Harry Kane goes top of the goalscorers’ chart as early brace helps to sink Bournemouth
Harry Kane’s early brace took him to the top of the Premier League goalscorers’ chart and laid the foundation for a 3-0 home win over Bournemouth as Tottenham moved back within five points of leaders Leicester City in the title race.
Kane opened the scoring after just 44 seconds at White Hart Lane and then struck again in the 16th minute, taking his tally to 21 goals in the top flight this season – two more than Leicester’s Jamie Vardy in the race for the golden boot.
Christian Eriksen added a third goal shortly after half-time as Spurs responded after the Foxes’ victory at Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The Lilywhites’ victory means the gap at the top is five points again – and they are now 11 points clear of fifth-placed West Ham and Manchester United as they bid to cement a place in the Champions League.
Mauricio Pochettino picked the same side that had triumphed at Aston Villa in Spurs’ previous league outing, with Kyle Walker, Danny Rose, Mousa Dembele, Eriksen and Kane all returning to the line-up after Thursday’s Europa League defeat against Borussia Dortmund, while 18-year-old right-back Kyle Walker-Peters was named on the bench for the first time.
Tottenham made the perfect start, taking the lead after just 44 seconds as Walker sent in a fine low cross to Kane, who slid in to open the scoring – and they doubled their lead 15 minutes later.
After patient build-up at the back, Kevin Wimmer played a well-disguised pass between the lines to Dele Alli, who freed Kane, and the striker ran through on goal before finishing into the bottom right corner.
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Spurs were cruising and continued to threaten. Eriksen volleyed over after Toby Alderweireld’s long ball and Kane chipped the ball in to Erik Lamela, who saw the ball nicked away just as he was about to shoot eight yards out.
Rose volleyed into the near side netting from Eriksen’s cross and Tottenham then saw a goal disallowed as a marginally offside Kane flicked Eric Dier’s cross on to Alli, who finished at close range.
Bournemouth eventually managed their first effort on goal after 40 minutes as Steve Cook headed over from Max Gradel’s inswinging free kick, while Eriksen was just unable to reach Kane’s low cross at the other end as Spurs went into the interval with a comfortable lead.
Bournemouth looked a little more dangerous at the start of the second period, having introduced Lewis Grabban at the break, but Spurs extended their lead in the 52nd minute. Kane’s 25-yard drive was parried by Artur Boruc but Eriksen was on hand to finish from eight yards.
The visitors threatened to hit straight back but, as Joshua King wriggled free in the six-yard box, Kane dived in with a key tackle.
There was little goalmouth action for the following quarter of an hour but, when an overconfident Wimmer lost the ball on the left touchline, Grabban raced into the box, only to be denied by Dier’s well-timed sliding challenge and Alderweireld, who put he ball behind.
Spurs went very close to increasing their lead further, though. Eriksen did well to dart between two players with his first touch and tee up Alli, but the 19-year-old scewed his shot horribly wide just outside the six-yard box.
That was the teenager’s last contribution as he was replaced by Ryan Mason, who was quickly played through on goal by Kane down the left channel and drew a low save from Boruc.
Eriksen was also denied by the Bournemouth goalkeeper while Kane attempted to grab a hat-trick shortly before the end with a low 25-yard effort which went wide of the left post.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Rose, Dier (Chadli 90), Dembele, Lamela (Carroll 65), Alli (Mason 81), Eriksen, Kane
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs