Tottenham's hopes of winning the Premier League title are nigh on impossible after their 1-0 defeat by West Ham yesterday admitted Spurs defender Eric Dier.
Spurs went down 1-0 to Manuel Lanzini's 65th-minute goal, missing the chance to close the gap to Chelsea to one point and surely ending their slim hopes of beating them to the title.
"It was already going to be hard and now it's even harder", Dier said. "We know we can play like that, but it's been a tough season and the boys have dug in fantastically".
So stylish in Sunday's win over north London rivals Arsenal, there was far less swagger about Pochettino's side as they struggled to turn their territorial dominance into a priceless goal. The defeat leaves Tottenham four points behind Chelsea having played a game more, meaning the title race is firmly in the Blues' hands. "But we lost and now we look forward".
"It may sound odd, but the game we lost 3-2 at White Hart Lane in early November, we wanted to repeat it because we were really good in that game".
West Ham kept Tottenham at arm's length once they went ahead and the final whistle sparked scenes of jubilation around the ground as the hosts moved up to ninth with 42 points.
Speaking after the match, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said: "We are feeling disappointed". It's not about playing well or running around more or less, it's about when you must win, you win.
It should also take the heat off of manager Slaven Bilic whose position has come under pressure this season despite steering West Ham to seventh past year. "We were a little bit unlucky (against West Ham) and we didn't deserve to lose".
"We deserved it, we played so well. A great team display in terms of character and determination".
"Now we're safe, if we get some more points we can finish only one or two places below where we were past year".
Whether that will be enough to spare boss Slaven Bilic from the sack remains to be seen amid reports his job could be in danger.
On the very week that they blew it last season, Tottenham Hotspur's title nightmare has come back to haunt them once again.