Pochettino purring as Kane’s hat-trick books FA Cup quarter-final place
Fulham put up little resistance as Spurs put defeats against Liverpool and Gent behind them
19 February, 2017 — By Dan Carrier
Tottenham manager Pochettino says Spurs are feeling ‘fresh’
FA Cup Fifth Round
FULHAM 0, SPURS 3
TOTTENHAM boss Mauricio Pochettino praised his Spurs team for a thoroughly professional job this afternoon as they brushed past Fulham to secure a spot in the FA Cup quarter finals thanks to a Harry Kane hat trick.
Speaking after the game, the manager said the display banished the ill-feeling generated by a tepid midweek away defeat to Gent in the Europa League. After picking a nearly full strength side – only Hugo Lloris, Mousa Dembele and Kyle Walker were rested – he said: “After two defeats at Liverpool and Gent, they all wanted to play. It is difficult to take when you lose. We felt fresh and there was the need to do this for our confidence. The reaction was fantastic. Now it is about keeping that feeling.”
Spurs took the lead on 15 after some excellent work by Keiran Trippier. His quick thinking saw him take a throw in for Christian Eriksen to chase, and the Dane’s cross was on a plate for Kane to slip home. His stretching volley was a masterclass in timing a run and burying the opportunity.
Spurs created plenty of chances in the first half but despite the pressure it was telling that Marcus Bettinelli in the Fulham goal did not have too many saves to make. Tottenham created well but lacked the final touch to make their dominance count, with Eriksen, Heung-Min Son and Kane all guilty of slashing at shots instead of steadying themselves.
But any thoughts of a second half come back by the home side were quickly dispelled when Kane made it two on 50 minutes. It was Harry Winks – excellent throughout – who got it started. He tricked his way through a melee in the middle of the park and played a perfectly weighted ball out wide. Kane then made no mistake when the cross was spun in by Eriksen for him to meet, six yards out.
It was all over 18 minutes from the end when Dele Alli spotted Kane’s run and his pass got the striker behind the Fulham defence. He slotted home to claim the match ball and make the tie watertight.
While Fulham offered little, you can only beat what is in front of you – and the confidence the side can gain from such a solid performance is so important after recent wobbles. Pochettino added his charges were now focussing on over turning a 1-0 deficit in the Europa League on Thursday night at Wembley.
He said: “It is a massive game for us. We will put all our energy into it.”
SPURS: Vorm, Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Wanyama, Winks (Dembele, 76), Alli (Onomah, 86), Eriksen, Son, Kane (Sissoko, 74).
Subs not used: Lopez, Janssen, Wimmer, Carter-Vickers.