Kane brace sets Spurs on Arse­nal’s tail

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

LON­DON: Harry Kane scored his sev­enth and eighth goals in five matches as Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur dis­patched West Ham United 4-1 yes­ter­day to close on the Premier League’s top four. De­fend­ers Toby Alder­weireld and Kyle Walker also found the net at a chilly White Hart Lane as Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino’s side equalled the club record of 12 suc­ces­sive Premier League games with­out de­feat. Spurs now trail fourth-place Arse­nal by just two points and lead­ers Le­ices­ter City by four, leav­ing them ideally placed for an as­sault on the Cham­pi­ons League berths ahead of next week­end’s home game with splut­ter­ing cham­pi­ons Chelsea, who will not rel­ish the trip to north Lon­don.

Kane, who has scored 12 goals in 14 Lon­don der­bies, branded the dis­play Spurs’ best of the sea­son and Po­chet­tino said: “It was a high-level per­for­mance. It was fan­tas­tic and we feel very proud. “It was a bril­liant ef­fort. We showed how we can play and we need to keep the whole sea­son the per­for­mance that we showed.” The only dis­ap­point­ment for the Spurs man­ager was the book­ing col­lected by ris­ing star Dele Alli fol­low­ing a shov­ing match with Mark No­ble, which rules the Eng­land new­comer out of the Chelsea game.

It was only a sec­ond de­feat in 10 league games for Slaven Bilic’s West Ham, who replied late on through Manuel Lanzini, and left them three points adrift of Spurs in sixth place. “The per­for­mance matches the re­sult, to be fair,” Bilic told BBC Sport. “They were bet­ter than us.”

The visi­tors badly missed in­jured play­maker Dim­itri Payet, whose place was taken by Di­afra Sakho in West Ham’s only change. Bilic strung his mid­field­ers across the pitch in a 4-1-4-1 sys­tem, with Sakho wide on the right, in an at­tempt to stop Spurs’ cen­tre-backs sliding passes into the feet of Alli, Chris­tian Erik­sen and fita­gain Son He­ung-Min, who re­placed the sus­pended Erik Lamela.

Vic­tor Moses gave Spurs early con­cern by skip­ping past Mousa Dem­bele and cross­ing from the left, but Spurs were in con­trol and af­ter Erik­sen had warmed Adrian’s palms from range, they took a 23rd-minute lead.

Alli’s shot from the edge of the box was par­tially blocked and fell to Kane, who eas­ily rolled Carl Jenk­in­son be­fore ri­fling a left-foot shot into the roof of the net for his sev­enth goal of the league cam­paign. West Ham threat­ened to re­ply im­me­di­ately when Cheikhou Kouy­ate volleyed ac­ro­bat­i­cally against the cross­bar af­ter No­ble’s blocked shot bal­looned into the air.

But in the 33rd minute the hosts added a sec­ond, Alder­weireld out­jump­ing Andy Car­roll at the near post and nod­ding in Erik­sen’s cor­ner. Spurs should have put the game out of sight be­fore half-time. Alli headed against the bar af­ter Adrian had thwarted Son and mo­ments later Kane was sent clean through, only to saw his first-timer from eight yards out glance off the top of the cross­bar.

Babacar made way for Giuseppe Rossi mo­ments later but the Amer­i­can-born striker was eclipsed as Kalinic, and then Ma­tias Ve­cino, came clos­est to se­cur­ing all three points. — AFP mis­cue hor­ri­bly and bob­ble a left-foot shot well wide.

It did not take long for him to atone, how­ever, as an ill-ad­vised at­tempt to play the ball out from the back by West Ham gifted Spurs their third goal five min­utes af­ter the change of ends.

The re­luc­tant re­cip­i­ent of a throw from Adrian, Tomkins passed the ball straight to Erik­sen, who moved it on to Kane, and the Eng­land striker drove a low strike through Adrian from out­side the box.

Adrian should have done bet­ter than al­low the ball to slip be­neath him, but he pro­vided a firmer bar­rier shortly af­ter, block­ing from Son at his near post and then par­ry­ing Erik­sen’s volleyed fol­low-up.

Walker was booked af­ter a need­less face-off with Sakho, but the right-back made amends in the 83rd minute by us­ing the out­side of his right foot to curl Son’s lay-off around Adrian’s for­lorn dive and into the net.

Lanzini de­nied Hugo Lloris a clean sheet by flum­mox­ing Walker with a step-over and slam­ming home left-footed, but Spurs fin­ished strongly, with sub­sti­tute Ryan Ma­son hit­ting the post. — AFP

LON­DON: West Ham United’s English striker Andy Car­roll (R) jumps to win a header dur­ing the English Premier League foot­ball match be­tween Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur and West Ham United at White Hart Lane in north Lon­don yes­ter­day. — AFP

VERONA: Napoli's Gon­zalo Higuain, left, and Hel­las Verona de­fender Evan­ge­los Moras vie for the ball dur­ing a Serie A soc­cer match at Ben­te­godi sta­dium in Verona, yes­ter­day. — AP

Tot­ten­ham 4

West Ham 1

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