Kane hits hat-trick as Spurs bounce back against Stoke
Vintage performance from striker puts Pochettino's men back on track after wobbles against Liverpool and Gent
26 February, 2017 — By Dan Carrier
SPURS 4, STOKE CITY 0
HARRY Kane turned in a vintage performance at White Hart Lane this afternoon, hitting a hat-trick in 36 minutes as Spurs gave Stoke City a footballing lesson.
Kane’s first was his 100th career goal, and after the match his team-mate, Dele Alli, praised the all-round contribution from his fellow forward. Alli, who scored Tottenham’s fourth, said: “When you have a player like Harry next to you in the side, you are always going to get goals and assists.”
Alli’s was laid on a plate for him by Kane, and the striker, who was sent off in the midweek Europa League game against Gent, said he was thrilled to bounce back.
Alli added: “I owed it to them. I felt terrible after Thursday. It was so good to get out there, play and try to put it right.”
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino added that Alli had shown “great character” to make up for his Europa League error.
He said: “I showed him some love after Thursday and he showed great maturity today. I am very happy for him. He made a mistake and today showed character. I always want him on the pitch and we always want him there for us.”
Pochettino added that the eight points between his team and league leaders Chelsea was big – but they would fight till the end of the season. He said: “Our target is to just keep going and be there if something goes wrong for Chelsea.
“Now we have two competitions to concentrate on and we’ll go as far as we can.”
Spurs never allowed Stoke a chance to get a toe in the game. They went ahead on 13: they’d been threatening every time they got forward, and a slick interchange of passes saw the ball land for Kane on the edge of the box. He swung a peg at it and his zipped shot was well placed into the bottom corner, giving Lee Grant in the Stoke goal no chance.
It was a harbinger of a things to come in a first half Stoke will want to forget.
Jan Vertonghen nearly doubled the lead on 25 with an effort that struck the bar, Kyle Walker saw an effort tipped over, and Kane banged one from range that went just wide.
The lead was extended on 31 and it came through Kane again, this time through a technically perfect volley off a Christian Eriksen corner.
Before Stoke could register the vicious blows landing on them and try some how to take the heat out of a Spurs performance that was boiling over, Kane had bagged his hat-trick. On 36, Eriksen rolled a free-kick short to him and his low drive spun off a set of Stoke ankles to give him his third.
It was four on 44 – and again Kane was at the centre of it. He spun away down the right, drawing the Stoke defence to him and then laid it across the goal for Alli to smash home gleefully.
Spurs played a game of containment in the second half. There was a sense that they were toying with their opponents, breaking at will – they could’ve increased their advantage on numerous occasions – while Stoke looked like they couldn’t get on their bus home fast enough.
So another strong win and a team that look like they’ve got something to prove after their recent mini-wobbles against Liverpool and in the Europa.
SPURS COMMENT by Dan Carrier
WHILE the headline grabber is Harry Kane, today’s performance was built on the foundation provided by Mousa Dembele. He combines strength with skill that is executed so well he almost looks lazy as he does it.
Dele Alli was everywhere – and did not rise to the provocation from numerous meaty Stoke challenges. Perhaps he has learned his lesson that you get your own back by playing out of your skin.
SPURS: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld (Wimmer, 48), Vertonghen (Winks, 65), Kane (Son, 85), Wanyama, Dier, Dembele, Alli, Eriksen, Davies.
Subs: Vorm, Son, Janssen, Trippier, Sissoko, Wimmer, Winks.