Dembele is Tottenham's beauty and the beast - replacing him will test Pochettino

Dembele is Tottenham's beauty and the beast - replacing him will test Pochettino

Although Spurs ran out comfortable winners against Watford in front of England manager Gareth Southgate, they had France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to thank for some fine first-half saves.

Spurs have enjoyed standout results without Dembele this season, notably against Real Madrid in the Champions League, but the midfielder, equal parts beauty and the beast, remains integral to their play and they suffer when he is off-colour.

The 24-year-old was mocked by the FA Cup's official Twitter feed last week following Manchester United's semi-final win, something boss Pochettino called "embarrassing", and the England striker responded the only way he knows how by banging in his 27th league goal of the season.

"It was a game we had to win and we won, so I'm happy about that", said Pochettino.

He said: "It was good but we could have played better".

Tottenham are now five points ahead of Chelsea with three games to play in the race for the final Champions League qualification place.

"I think it was a good night for us", Pochettino said. It was a must-win game - so important for us. But the most important thing is to be in a good position with three games ahead.

"In the whole season, in 10 months of competition, it is hard to keep playing good football".

"We conceded a few chances but Hugo Lloris showed fantastic skill and that's why he's one of the best keepers in the world", added Pochettino whose side kept a clean sheet for the first time in six league games thanks mainly to the France worldwide.

"This is massive. It puts us in a very good position fighting for the top four and that is the objective for the rest of the season".

Spurs nearly had a third in the 68th minute when Belgium defender Jan Vertonghen met a Trippier free kick but his header came back off the post, while Kane had an effort ruled offside and substitute Moussa Sissoko fired over from close range. "They were disappointed after Manchester United", Pochettino added.

"I feel good. I'd like to have played better in the last few games, same of the team, but I feel good, feel sharp and could have scored more".

'Last year I got 29 so I would like to try and beat that first and foremost and we'll see what happens, ' Kane told Sky Sports after the Wembley victory. In the end, it's about performance of course, but it's about being sure to win games and sure of the top four.

"There was a lot of tension in the stadium that transmitted to the players".

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