Tottenham overtake Arsenal and move into third place after victory at Norwich
Tottenham moved up to third place in the Premier League table, leapfrogging north London rivals Arsenals, as a 3-0 victory at Norwich extended their winning run to five games in all competitions.
Dele Alli broke the deadlock inside the opening two minutes with his second goal in successive appearances, following his wonder strike at Crystal Palace.
The 19-year-old then won the penalty which allowed Harry Kane to double Spurs’ advantage on the half-hour mark - and Kane struck again in the final moments, netting for the 17th time in 20 games.
While most of Spurs’ rivals at the top of the table were also victorious, Arsenal were held to a goalless draw at home against Southampton, so the Lilywhites overtook the Gunners to claim third place on goal difference – and they remain five points off the top.
There were seven changes to the Spurs side that had faced Colchester in the FA Cup on Saturday as Mauricio Pochettino returned to a full-strength line-up.
Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderweireld, Mousa Dembele, Alli and Heung-Min Son were reintroduced and both full-backs were rotated as usual, with Kyle Walker and Danny Rose getting their turn.
Tottenham made the perfect start. A corner fell to Toby Alderweireld, whose blocked volley rebounded to Christian Eriksen, and when the Dane’s low shot was saved, Alli pounced at close range.
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Alderweireld headed wide from an Eriksen corner and, although Dieumerci Mbokani shot at Hugo Lloris at the other end, Son clipped the outside of the near post from a Kane cross before Tottenham doubled their lead in the 30th minute.
Eriksen fizzed a pass in to Alli, who flicked it to Kane, and the striker made some space on the edge of the box before unleashing a low strike. Declan Rudd did well to get down and repel the effort but ex-Spurs defender Sebastien Bassong was adjudged to have bundled Alli over as he tried to reach the loose ball and Kane stepped up to convert the resulting penalty.
Norwich had a goal disallowed, with Ivo Pinto being flagged offside as he sent a looping header over Lloris – and the Canaries also had a penalty appeal of their own turned down as Kevin Wimmer appeared to jump into the back of Steven Naismith.
However, Tottenham were looking dangerous every time they came forward. Kane attacked down the left side and hit the near post, Alli headed wide from a Danny Rose cross and Eriksen burst through the right channel before firing at Rudd.
Pochettino withdrew Alli at half-time – he was thought to be feeling unwell – and introduced Nacer Chadli in his place.
Norwich looked much more competitive after the interval and began to threaten more, forcing Spurs to defend a number of high balls into their box.
Naismith saw a flicked header from an inswinging Matt Jarvis cross creep wide of the back post, while Bassong had a goal disallowed for offside after Lloris had saved from Naismith at close range.
But the hosts were unable to halve the deficit and, as time ticked away into the final 10 minutes, Kane won the ball in Norwich’s half and ran through on goal before shooting against the left post.
He got another chance as Eriksen hassled Martin Olsson deep in Norwich’s half and prodded the ball to Tottenham’s striker, who was left one on one with Rudd again - and this time he whipped his finish into the back of the net to register his 18th goal of the season.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Alderweireld, Wimmer, Rose, Dier, Dembele, Son (Carroll 69), Eriksen, Alli (Chadli 45), Kane
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs