South Korea forward Son Heung-min hit a dramatic late winner for Tottenham to earn a 2-1 victory over 10-man Watford on Monday.
Son came off the substitutes’ bench to backheel Kieran Trippier’s cross home in the 89th minute at Vicarage Road.
Erik Lamela had pounced on a mistake to open the scoring before Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo scored for the sixth successive game to haul Watford level before half-time.
Tottenham looked set to be left frustrated despite having the numerical advantage for much of the second half.
Nathan Ake had been red-carded for a high challenge on Lamela in the 63rd minute but instead of driving the visitors on it was Watford who appeared to rise to the challenge.
But Son had other ideas as he netted to ensure Tottenham kept up their charge towards the top of the Premier League.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino would have taken one look at the video of Watford’s previous home rout of Liverpool to know that they could not be taken lightly.
Watford had surpassed all expectations by climbing into the top 10 before the year was out.
Survival appears a formality for the promoted side. Spurs, on the other hand, have loftier ambitions.
A Champions League finish is a minimum target but a first top-flight crown since 1961 is certainly not beyond them.
To take another step towards achieving that aim, they would have to do what few sides have done and that would be to keep Troy Deeney and Ighalo quiet.
The most prolific pairing in the league have combined to devastating effect and that might have been behind Pochettino’s thinking as he switched to a three-man defence.
Watford have been strong at the other end but a glaring error from Craig Cathcart saw Lamela give the visitors a 17th minute lead.
The Northern Ireland defender was caught in possession by Dele Alli and Lamela broke to slot past Watford’s former Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.
That goal came largely against the run of play but Tottenham appeared to be keeping the hosts at an arm’s length, with Jurado only threatening with a long-range drive.
That was until Ighalo kept up his amazing goal record four minutes from the break.
The Nigerian shrugged off Eric Dier and made the most of a fortunate rebound to tuck the ball underneath Hugo Lloris.
Tottenham needed to respond but breaking down an organised and stubborn Watford side was no easy task.
A concerted spell of pressure saw Harry Kane head Trippier’s cross just wide.
Then came the game changing decision which saw left-back Ake, on loan from Chelsea, shown a straight red card by referee Anthony Taylor.
Watford were furious but replays suggested it was the right call.
Spurs were now camped in the Watford half, but were struggling for ideas before Son struck late on to snatch a barely deserved win that cemented their position in the top four.