Monday 16 September 2019

'I think if I'm on the halfway I get it' - Harry Kane responds to diving claim

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane applauds the fans after the final whistle during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.
Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane applauds the fans after the final whistle during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.

Richard Martin

Tottenham striker Harry Kane has defended himself after claims that he dived to try and win a penalty in the 2-2 Premier League north London derby with Arsenal at the Emirates.

In second half injury-time, Spurs had a penalty appeal waved away after Kane went down under the challenge of Sokratis.

However, replays showed that the Spurs striker attempted to initiate the contact by putting his body between the ball and the defender.

Being interviewed on Sky Sports after the game, reporter Geoff Shreeves asked the England forward whether it was a penalty, to which Kane replied: "I think so. Obviously I’ll have to watch it back."

Arsenal manager Unai Emery gestures during the Premier League draw with Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium, London.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery gestures during the Premier League draw with Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium, London.

Kane was still live on camera when Sky Sports offered to show him a replay of the incident.

As Kane watched it, he said: "I think he makes a tired tackle. I think if I’m on the halfway I get it but when you’re in the box, it’s 50/50."

Arsenal strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette inspired a stirring comeback against Spurs to salvage a 2-2 draw in a thriller.

The Gunners, who were beaten 3-1 at Liverpool last week, are in fifth place with seven points while Spurs are ninth on five after four games.

The visitors took a 10th minute lead when Eriksen knocked the ball into an empty net on the rebound, capitalising on some sloppy goalkeeping from Arsenal's Bernd Leno, who could only parry Erik Lamela's weak shot into the path of the Dane.

Arsenal had most of the ball on a sun-soaked afternoon at the Emirates Stadium but Tottenham were far more threatening on the break and Leno was forced to keep out stinging efforts from Kane and Eriksen in the first half.

"We played with our heart sometimes more than our head, we needed more balance, we needed to have clearer heads," said Arsenal coach Unai Emery of his side's first-half mistakes.

Tottenham were then awarded a penalty for a clumsy foul by Granit Xhaka on the lively Son Heung-min and Kane converted in the 40th minute to put Spurs on track for a first league win on enemy territory in nine years.

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane (bottom) tries to win a penalty from Arsenal's Sokratis Papastathopoulos during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.
Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane (bottom) tries to win a penalty from Arsenal's Sokratis Papastathopoulos during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.

However, Arsenal's France striker Lacazette halved the deficit right before halftime with an emphatic strike after controlling an exquisite pass from the club's record signing Nicolas Pepe.

Kane came close to sealing the points for Tottenham when he struck the post but Arsenal became galvanised when Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos came off the bench and hit a shot which keeper Hugo Lloris did well to tip over.

An equaliser looked ever likelier and duly arrived when Gabon striker Aubameyang prodded a lofted pass from Matteo Guendouzi into the net in the 71st minute, scoring a third goal in four Premier League games this season.

"It was an amazing match. We are proud of our work and our supporters," added Emery.

"The key was the first goal to give us confidence and give us more chances in the second half. We deserved it."

Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino also felt Lacazette's timely goal was pivotal.

"Conceding with the last action of the first half gave relief to Arsenal and was an emotional hit to us, we were very down, before our emotions were very high and football is all about emotion," he said.

Aubameyang, meanwhile, said Arsenal should have come away with more than a point.

"I think in the first half we deserved to score two goals," he said. "It was a tough game and I think we deserved more."

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