Harry Kane calls on Spurs to repeat Manchester United display at Anfield this weekend
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The Tottenham Hotspur forward discusses the performance last night, the signing of Lucas Moura and why there is plenty still to fight for
Harry Kane believes Tottenham Hotspur produced one of their top five displays under Mauricio Pochettino in beating Manchester United last night – and he is hoping for a repeat performance at Liverpool on Sunday.
Jose Mourinho’s side arrived at Wembley in fine form, having kept clean sheets in their six previous matches and won the last five.
However, Christian Eriksen fired Spurs into the lead after just 11 seconds, and Kieran Trippier’s low cross then forced an own goal from Phil Jones before the break.
The hosts went on to have 22 shots, compared to United’s six, as they repeatedly threatened to extend their lead.
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Asked where Spurs’ performance ranks during Pochettino’s tenure, Kane said: “I’d say top five probably. We’ve had some good performances, especially at home against the big teams, but this one is definitely up there.
“Throughout the game, they never really looked like threatening us. The defence was great - Jan [Vertonghen] and Davinson [Sanchez] - and the whole team just played well.
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“It could have been more. You don’t normally get that many opportunities against United. They’re normally solid at the back and you have to break them down - but obviously getting that goal so quickly opened up the game for us and the only downside was that we didn’t score more.
“Sometimes we say before the game ‘let’s go for this today [from the kick-off]’ and it worked out well. It was important. It set us off for getting runners in behind, trusting that we’re going to win the first ball and then the second ball. That’s how we played throughout the whole pitch and it worked well for us.
“From the start we were winning first and second balls and, when we got it down, we kept it. We played some great football, created a lot of chances. It was just a really good game for us and that has to be our focus for the rest of the season - to try to match that.
“We had to play well because we’ve got tough games coming up. A couple of results went our way this week and now we’ve got to do the same on Sunday [at Liverpool].”
Spurs’ trip to Anfield last February was one of their worst outings of the season as they fell to a meek 2-0 defeat, with both of the goals coming in the opening 18 minutes – but Kane feels Spurs will be better prepared mentally this time.
“I think so. We’ve got to put in the same performance [as last night],” he said. “Liverpool are a very strong team, especially at home, attacking. They’ve got some fast players and last year we didn’t cope with that very well and we were poor throughout the whole team.
“We can take confidence from last night’s win, and this is the performance we need to play against the big teams, home and away. We played well against Liverpool at home obviously (a 4-1 win in October) so we have to go there full of confidence.”
Tottenham’s victory over Man United finished off a wholly successful day after the Lilywhites announced the signing of Brazilian international winger Lucas Moura from Paris Saint-Germain.
“It’s great,” said Kane. “We met him in the changing room after the match. Playing for a team like PSG, we know what he can do. It’s great to have him here and we’re looking forward to getting to know him and seeing what he can do in training and games. It’s a great addition to the squad.
“It’s more competition for places, keeping everyone on their toes. We know what he can bring. He’s done amazing stuff for PSG so we’re excited to get to know him and see what can happen.”
Asked whether he has watched any videos of Moura in action, Kane said: “Not really, no. I’ll have to get on YouTube and see what he’s like.”
On last night’s evidence, Moura faces a real challenge to break into Pochettino’s strongest XI, given the performances of Son, Eriksen and Dele Alli – and Kane admits it will take the latest recruit some time to get onto the same wavelength as Spurs’ other attacking players and build the necessary understandings.
“The manager’s great, we do a lot of tactical work,” said the striker. “When you play together for a period of time, you just get used to how one another plays.
“Obviously it’s a bit tougher for the new lads coming in but there’s no rush. Hopefully Lucas can come and fit right in and, when he gets an opportunity, take it.”
Spurs lie in fifth place in the table, batting to climb up into the Champions League spots, but they are only two points and two places worse off than at the same stage last season, after 25 league matches – and last term they went on to finish second.
Kane reflected: “Because City have done so well, people automatically think everyone else has done badly.
“We did great last year and we’re probably at a similar point to where we were. We’re through in the Champions League - we have a big tie coming up [against Juventus in the last 16]. We’re changing grounds, so it’s been a good season.
“We’d have liked to be up there with City, like every other team, but it’s not the case so we’ve got to fight for what’s left of the season. We’re still in the FA Cup too. We’ll see what happens.”
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