LOVE MATCH

Po­chet­tino sim­ply adores Harry

Daily Star Sunday - - RESULT! - By Tony Stenson

MAURI­CIO PO­CHET­TINO ad­mit­ted last night that he is in with Harry Kane.

LOVE

The Spurs boss was full of ado­ra­tion for the in-form striker af­ter he scored twice, hit the wood­work twice and warmed up for the Cham­pi­ons League trip to Greece in the best pos­si­ble way.

Po­chet­tino said: “Harry is not just the best striker in Eng­land but one of the best in the world.

“I love him, his team-mates love him and the fans love him. Not just for be­ing a won­der­ful striker but for his at­ti­tude and pro­fes­sion­al­ism. For a boss, he is a dream.

“I am very happy to beat a side that was full of emo­tion and staged a late rally when we were a man down.”

Chris­tian Erik­sen net­ted af­ter Kane’s dou­ble but the away side had to batten down the hatches af­ter Javier Her­nan­dez and Chiekhou Kouy­ate scored in the 65th and 87th min­utes re­spec­tively.

The only real down­side for Spurs yes­ter­day was the dis­missal of new boy Serge Aurier, sent off af­ter col­lect­ing two book­ings, the last for whip­ping away the legs of Andy Car­roll.

There is also the mys­te­ri­ous form of Dele Alli. The mid­field star works hard get­ting into space but then falls over his own feet try­ing to do too much.

But this was the Kane story – he scored twice in five min­utes to take his tally to six in four games as Spurs re­stored or­der af­ter los­ing their last two games on West Ham soil. De­feats that hurt fur­ther be­cause they ended lin­ger­ing ti­tle hopes.

Kane de­liv­ered a master­class in what a striker should do dur­ing a game. He fought tiger­ishly, held up play, brought team-mates into ac­tion and scored goals.

West Ham started well and Marko Ar­nau­tovic had acres of space down the left flank but his fin­ish­ing was waste­ful and his crosses way­ward.

They were forced to change tac­tics in the 27th minute when Michail An­to­nio limped off to be re­placed by Car­roll, who ar­rived to a tremen­dous wel­come from the home fans.

Kane of­ten worked both flanks to try to find open­ings but chances were rare un­til the open­ing goal ar­rived in the 34th minute.

Erik­sen and Alli com­bined down the right and the lat­ter’s cross was met by Kane, div­ing full length, who planted a header past Joe Hart.

Just four min­utes later, Jan Ver­tonghen sent Alli scam­per­ing clear and when his shot was blocked by Hart it fell kindly to Kane to slide the ball home.

West Ham’s early con­fi­dence evap­o­rated and Kane started the move for Tot­ten­ham’s third with a 30-yard free-kick.

The ball came back off the post, was whipped in again by Aurier and landed sweetly for Erik­sen to score af­ter com­ing off An­gelo Og­bonna.

To their credit, the Ham­mers staged a de­cent re­cov­ery with Her­nan­dez head­ing in fol­low­ing a cor­ner.

Aurier was given his march­ing or­ders with 20 min­utes still left on the clock and when Kouy­ate scored with a pow­er­ful header it was game on.

They could not find a third way past Hugo Lloris, though, and the pres­sure now mounts on Slaven Bilic with his side sat in the bot­tom three.

The Ham­mers boss said: “Mixed emo­tions about the game. We played as well as I have seen, we had chances but didn’t take them.

“Un­til their first goal we were there.

“Then An­to­nio went off, they scored and we lost our shape. They scored an­other be­fore we got it back.

“Kane? Best com­pli­ment I can give him is we played with three cen­tre-backs and they had very good game but still Kane was lethal.

“He de­cided the game. He is one of the best strik­ers in the world. He held the key to this game.”

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