Eriksen scores twice as Tottenham grind out victory at Stoke

Mame Diouf scored for Stoke City but missed two very clear chances

Christian Eriksen scored twice as Tottenham made it six Premier League wins in a row to increase Stoke City’s relegation fears.

Stoke frustrated Mauricio Pochettino’s side before Eriksen fired Spurs into the lead from inside the penalty area after Dele Alli’s pass.

Mame Biram Diouf equalised after a mistake by keeper Hugo Lloris, whose attempted clearance cannoned off the Stoke striker and fell kindly for Diouf to roll the ball into the net.

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In an entertaining match, Eriksen scored the winner from a free-kick before Xherdan Shaqiri was denied a late equaliser when his free-kick hit the bar.

Tottenham remain fourth in the table but are now level on points with third-placed Liverpool, who were held to a goalless draw at Everton in the early kick-off.

More importantly, Spurs are 11 points clear of fifth-placed Chelsea, who entertain West Ham on Sunday.

Although Tottenham were far from their best, this was another positive day for Pochettino as Kane returned to the starting line-up after a recovering from a damaged ankle.

The England striker was quiet by his usual standards before claiming he got the faintest of touches to Eriksen’s free-kick for the winning goal.

“It was my goal, it flicked off my shoulder and went in,” he said after the game.

However, the Premier League tweeted that the goal had been awarded to Eriksen after a review by the league’s Match Centre.

In the end, all that mattered for Pochettino is that his side had secured three more points at a venue where both Arsenal and Manchester United have tripped up this season.

Another hard luck story for Stoke

For the second successive weekend Stoke produced a battling performance but once again emerged with no reward.

They worked hard at Arsenal before conceding three late goals and this was another hard luck tale to add to the collection.

Paul Lambert’s side limited one of the Premier League’s form teams to just one serious chance in the first half, Jack Butland producing an excellent save to deny Son Heung-min.

Diouf should have scored two goals before Eriksen broke the deadlock while Shaqiri was frustrated by the bar as Spurs led 2-1.

Stoke had started the day three points from safety. They are now four points from 17th place with five games remaining, including a trip to Liverpool on 28 April.

They desperately need a win from somewhere – not another hard luck story.

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