Four-midable Tottenham take huge bite out of Stoke City
- Credit: PA
Tottenham Hotspur are back up to second in the Premier League after a convincing 4-0 win over Stoke City.
There’s a conversation that usually happens in our house on Sunday lunchtime, possibly most other houses across the country; what’s the best part of a Sunday dinner?
It’s a question that has no real answer, much like how good were Tottenham Hotspur in the first half against Stoke City?
It’s very hard to quantify the feast of football Spurs produced on their way to a 4-0 half-time lead. The fact that there were no goals in the second half is a mere insignificance.
And if they were guilty of missing chances against Gent on Thursday, they put that right at White Hart Lane.
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Harry Kane, who else, was Stoke’s chief tormentor picking up his 100th club goal on the way to a first-half hat-trick, dubious goals panel permitting.
His first on 13 minutes saw him swing a right foot at a loose ball in the box and fire the ball across Lee Grant and into the corner.
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His second on 31 was another sumptuous strike, left-footed this time from the edge of the area.
Whether he will get to keep the third will remain to be seen but his low drive, after Christian Eriksen laid a free-kick off to him, was heading towards goal before Peter Crouch deflected it beyond Grant.
And he was instrumental in the fourth, with a Dimitar Berbatov-esque turn setting him away down the right before finding Dele Alli on the stretch at the far post.
And they could have had more. Jan Vertonghen hit the bar with a volley from 12 yards while Kane was just inches wide with a curling effort moments later.
Stoke had one opportunity, Crouch forcing Hugo Lloris into an instinctive save with his foot.
The rest of the half they spent earning the ire of referee Jonathan Moss. Glenn Whelan, Charlie Adam and Marko Arnautovic were all booked, with Whelan perhaps fortunate not to see red for a two-footed lunge at Vertonghen.
Much like a Sunday dinner, where the dessert is never as good as the main meal, the second half failed to live up to the first 45 minutes.
There was a worrying moment 10 minutes in when Kane’s leg collided with a post as he attempted to get onto the end of a cross and they lost Toby Alderweireld with minutes of the restart.
But still it was Tottenham most likely to score next. Grant made a fantastic one-handed save to deny Kane a fourth, Harry Winks had a shot deflected behind and Eriksen fired well over.
It didn’t matter and as the fans drifted off down the High Road towards their own meal, they will hope it lives up to this.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld (Wimmer 48), Vertonghen (Winks 65), Davies, Wanyama, Dier, Dembele, Eriksen, Alli, Kane (Son 85)
Subs (not used): Vorm, Trippier, Janssen, Sissoko
Goals: Kane, 13, 31, 36, Alli 45+1
Booked: Wimmer 66, Wanyama 89
Stoke City: Grant, Bardsley, Pieters, Allen, Whelan (Cameron 80), Arnautovic, Martins Indi, Adam (Afellay 59), Shawcross, Crouch (Berahino 59), Sobhi
Subs (not used): Given, Muniesa, Diouf, Imbula
Booked: Whelan 18, Adam 24, Arnautovic 38
HT: Tottenham Hotspur 4 Stoke City 0
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Assistants: Edward Smart, Andrew Halliday
Fourth Official: Paul Tierney