Kane treble maintains stunning form as Spurs cruise in Cyprus
Apoel Nicosia 0-3 Tottenham
So the sceptics who thought that Harry Kane would not maintain his first big rush of goals some three seasons ago were right.
It turns out that he was only just getting started and would actually accelerate to a frequency that is now inviting legitimate comparison with any striker in the world, including even Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
A 'perfect' hat-trick here of left foot, right foot and header takes him to 34 goals in his past 30 competitive games, including nine in Tottenham's last five matches. It is also his fourth hat-trick or better in the space of just nine months.
What was so striking here was how Kane finished what were only a series of half-chances with the seemingly effortless ease of being faced with a tap-in.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino had said before the match that he no longer had words to describe his striker but, having watched him single-handedly continue Tottenham's perfect start to their Champions League campaign, it felt almost like an act of mercy to Apoel Nicosia when he was brought off in the 75th minute.
Pochettino's team selection had been severely restricted. Dele Alli and Jan Vertonghen were both serving suspensions and, while the unavailability of Mousa Dembele, Eric Lamela, Victor Wanyama and Danny Rose through injury was expected, the late loss of Christian Eriksen due to illness was a big blow that meant several players starting out of their usual position.
It showed as the home side found space behind Serge Aurier down right but couldn't take their chances. Tottenham continued to ride their luck when Hugo Lloris's clearance struck Aurier and dribbled back just wide of his own goal. It had been a quiet half for Kane but, with 39 minutes gone, he suddenly delivered.
Alderweireld played a long ball forward and Kane cleverly turned Jesus Rueda before opening up his body to finish past Boy Waterman with his left foot.
After the break, Spurs were on the back foot and Pochettino reacted by taking off Aurier and moving to Trippier to right full-back while pushing Fernando Llorente up alongside Kane.
It proved inspired, with Trippier then releasing Moussa Sissoko who found Kane on the edge of the area. He instantly brought the ball under control before finishing emphatically. Kane was still not finished and he then rose to deftly glance Trippier's cross beyond Waterman. A perfect treble on a perfect night.