Kane strikes twice as Spurs consolidate place in top four with victory over Norwich
Harry Kane struck twice in the first half as Tottenham consolidated their place in the top four with a 3-0 home win over Norwich on Boxing Day.
Dele Alli teamed up with Erik Lamela - who had one of his best games for Spurs - to create both of Kane’s goals, with the striker scoring a penalty and then finishing a counter-attack in clinical fashion to take his tally to 12 in 11 games for the Lilywhites, and 15 in total for club and country this season.
Tom Carroll then came off the bench in the final 20 minutes and scored from 25 yards eight minutes later, netting for the second time in four games after his strike against Monaco in the Europa League earlier this month.
Tottenham’s victory took them three points clear of Manchester United, who were defeated at Stoke, and they now have a two-point cushion ahead of fifth-placed Crystal Palace.
Mauricio Pochettino picked the same side that had started the previous game at Southampton, with Ben Davies keeping his place at left-back despite Danny Rose’s return from illness.
Spurs started slowly, struggling to put passes together and Norwich had the first two chances as Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe’s shot was saved by Hugo Lloris and Cameron Jerome headed over from a Robbie Brady corner.
However, the Lilywhites grew as a threat after the 20th minute. A penalty appeal was turned down after the lively Lamela’s cross was blocked by Russell Martin, and Christian Eriksen’s crossfield ball then freed Dele Alli, whose strike was saved by Declan Rudd at the near post, while Kane put the follow-up across goal.
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Spurs broke the deadlock shortly afterwards, in the 26th minute. Lamela found Alli, who played Kane in – and the striker nudged the ball past Rudd before being taken out by the goalkeeper. Referee Mike Jones correctly pointed to the spot and Kane coolly opened the scoring.
The hosts continued to press and went close from three corners in quick succession. Kane’s header was blocked by Rudd and Toby Alderweireld then saw a powerful header saved while Alli’s follow-up was tipped over the bar. Lamela whipped the ball back in and Alderweireld met it again but headed wastefully wide.
It proved not to matter because Spurs struck again in the 42nd minute, with the Lamela-Alli combo creating another goal for Kane.
The Argentine led a counter-attack and found Alli, who moved it on to Kane, and the 22-year-old jinked outside former Tottenham defender Sebastien Bassong before firing past Rudd into the far corner.
Tottenham were on top again after the interval. Lamela freed Alli, who was denied by Rudd one on one, and Eriksen immediately teed up Lamela, whose shot was also saved.
Lamela was having a superb game and he showed his confidence by attempting a repeat of his memorable ‘rabona’ goal, forcing a diving save from Rudd from 20 yards.
Norwich briefly threatened as Lloris punched the ball away from Jerome in the box, but Spurs still looked the more likely side to get the next goal and it came courtesy of Carroll, who had only been on the pitch for eight minutes when he struck 10 minutes from time. The 23-year-old received the ball from Davies, turned and sent a low 25-yard effort across Rudd and into the bottom right corner.
Tottenham should have extended their lead even further as Lamela won the ball in Norwich’s half, leaving the hosts with four players against Norwich’s last defender – but the chance went begging as Kane was dispossessed.
Lloris had to make a low save at the other end before getting up to claw the ball away from the incoming Jerome, but Spurs saw the game out without any more scares.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele (Chadli 86), Lamela, Alli (Son 79), Eriksen (Carroll 72), Kane
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs