A 65th minute victor by the Irons' Manuel Lanzini means the title is all but Chelsea's. A 1-0 loss at West Ham enables Chelsea to secure the trophy before Tottenham even plays again.
Pochettino admitted Spurs lacked the intensity they had shown in recent games, but rubbished suggestions that the pressure had got to his players.
"Spurs looked like a side whose season had come to a predictable end".
Manuel Lanzini's second half strike ensured West Ham the points, and indeed their Premier League status, as well as nearly certainly putting pay to Tottenham's title hopes in the process.
West Ham, the first team to stop Tottenham scoring since Liverpool in early February, moved up to ninth with 42 points and are now mathematically safe. It is true that it will be hard. That has disappointed us a lot, but this is football and we need to understand this was a hard game, we tried but it was impossible.
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Instead, the defeat that Chelsea can extend the gap to seven points with a win against Middlesbrough on Monday - and should they do that, beating West Brom next Friday night will seal the title for the Blues. Tottenham's challenge now is holding on for its highest finish in 54 years in the remaining three games.
As they had done for most of the game, the Hammers nullified every attempt by Tottenham to breach their defence after that, and could have won by a bigger margin had they been more clinical. "I don't know. But you have to win".
Last month, Lloris told ESPN FC that "a winning mentality is already in place" at Tottenham but immediately after the game he rejected suggestions that fatigue was to blame and said his teammates had not gone the extra mile.
"We feel guilty because I'm not pleased with the way we played this game", he said on Spurs TV.
Pochettino's players were looking lethargic and were punished for their sloppiness in the 65th minute. "Now is the time rest, to analyse the game and be ready for the next time". 'We have to wait but are thinking that it will be hard to catch Chelsea.
West Ham turned on the style to foil a Tottenham side usually so energetic and menacing to ease any lingering relegation fears.