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Harry Kane strikes twice as 10-man Spurs survive late scare to beat West Ham Featured

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Published in England Premier League
Sunday, 24 September 2017 08:08

Premier League, London Stadium - West Ham 2 (Hernandez 65, Kouyate 87) Tottenham 3 (Kane 34, 38, Eriksen 60).

Tottenham survived a late scare against West Ham to take three points at the London Stadium.
West Ham started brightest, with lone striker Javier Hernandez almost finding an early opener. However, Spurs seized on the home side's lack of rhythm when Andy Carroll was introduced for the injured Michail Antonio.

Carroll lost possession to allow Harry Kane to convert a swift counter-attack, and he made it two minutes later with another quick Spurs move.

In the second half, Eriksen extended Spurs's lead, but Hernandez pulled one back minutes before Serge Aurier received a second yellow card. Cheikhou Kouyate's late header gave West Ham a fleeting hope of rescuing a draw.
They failed to capitalise however and, with their win, Spurs moved into third place – however briefly – while the pressure is now back on Slaven Bilic following a loss to their bitter London rivals.

TALKING POINT

Is Serge Aurier able to settle down? There were flashes of real talent against West Ham, but there were also a string of silly fouls in the first half that made a yellow almost inevitable in the second half. His second yellow was reckless and needless, and it makes you wonder if Aurier is still suffering from his slack decision making that he showed in France.
MAN OF THE MATCH

Harry Kane (Spurs): Kane's two goals in the first half kicked off victory for Spurs, and his free-kick started the move that led to Eriksen's record-breaking goal. Without him, Spurs would have had no room for error once Aurier departed, and he now seems well back in form after August's troubles.

PLAYER RATINGS

West Ham: Hart 6, Zabaleta 6, Reid 6, Ogbonna 6, Fonte 6, Cresswell 6, Noble 6, Kouyate 7, Antonio 6, Arnautovic 6, Hernandez 7. Subs: Masuaku 7, Ayew 6, Carroll 6.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris 7, Aurier 5, Alderweireld 6, Sanchez 6, Vertonghen 6, Davies 6, Dier 6, Sissoko 7, Eriksen 7, Dele 7, Kane 8. Subs: Trippier 7, Winks 7, Llorente 6.

KEY EVENTS

34' - GOAL! West Ham 0-1 Spurs. Kane scores - Eriksen picks out Alli's run behind the defence on the inside right channel. Alli measures a cross to the near post, and Kane glances his header past Hart.

38' - GOAL! West Ham 0-2 Spurs. Kane scores - Hart clears into midfield, and Vertongen is released down the left. He picks out Alli, his shot strikes Hart's legs, running into the path of Kane for an easy finish into an empty net.
60' - GOAL! West Ham 0-3 Spurs. Eriksen scores - Kane fires in a free-kick that whips in against the post. It comes out to Aurier, whose cross is deflected, and Eriksen clips in a half-volley into the bottom corner.

65' - GOAL! West Ham 1-3 Spurs. Hernandez scores - Fonte wins a corner for Wet Ham on the right. Cresswell curls it in, Fonte flicks it on to the back post, and Hernandez is on hand to nod in.

69' - RED CARD! Aurier is off. After asking for trouble for much of the first half, Aurier goes in through the back of Carroll. Carroll was posing no danger - in his own half - and even Pochettino seems nonplussed over his decision-making.

GOAL! West Ham 2-3 Spurs. Kouyate scores - The midfielder powers in a header. Masuaku beats his man down the left, and sends in a cross that is met by a huge leap from Kouyate.

KEY STAT

This is the first time that Spurs have conceded two or more goals on the road in the Premier League since February 2017.

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  • Harry Kane's hot streak continues as England win in Lithuania

    LFF Stadium, World Cup qualifying Group F - Lithuania 0 England 1 (Kane pen 27')

    Harry Kane’s hot streak continued as he scored the winner in England’s 1-0 victory over Lithuania in their final qualifying match ahead of the World Cup in Russia.
    Having already won Group F after a 1-0 victory over Slovenia on Thursday, manager Gareth Southgate made seven changes to his team, handing Harry Winks and Harry Maguire debuts in a 3-4-3 formation for the match in Vilnius.

    In a disjointed performance, Dele Alli, back in the side after suspension, won a first-half penalty when he was felled by Ovidijus Verbackas. His Tottenham team-mate Kane duly dispatched the spot-kick for his 15th goal in his last 10 matches for club and country.

    Michael Keane had earlier gone close for the visitors, but in truth, England offered little in the way of clear-cut chances thereafter.

    Tottenham’s Winks was denied a goal on his debut when his shot was well saved by Ernestas Setkus, but it was Lithuania – who won only once in Group F – who threatened most; Jack Butland was forced into a good stop as Keane almost inadvertently sent the ball into his own net, while Deivydas Matulevicius spurned a late opportunity.
    Once again England did just enough to record the three points - they are now unbeaten in their last four campaigns in qualifying for major tournaments - but it was another unimaginative and unconvincing display from Southgate’s side.

    TALKING POINT

    3-4-3 isn't the answer for insipid England: Southgate opted for an experimental 3-4-3 formation, and while England’s front-three, Marcus Rashford, Alli and Kane, linked-up well, at times in the first half, the showing after the restart was incredibly flat and one-paced.

    There was at least some cause for optimism as the performance of debutant Winks in the centre of the park indicated the Spurs playmaker may have a role to play in Russia, while Harry Maguire, also making his debut, looked OK in defence.
    But all-in-all, it was simply not good enough. Southgate should probably go back to basics for the home friendlies against Brazil and Germany in November.

    MAN OF THE MATCH

    Marcus Rashford (England) - The Manchester United youngster was at nowhere near his brilliant best, but was probably England's stand-out player in the first half and looked most likely to make things happen.

    PLAYER RATINGS

    Lithuania: Setkus 7, Andriuskevicius 5, Klimavicius 5, Girdvainis 5, Borovskij 5, Zulpa 5, Slivka 5, Verbickas 4, Cernych 5, Novikovas 5, Sernas 6. Subs: Matulevicius 5,

    England: Butland 6, Keane 6, Maguire 7, Stones 6, Trippier 6, Winks 7, Henderson 5, Cresswell 7, Alli 7, Kane 7, Rashford 7. Subs: Sturridge 6, Lingard 6.

    KEY MOMENTS

    11’ - THE HOSTS SHOULD BE AHEAD! Sernas peels away from Maguire at the back post as a cross comes in, but somehow slices his first-time effort wide of the goal from inside the box. A let off for England!

    24’ - KEANE GOES CLOSE! Lithuania fail to clear Cresswell's deep free-kick, and the ball eventually sits up nicely for Keane just inside the box, but the Everton defender screws his first-time volley wide of the goal. That is the closest England have come.

    26’ - PENALTY TO ENGLAND! Alli is brought down inside the box by Verbickas, and the referee has no choice other than to point to the spot. This is the perfect chance for Kane to put the visitors ahead...
    27’ - GOAL - KANE SCORES! A superb penalty from England's talisman as he sends the ball into the bottom left corner. The goalkeeper dived the right way but couldn't get near it.

    52’ – CHANCE FOR WINKS! Setkus isn't at all convincing as he punches Cresswell's dangerous cross right into the path of Winks, but he makes amends with a smart save from the Tottenham playmaker's shot. Almost a debut goal for Winks.

    54’ - CHANCE FOR LITHUANIA! A dangerous low ball into the England box causes Keane all sorts of problems, and in an effort to concede a corner he almost inadvertently sends it into his own net! He is bailed out by Butland who makes a good reactive save.

    83’ - GREAT CHANCE TO EQUALISE! Matulevicius is released behind the England defence and the ball sits up perfectly for him, but his half-volley is struck straight at Butland who gathers on the second attempt. Either side of him and it was a goal.

    KEY STATS

    Harry Kane has scored 15 goals in his last 10 matches in all competitions for club and country.
    Of the 43 goals that Harry Kane has scored for club and country in 2017, only four have been penalties.
    A Spurs player has been directly involved in nine of England's last 11 goals across all competitions.
    England end their Group F programme with eight clean sheets in 10 matches.
    England have won all four of their previous encounters with Lithuania on the international stage, scoring 10 and conceding none in the process.

  • John Stones thinks Harry Kane has the drive to keep hitting new heights

    John Stones believes Harry Kane has the drive and desire to keep hitting new heights, despite already establishing himself as the country's top goalscorer.

    Kane heads into England's last two World Cup qualifiers against Slovenia and Lithuania on the back of a remarkable 13 goals in his last eight appearances, a hot streak that began with a brace against Malta on September 1.

    The Spurs striker is the talk of the Premier League as he hunts down a third successive golden boot and his continued success is no surprise to Stones, who first lined up with him when the pair were teenagers.

    "I've played with him from England Under-19s so I know his game and how he plays, how hungry he is to keep improving," said the Manchester City defender.
    "Harry's been doing it for years now and I think he's got that hunger that he'll keep doing it. He is in great form for his club and he's raring to go and bring that into international football. It's great to have him here for England."

    Stones stopped short of anointing Kane as the best striker in the country, with a hint of tribal loyalty to club-mates Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus to the fore, but did not hesitate when asked if he had the leadership skills to add the permanent England captaincy to his CV.

    "I think obviously everyone has their own personal preference," he said when asked if Kane was the Premier League's number one.

    "I play with different strikers to the boys here but his goals speak for themselves at the minute. In the team I'm in we've got a lot of players scoring goals, not just one kind of hitman who's scoring week in, week out.

    "It's a difficult one, we're both on the same team now but I'm not too sure what date we play Tottenham!
    "Harry is in great form and hopefully he can bring that to the England team."

    As for captaincy, a role Kane has split with Jordan Henderson, Gary Cahill and Joe Hart in recent times, Stones added: "I think he's got everything.

    "There's a lot of players, a lot of experience and a lot of candidates to be England captain. Harry is definitely one of those candidates."

    For his own part Stones has had a strong start to the season at City and is now looking to nail down his Three Lions jersey.

    Having started the qualifying campaign as a first-choice player, he found himself on bench duty for last month's double header against Malta and Slovakia, with Cahill and Phil Jones preferred.

    Jones' withdrawal from the squad on Monday opens the door for him again and it is a chance he is eager to grasp.

    "All I can do is come here, train hard and give the manager a choice to make," he said.

    "It's never easy for him, he's got so many players in so many positions that all we can do is go away, play well for our clubs, work hard on and off the pitch and try to bring that to international football.

    "All you can do is give the manager a bit of a headache."

  • Mauricio Pochettino happy to have given Moussa Sissoko a second Tottenham chance

    Mauricio Pochettino admits Tottenham were open to offers for Moussa Sissoko last summer as the midfielder wanted to boost his chances of representing France at the World Cup.

    Sissoko could not find a buyer, however, and has instead enjoyed an encouraging start to his second season under Pochettino, offering hope he can put behind him a disappointing opening campaign.

    After joining for a club-record £30million on the last day of the transfer window, Sissoko struggled to adjust last year and the 28-year-old went on to make only eight starts in the Premier League.

    He has posted four already this term, four months after telling L'Equipe he hoped Tottenham would allow him to leave following the "worst season of his career". Pochettino concedes he was also prepared to cut his losses.
    "That is the same for any player that didn't play too much last season," Pochettino said.

    "Every player that maybe wasn't involved too much in my plans last season, all the players try to play more.

    "And I am so honest with you, the player [Sissoko] was the first [one] interested to move or to leave because he wanted to play more in a season that has the World Cup at the end.

    "But I think maybe that possibility didn't exist and I was more than happy for him to stay and give him the possibility to play."

    Sissoko's chances of adjusting to Pochettino's specific style was not helped by his arrival from Newcastle on September 1, when he had already missed the entirety of Tottenham's pre-season.
    He then received a three-match ban in October for elbowing Bournemouth's Harry Arter and after a slow start, Sissoko never caught up.

    "When we signed him it was a record for the club and the expectations from the fans, media, everyone, is massive and the condition that he arrived was a poor one," Pochettino said.

    "Not because it was his fault, it was the circumstances of football - no pre-season after the Euros, he wanted to leave from a club that was in the Championship and you arrive on the first of September when the team is so fit.

    "He was playing in a different competition and it is never easy to fit and settle from the first moment and then he struggled to play because there is a pressure of the transfer fee and it is so difficult.

    "Zinedine Zidane struggled in Real Madrid when he moved from Juventus - big, big names struggle in the first season. It is normal sometimes."
    Tottenham visit Huddersfield on Saturday and Sissoko is again likely to start.

    He has found himself more involved this season, in part due to injuries, with Mousa Dembele, Victor Wanyama and Erik Lamela all currently sidelined, but also because he is enjoying a more influential role in the side.

    Pochettino has deployed him either in central midfield alongside Eric Dier or on the right side of a diamond, where Sissoko's athleticism and direct running have proven useful.

    It was his cut-back that laid on Harry Kane's second of three goals against Apoel Nicosia on Tuesday.

    "Today, what is happening is he is more confident in his skills and himself and the team-mates trust more in him," Pochettino said.

    "He improved his self-belief and that is so important for a player.

    "When you arrive in a new club and you don't play too much and you struggle to understand, it is normal that your self-belief starts to go down and then it is so difficult to recover from that.

    "But today we are so happy and he is happy that he is doing well."

  • Harry Kane plunders hat-trick as Tottenham crush APOEL Nicosia

    Champions League Group H, GSP Stadium - APOEL Nicosia 0 Tottenham 3 (Kane 39', 62', 67')

    As if by magic, the wonderful finishing of the wonderful Harry Kane turned a poor Tottenham performance into a superb Tottenham victory. They sit second in Group H, behind Real Madrid on goal difference - and the two will now meet for a double-header.

    Spurs actually controlled the early part of the game, but midway through the first half APOEL woke up and might have scored twice in quick succession, Igor de Camargo thrashing a shot against the bar and Carlao missing with a header. Seconds after that second chance, though, they were behind, Kane finishing expertly after he was fed by Toby Alderweireld’s excellent touch.
    APOEL then started the second half well, only for Kane to kill them just after the hour with another smart finish - and no one could have been remotely surprised when, five minutes later, he glanced a delicious header into the far corner to complete his hat-trick.

    That was more or less it with the serious action - APOEL were done, Spurs relaxed, and thanks to Harry Kane, a difficult night had, in just 29 minutes, morphed into a balmy evening stroll.
    TALKING POINT

    Spurs' high line will not work against everyone. They were missing Jan Vertonghen but that is no excuse for the space Tottenham afforded limited opponents. They don't really have the recovery pace to defend so high against good sides, and if they try it against Madrid they will find themselves in serious trouble.

    MAN OF THE MATCH

    Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) Transcendentally brilliant. His movement, first touch and finishing touch were of the highest order and the difference in the game. He is ridiculously good.
    PLAYER RATINGS

    APOEL: Waterman 6, Vouros 5, Rueda 5, Carlao 5, Rpberto Lago 5, Morais 6, Vinicius 6, Sallai 7, Zahid 6, De Camargo 6, Aloneftis 7. Subs: Makris 6, Farias 6, Alexandrou 6.

    Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris 5, Aurier 5, Alderweireld 6, Sanchez 6, Davies 6, Trippier 6, Dier 5, Sissoko 5, Winks 7, Son 6, Kane 10. Subs: Llorente 7, N'Koudou 6, Georgiou 6.
    KEY MOMENTS

    39’ - GOAL! APOEL 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur (Kane) - This is beautiful, Alderweireld picking Kane out with a lovely low pass from back to front, and while Vouros doesn't step up, Kane gathers it on the half-turn, cresses it into stride, and slides past the keeper inside the far post with the confidence of a master.

    61’ - APOEL are coming, Aloneftis finding space down the left and bending a cross around Trippier, which skims off De Camargo's forehead - he's only six yards out too! APOEL then recycle the ball and cross again - this time it hits Trippier and bounces down to Lloris.

    62’ - GOAL! APOEL 0-2 Tottenham Hotspur (Kane) - The difference! Sissoko gets away down the left and clips back to Kane, inside the D. There's still plenty to do, but again he transfers the ball perfectly into stride, then sweep-strokes a finish into the far corner with the keeper set to go the other way. What a player he is!

    67’ - GOAL! APOEL 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur (Kane) - And there it is! Kane spreads wide, and you can see that Apoel have gone before Trippier even crosses. In it comes - it's a lovely ball - and Kane stoops to guide a delicious header into the far bottom corner. What a absolute superstar.

    KEY STATS

    Harry Kane has scored 32 goals in 30 games for Spurs in 2017, along with six hat-tricks.

    Harry Kane has scored 11 goals in the month of September.

  • Harry Kane strikes twice as 10-man Spurs survive late scare to beat West Ham

    Tottenham survived a late scare against West Ham to take three points at the London Stadium.

    Harry Kane struck twice in the first half, to extend his fantastic record against other London clubs, before Christian Eriksen made it three in the 60th minute.
    However, Javier Hernandez hit back five minutes later before Serge Aurier picked up his second yellow card for Tottenham and was dismissed after a reckless tackle.

    West Ham attacked with renewed purpose and when Cheikhou Kouyate headed home with three minutes remaining, they looked like they might snatch a draw.

    Spurs held on though to cut the lead to Manchester City at the top of the table to two points.

    More to follow.

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