

"They look at us in a different way in the last two years. I think we are stronger than last year. You see who came in, what they are doing for us, how strong our squad is, how strong our bench is. It's unbelievable. Everyone is happy to play for Tottenham."

The defeat was Chelsea's first since they were beaten by Arsenal on September 24 but the Blues remain in a commanding position at the top of the table.

"There is no reason to panic," Chelsea defender David Luiz said. "It is only January. In the Premier League, the only important thing is to be top of the table in May. I never saw anyone win the title in February or March."

Next up for Tottenham is the visit of Championship side Aston Villa for Sunday's FA Cup third round clash at White Hart Lane.

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