Thursday 23 November 2017

Outstanding Kane fires Tottenham past Terriers with ease

Huddersfield Town 0 Tottenham Hotspur 4

Harry Kane in action for Spurs. Photo: Getty Images
Harry Kane in action for Spurs. Photo: Getty Images

Paul Doyle

These days a team is not really a Premier League side until Harry Kane has shattered their defence. So this was an initiation of sorts for Huddersfield Town, who became the latest victims of a striker whose goals are fuelling Tottenham's trophy ambitions and his own quest to break records.

David Wagner's team had only conceded three goals in their first six top-flight matches since promotion but Tottenham fired that many past them in the first 23 minutes here, with Kane, inevitably, leading the onslaught. He scored the visitors' first and third goals, and was instrumental in creating the second for Ben Davies. The left-back helped the visitors add a fourth in stoppage time by setting up Moussa Sissoko.

Harry Kane celebrates scoring his sides third goal with Jan Vertonghen and Kieran Trippier. Photo: Getty Images
Harry Kane celebrates scoring his sides third goal with Jan Vertonghen and Kieran Trippier. Photo: Getty Images

He now has 84 goals from 123 Premier League appearances and his strike rate is accelerating: factor in his midweek hat-trick in the Champions League against Apoel Nicosia and he hit 13 goals in all competitions in September, the most productive month of the 24-year-old's career to date.

Kane tried to open the scoring here as early as the second minute but saw his shot deflected behind by Mathias Jorgensen. Then Huddersfield had the temerity to try to get on the scoresheet before him, Hugo Lloris thwarting a shock by diving full-length to tip away a powerful long-range effort by Tommy Smith. Soon, though, Kane took over.

He received unwitting help from Huddersfield's left-back, Chris Löwe, whose mistake on halfway turned a banal clearing header by Kieran Trippier into the perfect through ball for Kane. The striker did the rest, cantering forward and into the penalty area before finishing as matter-of-factly as a librarian slotting a book into the correct space on a shelf.

Löwe was unfortunate to play a role in Spurs' second, too. That came seven minutes later after cutting interplay down the left between Dele Alli and Kane, who flicked a pass through to Christian Eriksen at the edge of the area. Löwe poked the ball off the Dane's foot but when it ran across the box, Davies arrived to lift it over the keeper with a delicate finish.

Chris Lowe of Huddersfield Town and Christian Eriksen of Tottenham Hotspur battle for possession. Photo: Getty Images
Chris Lowe of Huddersfield Town and Christian Eriksen of Tottenham Hotspur battle for possession. Photo: Getty Images

With Spurs intent on punishing every error, Jonas Lössl must have feared the worst when he miskicked a clearance and gifted the ball to Kane. But the goalkeeper recovered sufficiently to rob the ball back before the striker was able to get off a shot.

That relief was only temporary, however. In the 23rd minute Kane struck again, brilliantly rolling past two opponents before curling a precise left-foot shot into the net from 20 yards.

Spurs were a class above anyone Huddersfield had encountered so far. This was the fourth away match in a row in which Spurs have struck at least three goals and they could have increased the tally before half-time: Alli struck the post after a smooth move down the right.

Huddersfield, though made to look ragged at times, did not bow down and Laurent Depoitre cracked a ferocious long-range shot against the crossbar just before the break.

Huddersfield tightened up in the second period, determined not to permit a tonking. Christopher Schindler hurled himself in front of a shot to prevent Kane plundering another hat-trick. Alli darted through the defence in the 57th minute but when he went down in the box as Lössl came to challenge him, the referee booked him for diving. He had been rumbled. Spurs did not over-exert themselves after that, knowing the game was long since up for Huddersfield. But Sissoko scored in stoppage time, anyway.

Kane had been substituted by then, leaving in the 86th minute to applause by supporters of both clubs. This was Huddersfield's first meeting with Tottenham since 1972 and they have still not beaten the Londoners since 1956, when they had a player in their team, left-back Ray Wilson, who would later win the World Cup with England. Here, the Yorkshire team were shot down by another Englishman who could go on to achieve greatness.

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