English Premiership

Kane lashes West Brom

2015-01-31 20:01
Harry Kane (Supplied)
Harry Kane (Supplied)

Cape Town - Harry Kane reached 20 goals for the season as his double helped Tottenham ease to a 3-0 win at West Bromwich Albion as they kept the pressure on the Premier League's top four on Saturday.

Another sublime Christian Eriksen free-kick and Kane's brace lifted Mauricio Pochettino's fifth placed team to within two points of fourth placed Southampton, who play Swansea on Sunday, in the race to qualify for the Champions League.

Inflicting a first defeat on Albion manager Tony Pulis since his arrival at the Hawthorns capped a perfect week for Spurs after they had sealed a League Cup final date with Chelsea in midweek.

Pulis will now hope he can strengthen his squad before the transfer window shuts on Monday after a lacklustre display from his team which left them hovering above the relegation zone.

Eriksen's 88th-minute strike secured Spurs' place at Wembley at Sheffield United's expense on Wednesday and he picked up where he left off with a stunning sixth-minute free-kick.

Claudio Yacob's foul on Mousa Dembele handed him an opportunity on the left side of the penalty box and there was no doubting the quality of the Denmark international's arcing set-piece up and over a five-man wall and beyond Ben Foster.

However, having got fingertips onto the ball, a goalkeeper of the England international's quality would have been disappointed not to keep it out.

And, without barely having to break sweat, the contest was swung firmly in Tottenham's favour nine minutes later courtesy of Kane's 19th goal of the campaign.

Receiving Erik Lamela's pass, Kane was allowed to cut inside far too easily by Andre Wisdom before driving a shot beyond Foster.

Once again, there were question marks over the former Birmingham star's goalkeeping.

- Lloris to the rescue -

To their credit, West Brom rallied and, but for the brilliance of Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, they could easily have been level by the interval.

The France international has firmly established himself in the world-class category this season and this was another exhibition of excellence.

First, in the 28th minute, he pulled off a stunning save to tip over James Morrison's curling effort after a Victor Anichebe-led breakaway.

Two minutes later he produced yet more heroics to deny Yacob from close range following an Albion free-kick.

And Tottenham's luck was in again, with the crossbar coming to their rescue in the 38th minute when Craig Dawson headed against it from a Morrison free-kick.

Eriksen's goals have already won Spurs 13 points this season and the in-form winger demonstrated his sky-high confidence again in the 50th minute by fooling Chris Brunt with a shimmy before unleashing a driven shot which swerved wide.

Victory was then rubber-stamped in the 64th minute when Joleon Lescott, playing out of position at left-back, was somewhat harshly penalised for handling a Kyle Walker cross.

In such confident form, Kane made no mistake with the penalty, sending Foster the wrong way with a low strike into the left corner.

Pulis' warning before the game that Saido Berahino was "not yet in the same bracket" as Kane appeared by now somewhat prophetic.

Yet the 14-goal West Brom forward showed a couple of flashes of his potential, first drilling inches wide from the right of the penalty area before forcing another excellent Lloris save from close range, with Danny Rose hooking to safety with substitute Brown Ideye ready to pounce.

Craig Gardner hit a post late on, yet a Baggies fightback never looked likely after Kane's second.


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