Monday 23 September 2019

Kane finds comic-book finish as Spurs push for great escape

Tottenham Hotspur 2 PSV Eindhoven 1

Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates victory. Photo: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates victory. Photo: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Jack Pitt-Brooke

If this is to be the greatest escape in Champions League history, it has begun dramatically enough. Harry Kane scored two late goals to turn a 1-0 defeat - and the end of Spurs' European season - into a 2-1 win which just about keeps it alive.

It was a comic book ending of the type that Kane specialises in. But it was also a win that Spurs deserved.

Jeroen Zoet of PSV Eindhoven reacts after Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur (hidden) scored his team's second goal. Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images
Jeroen Zoet of PSV Eindhoven reacts after Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur (hidden) scored his team's second goal. Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images

Yet again they made life hard for themselves, conceding in the first minute, but then they dominated the game and created more than enough chances to win it before Kane intervened.

It may not be enough to push Spurs through to the last-16, but at least they are still in the mix. Beat Inter Milan at Wembley on November 28 and they will take it to the Nou Camp, and there is the chance for one of the club's great nights.

Spurs started as well as they could have done for a team who conceded their first goal after one minute. After Toby Alderweireld sliced an early clearance behind, it was too easy for Luuk de Jong to run away from Dele Alli and head home.

But despite everything, the poor start, the hopeless context, and the 46,588 crowd, Tottenham went on to play surprisingly well. The only option was to attack, so Pochettino went with one of the most attacking sides he has put out this year.

Dele Alli of Tottenham is challenged by Daniel Schwaab of PSV. Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Dele Alli of Tottenham is challenged by Daniel Schwaab of PSV. Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

With a midfield dedicated to creation, not destruction, Spurs started to make chances. Alli, back into the team after missing Saturday's trip to Wolves, was at the heart of everything Spurs did. He had a flick blocked on the line. He set up Kane whose shot was blocked by Nick Viergever. He fed Eriksen, his shot was saved by Jeroen Zoet and so was Alli's follow-up.

It became a test of patience for Spurs and Pochettino had to turn to Erik Lamela, Fernando Llorente and Kieran Trippier from the bench. When Spurs launched the ball forward late on, Kane won it, but this time he had a strike partner in Llorente to collect his flick on and give it back to him. Kane tucked the finish in the bottom corner.

Then Ben Davies whipped in one last cross from the left. Kane got up at the far post to win a header that would never have beaten Zoet by itself. But it deflected off first Viergever and then Trent Sainsbury to roll into the corner. Lucky, yes, but also deserved for a dominant 90 minutes of football. (© Independent News Service)

Independent News Service

The Left Wing - RWC daily: Bullet trains as Ireland spread wings

Also in Sport