By London correspondent Tony Hughes
After waiting over an hour to be summoned from the bench, it took Dele Alli less than four minutes to transform Tottenham and set them on the path to a sixth consecutive victory.
Withdrawn at half-time in the midweek win at Norwich after suffering dizzy spells, the England international was demoted to the substitute’s bench against Watford even though Mauricio Pochettino had claimed it was a minor medical issue and would not prevent him from taking his place in the team.
With Spurs struggling to break the deadlock at White Hart Lane despite their total domination, the manager turned to his midfield sensation at the hour mark and, within four minutes, Alli had supplied the assist for the opening goal with a delicious outside-of-the-boot cross.
It was an excellent move from Pochettino’s team, with Harry Kane releasing Mousa Dembele for a rampaging run before the Belgian handed the baton to Alli on the left channel before the Englishman teed up Kieran Tripper for the game’s only goal.
What an impact, and what an impact sub. He might be only 19 but Alli has emerged as a key figure in this increasingly impressive Tottenham team.
“Everyone knows Dele’s ability and he changed the game,” observed Tripper, the right-back who produced an outstanding display.
Alli is increasingly used in an advanced midfield role by Spurs, which makes the most of his technical ability and goal-scoring and goal-creating potential.
He has not only scored seven league goals this season, but also supplied five assists and struck up an excellent understanding with fellow emerging star Kane.