Tottenham are unbeaten in eight Premier League games under Antonio Conte
Davinson Sanchez scored a 96th-minute winner as Tottenham continued their push for a Premier League top-four place with a last-gasp victory over struggling Watford at Vicarage Road.
Defender Sanchez headed in from Son Heung-min’s cross as Antonio Conte continued his unbeaten league start with Spurs, who climbed to fifth in the table.
Hornets goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann denied Son Heung-min at close range in the second half, after Lloris had produced an equally superb save from Josh King at the other end.
Joao Pedro had a late penalty appeal dismissed after Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris raced out of his goal to deny the forward.
The game was paused in the closing stages because of a medical emergency in the crowd, leading to eight minutes of stoppage time.
Tottenham reduced the gap to fourth-placed Arsenal to two points, having played two games fewer than their north London rivals, after the Gunners lost 2-1 to leaders Manchester City earlier on Saturday.
A club record-equalling sixth consecutive top-flight defeat leaves Watford 17th, two points above the bottom three, having played two games more than Burnley directly below them.
Spurs continue to build momentum under Conte
Watford 0-1 Tottenham: Spurs must improve their final pass – Conte
Conte became the first Tottenham manager to avoid defeat in his first seven league matches in charge amid the frustration of Tuesday’s draw with 10-man Southampton – and the extension of that run at Vicarage Road ensured Spurs are firmly in contention for a Champions League place at the start of the year.
It threatened to be another exasperating day for the Italian and his team, as Watford defended resolutely during a first half in which Spurs had 73% possession and 26 touches in the Watford box compared with three for the hosts.
Kane was unable to extend his scoring run to a fourth league match, shooting wide following a first-half defensive error by Imran Louza – while Bachmann was equal to the England striker’s attempt shortly after the restart.
Wing-backs Sergio Reguilon and Emerson Royal were unable to deliver quality crosses as several Spurs attacks faltered and Watford looked set to register a first Premier League clean sheet of the season.
Watford continue to fight and will survive – Ranieri
Reports this week claimed Ranieri is already under pressure at Vicarage Road – with this a ninth defeat in 11 games since the Premier League-winning manager succeeded Xisco Munoz in October.
Though substituted at half-time after a below-par first half on Saturday, the fine goalscoring form of Emmanuel Dennis has offered hope for Watford in their fight for survival. It is their shortcomings in defence which threaten to prove fatal.
This disciplined performance, despite defeat, will offer optimism for Ranieri in that regard – before two crucial league games against the bottom two sides, Newcastle and Norwich.
“What a pity, that is football and we continue to fight. We are alive and we will survive,” Ranieri told BBC Sport.
“I am very proud, also our fans should be proud because the team fought until the end.”
Conte, meanwhile, awaiting a meeting with the club to determine what business can be done in the January transfer window, will undoubtedly be searching for quality reinforcements with Spurs seeking a top-four finish.
The Spurs manager said: “Honestly, when Tottenham put me in charge, I asked for time to make my evaluation about the squad. Now I have and for sure we will have a meeting.
“It is important always to be honest, to understand where we are at in this moment and then I will see. January is not simple, but maybe we will see what happens,” he added.
Player of the match
D SánchezDavinson Sánchez
- 6LouzaSubstituted forCleverleyat 90+1′minutes
- 12SemaSubstituted forHernándezat 90+10′minutes
- 25DennisSubstituted forJoão Pedroat 45′minutes
- 10João Pedro
27Lucas Moura10Kane7Son Heung-Min
- 6D Sánchez
- 12Emerson Royal
- 29SkippBooked at 61minsSubstituted forWinksat 70′minutes
- 3ReguilónSubstituted forLo Celsoat 83′minutes
- 27Lucas MouraSubstituted forGilat 90+1′minutes
- 7Son Heung-Min
- 18Lo Celso
Match ends, Watford 0, Tottenham Hotspur 1.
Second Half ends, Watford 0, Tottenham Hotspur 1.
Foul by Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur).
Juraj Kucka (Watford) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Juraj Kucka.
Substitution, Watford. Cucho Hernández replaces Ken Sema.
Attempt saved. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Emerson Royal with a cross.
Goal! Watford 0, Tottenham Hotspur 1. Davinson Sánchez (Tottenham Hotspur) header from very close range to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Son Heung-Min with a cross following a set piece situation.
Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Juraj Kucka (Watford).
Substitution, Watford. Tom Cleverley replaces Imran Louza.
Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Bryan Gil replaces Lucas Moura.
Substitution, Tottenham Hotspur. Giovani Lo Celso replaces Sergio Reguilón.
Attempt blocked. Ben Davies (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg.
Attempt saved. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Harry Kane.
Attempt missed. Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Ben Davies following a corner.
Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Juraj Kucka.
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Joshua King (Watford).
Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Joshua King.
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