Vertonghen – Any of the top six can win the title

Spurs could have fallen 13 points behind Antonio Conte’s Blues in last night’s London derby at White Hart Lane – but instead they ended their rivals’ 13-match winning run in the top flight and moved within seven points of the summit.

The Lilywhites’ victory has also given renewed hope to the other title contenders.

While Chelsea still have a five-point lead at the top, second-placed Liverpool are only five points ahead of sixth-placed Manchester United, while Spurs, Manchester City and Arsenal are all jostling for position in between.

“It’s going to be very close,” said Vertonghen. “I think everyone in the top six will have a chance of winning it and it’s good. We’ve won five on the bounce now, we’re doing well now and hopefully we can climb a couple more places.

“Maybe everyone thought at the start of the season that it would be close with the other teams, but you see a proper top six now.

“It means you have to win against your rivals, especially at home, and we’ve done that twice now, beating Man City as well here [in October]. It’s a good feeling and we’re getting stronger and stronger.

“This win is up there with our best. We’re building a reputation at the Lane and it feels good to beat the big teams. It’s a good sign we’re progressing well.

“We played very well, didn’t give chances away. We sent a message last year as well when we were challenging for the title and hopefully we can do it again now. The [other teams] have looked at us in a different way in the last two years.

“Are we stronger than last season? I think so. You see who came in, what they’re doing for us, how strong our squad is, how strong our bench is. It’s unbelievable. Everyone’s happy to play for Tottenham.”

The atmosphere was electric last night, in what was due to be Chelsea’s last ever visit to White Hart Lane.

Tottenham face the challenge of recreating that mood at their new home, which is scheduled to be ready for the start of the 2018-19 season, and Vertonghen said: “I believe we will.

“Maybe it’s going to feel a bit different at the start but I saw the new video of the stadium yesterday and I bet we’re going to do well there as well.”

(Ham & High)

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