Late Davinson Sanchez goal earns Tottenham Hotspur win at Watford

Conte's side move within two points of top-four spot after last-gasp 1-0 victory

Tottenham Hotspur defender Davinson Sanchez heads home the winning goal against Watford. AFP
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Tottenham Hotspur are now knocking on the door of the top four after defender Davinson Sanchez's injury-time goal earned Antonio Conte's side a 1-0 win at Watford.

The last-gasp victory means Spurs moved up to fifth in the table, just two points behind North London rivals Arsenal — who had earlier been beaten by league leaders Manchester City — with two games in hand.

A sixth straight defeat for Watford leaves Claudio Ranieri's side one place and two points outside the relegation zone, having played two games more than third-bottom Burnley.

Spurs were almost left frustrated for a second successive game, having had two goals controversially ruled out by VAR in their 1-1 draw at 10-man Southampton on Tuesday, before Sanchez struck deep into almost 10 minutes of added time following a late stoppage due to a medical emergency in the crowd.

The Colombia defender headed a Son Heung-min free-kick past Daniel Bachmann to ensure Spurs left Vicarage Road with all three points.

The visitors had 74 per cent possession and 21 shots, including nine on target, but had struggled to break down the Hornets until Sanchez’s late intervention.

“We scored at the end but I think we tried and tried for the whole game,” Conte said. “In this type of game you have to be intelligent to attack in the best ways and pay attention not to lose the balance.

“They are very dangerous on the counter-attack and are strong physically, as well as fast. I think we played a good game and controlled it for sure.”

In the 17th minute, Spurs had their first half chance of the game. Craig Cathcart cleared the ball but straight to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who fired over.

Two minutes later, Harry Kane won the ball from Imran Louza on the corner of the 18-yard box and managed to get a shot away, but Bachmann was equal to the effort.

Tottenham continued to dominate most of the possession but struggled to break through, with their England captain firing just wide of the post after Watford failed to clear their lines effectively.

Spurs started the second half the way they finished the first, with Sergio Reguilon firing into the side netting just after the break.

The visitors kept piling on the pressure looking for the opening, with Bachmann making two saves in quick succession to deny Lucas Moura and Kane.

Watford briefly responded when half-time substitute Joao Pedro ran with the ball from the halfway line and he was just about to drive into the box when referee Jones stopped play for a shirt pull by Oliver Skipp. The Tottenham midfielder was shown the yellow card but the Brazilian was left frustrated by the decision as he had been lining up for a shot.

Watford had a shout for a penalty with less than 10 minutes to go when Pedro looked to have touched the ball before being brought down by Hugo Lloris in the box, but there was no VAR review.

The match looked destined to end in a frustrating stalemate for Spurs until Sanchez's late intervention.

Updated: January 01, 2022, 5:30 PM