EARN­ING HIS SPURS

Harry Kane breaks his Au­gust duck in win over Ful­ham

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - FRONT PAGE - PAUL MacINNES

HARRY Kane broke his Au­gust duck in the Pre­mier League and there were echoes of Eng­land’s World Cup sum­mer as Tot­ten­ham over­came a com­mit­ted ef­fort from new boys Ful­ham at Wem­b­ley.

A goal late in the first half from Lu­cas Moura, his first in the league for Spurs, was can­celled out by Alek­san­dar Mitro­vic early in the sec­ond half. But a strong re­sponse from the hosts saw first Kieran Trip­pier, in a re­play of his semi-fi­nal con­tri­bu­tion in Rus­sia, and then Golden Boot win­ner Kane score to give Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino an im­por­tant win.

The home side re­called both Toby Alder­weireld and Trip­pier to their start­ing XI. Spurs set up in a Gareth South- gate-es­que 3-3-2-2, with Moura join­ing Kane up front. It was no ex­ag­ger­a­tion to say that Trip­pier, sta­tioned high up the pitch as he was in Rus­sia, made the dif­fer­ence for his side.

Time and again Spurs got in on that side, only for the fi­nal ball to be cut out by Ful­ham’s cen­tre-halves. Kane might have had a penalty af­ter a chal­lenge from Ti­mothy Fosu-Men­sah and Chris­tian Erik­sen should have fin­ished off a sweep­ing move in the 23rd minute.

Ful­ham were largely on the back foot but they re­mained a threat. The vis­i­tors wel­comed three debu­tants, in­clud­ing the £20m mid­field­ers An­dre-Frank Zambo An­guissa and Jean Michaël Seri. They also re­called one of their Cham­pi­onship cult he­roes, Aboubakar Ka­mara and it was the man they call AK47 (that’s his squad num­ber) who was the big­gest threat, ex­ploit­ing the space left by Trip­pier and tee­ing up Tom Cair­ney on the half-hour for a low whipped shot that forced a de­cent save from Hugo Lloris.

Spurs fi­nally earned a re­ward just as half-time ap­proached. Again Trip­pier was in­volved, chip­ping a ball over Joe Bryan to find Erik­sen. The Dane’s cross was cleared once again, but this time the ball only reached the edge of the box be­fore Moura whipped it back in­side the far post with his left foot.

Ful­ham emerged the hun­grier side af­ter half-time. Again they fo­cused their play down the left and en­joyed a lot of pos­ses­sion. Ka­mara again made a telling touch in the 48th minute, play­ing in Mitro­vic, who saw his low shot bounce straight off Lloris’s right hand post.

Three min­utes later and the Serb had opened his Pre­mier League ac­count for Ful­ham. The move be­gan with Bryan, ad­vanc­ing into that gap­ing space on the left and bend­ing an inch-per­fect cross be­yond the Spurs back three. The ball reached the back post and Ryan Sesseg­non, but in­stead of shoot­ing the teenager calmly laid the ball back across the box to Mitro­vic who dived to head the ball home.

Al­most im­me­di­ately Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino brought Mousa Dem­bélé on for Davin­son Sánchez and switched back to a back four. The home side slowly be­gan to re­gain their mo­men­tum and, cru­cially, get Trip­pier on the ball. His cross was punched out by Ful­ham’s goal­keeper Fabri in the 65th minute, but only as far as Dele Alli whose vol­ley was cleared off the line in a mo­ment of des­per­ate Ful­ham de­fend­ing. Seven min­utes later Trip­pier whipped a cross low to Kane, whose pow­er­ful vol­ley crashed off the bar.

Ful­ham were be­gin­ning to strug­gle and Spurs would soon take ad­van­tage. Some vin­tage Kane and Alli in­ter­play earned Spurs a free-kick 25 yards out. Up stepped Trip­pier and the crowd held its breath. They were right to. Just as in the Luzh­niki Sta­dium in Rus­sia last month, Trip­pier struck the ball su­perbly, this time swerv­ing to Fabri’s right-hand post and leav­ing the goal­keeper with no chance.

Spurs had their heads up now and their chests out. Érik Lamela came on and his first con­tri­bu­tion was to slalom through the heart of the Ful­ham de­fence in the 78th minute. He poked a pass to Kane in­side the box and the cap­tain took a touch, dragged it in­side Calum Cham­bers, who had stuck with the Eng­land cap­tain as­sid­u­ously all match, and fin­ished low in­side the far post for his open­ing goal of the cam­paign.

Photo: Ian King­ton

Harry Kane cel­e­brates with his team-mate Chris­tian Erik­sen af­ter scor­ing Tot­ten­ham’s thrid goal at Wem­b­ley yes­ter­day.

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