Kane double inspires Tottenham win over Everton

Harry Kane
Harry Kane scored his 13th goal in 12 league and cup games in 2017

Harry Kane scored twice and produced another masterclass in centre-forward play as second-placed Tottenham defeated Everton to close the gap on leaders Chelsea to seven points.

The 23-year-old is now the leading scorer in the Premier League with 19 goals, and has found the net 14 times in 12 league and cup games in 2017.

He gave Tottenham the lead in the 20th minute when he unleashed a venomous strike from 20 yards that beat Joel Robles at his near post.

The England forward's second came after the break. Belgian Mousa Dembele caught French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin dawdling on the ball, allowing Dele Alli to poke a pass through to his team-mate. The Spurs striker then applied a sidefoot finish past the Spanish keeper.

Kane's opposite number Romelu Lukaku had struggled for service up until the 81st minute when he scored with the Toffees' second effort on target.

Kevin Mirallas played a pass to the Belgian, who was given a clear sight on goal after Jan Vertonghen slipped. Lukaku kept his composure to slot in.

A frantic finish saw both tiring defences exposed. First, Alli ghosted past his markers to poke in Harry Winks' free-kick. And with seconds remaining, substitute Enner Valencia beat the offside trap to tap in Ross Barkley's set-piece from the right.

Spurs survived the remaining moments to secure their 16th league win of the season. The Toffees remain in seventh.

Chelsea could re-establish their 10-point lead on Monday if they defeat West Ham.

Relive the action from White Hart Lane

Kane v Lukaku: England forward comes out on top

Both strikers went into the game with 17 league goals and four assists apiece this season. Yet on Sunday, one forward dominated.

The heatmap above shows Kane's positions, on the left, and Lukaku's on the right.
The heatmap showing the positioning of Harry Kane (left) and Romelu Lukaku (right)

The heatmap above shows Kane's positions, on the left, and Lukaku's on the right. Lukaku is clearly the focal point for Everton's attack; his Tottenham counterpart moves around more freely.

However, the rigidity of Lukaku's positioning was easy to read for his markers. And when he did manage to lay a pass to his attacking foils Barkley and Tom Davies, they were repeatedly hounded off the ball by the diligent and dogged tracking of midfielders Dembele and Victor Wanyama.

Kane's positioning was less predictable. For his opener, he was deep on the left before moving forward and striking that sublime effort. And for his second, he was out on the left again but away from the action until Alli played him in.

Lukaku did manage to breach the Spurs backline in the final few moments, but he was aided by Vertonghen's unfortunate slip.

Did Koeman play too safe?

Tottenham's defence had a very comfortable afternoon up until the final 10 minutes, but they might have faced a stiffer test had Everton manager Ronald Koeman opted for a more attacking set-up.

Dutchman Koeman chose to start with 36-year-old defensive midfielder Gareth Barry rather than 19-year-old forward Ademola Lookman. It would have been the perfect tactical switch had Barry blocked Kane's 20-yard strike that resulted in a goal, rather than make a half-hearted attempt.

Veteran Barry, and Barkley, lost the battle in central midfield against the more energetic pairing of Dembele and Wanyama.

Lookman's addition might have given that duo a tougher time.

Man of the match - Harry Kane (Tottenham)

No hat-trick this week, but Harry Kane once again demonstrated why his manager thinks he's one of the best strikers in the world - he has scored 14 home league goals this season, which the highest number ever recorded by a Spurs player in a single Premier League season

Lukaku becomes Everton top Premier League scorer

  • Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino recorded his 100th win in English football as a manager (77 wins in 150 games for Tottenham and 23 wins in 60 games for Southampton).
  • Tottenham have won nine consecutive Premier League home games; their longest winning run in the competition.
  • Spurs are unbeaten in their first 14 home top-flight league games of a season for the first time since 1964-65.
  • Romelu Lukaku has scored more Premier League goals for Everton - 61 - than any other player.
  • Lukaku has scored 18 Premier League goals in 26 games this season, equalling his tally from last season (18 goals in 37 appearances in 2015-16).
  • Since the start of last season no midfielder has scored more Premier League goals than Dele Alli (23).
  • Kevin Mirallas has provided more Premier League assists for Lukaku than any other player has for the striker (10).
  • Harry Kane has scored 14 home league goals this season, the highest number ever recorded by a Spurs player in a single Premier League campaign.
  • Kane has netted 14 times in 12 competitive apps in 2017 for Spurs.

What's next?

Spurs are at home to Millwall in the last eight of the FA Cup next Sunday (14:00 GMT), before they are back in league action the following Sunday, at home to Southampton (14:15 GMT).

Everton are back at Goodison Park next Saturday for the league game against West Brom (15:00 GMT).

BBC

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