After Saturday's victory at White Hart Lane, Harry Redknapp admitted that he would have been satisfied with five points from the games against Arsenal, Chelsea and Man. Utd. To have taken all six before the visit to Old Trafford is not only a magnificent achievement in its own right but has also provided the perfect antidote to the disappointment of missing out on the FA Cup Final.
Gareth Bale celebrates his goal
The wins against Arsenal and Chelsea were very different in character - the first something of an "all hands to the pump" job, the second complete domination of the league leaders. The common factor was a spirited team performance, with four of that team in particular now playing at the top of their game. Heurelho Gomes secured the win over Arsenal with three top-drawer saves. Although his handling remains slightly suspect, his agility and shot-stopping are now surely unmatched in the Premier League. It's hard to believe that this is the same keeper who made such a shaky start to his Spurs career.
The same might be said of Gareth Bale, who not only put in two more hugely impressive displays but also scored two goals. Bale is now starting to perform on the same sort of level as the unquestionably world-class Luka Modric. The manager was once again fulsome in his praise of the little Croatian, saying that "Modric could play in any team in the world in my opinion, he's a fantastic footballer, top, top class".
While he may not possess the technical ability of his three teammates, the best player on the field against Chelsea was Michael Dawson. The memory of his unfortunate slip against Portsmouth in the semi-final was erased by a performance which surely cannot fail to have impressed the watching Fabio Capello. How the likes of Matthew Upson can be in the England squad ahead of Dawson is a mystery.
On current form, the same could be said to apply in the case of John Terry. Having somehow avoided both a red card for his thuggish play against Villa a week ago and conceding a penalty for hand ball against Bolton in midweek, he escaped neither fate on Saturday. Phil Dowd may be a referee with a mixed reputation but at least he had the guts to send the former England captain off following two dreadful tackles. True to form, Terry protested the decisions against him, which was laughable in the circumstances.
In fact, Chelsea were very fortunate not to be beaten more heavily and if there is a quibble about the game, it is that Spurs did not capitalize on other chances that fell to Defoe, Bale and especially Pavlyuchenko. Spurs are currently ahead of Man. City by just one in terms of goal difference, with the race for fourth remaining incredibly tight. The May 5th game against City is now looking like the Champions League decider. Before then Spurs face the other Manchester club, who themselves were re-energized by events at the weekend. A draw at Old Trafford would be a very acceptable result. Another win would be even better.