Spurs thump Stoke to cure European hangover

A hat-trick from Harry Kane helped Spurs bounce back from their midweek Europa League exit in style, with a thumping 4-0 win over Stoke City at White Hart Lane.

harry-kane
Harry Kane was involved in all four Spurs goals

A fantastic first-half display saw Kane net three goals before turning provider for Dele Alli, who made it 4-0 before the break.

The second was a far less lively affair, as Stoke looked less vulnerable defensively and Spurs controlled possession, to secure the three points, a clean sheet and their eighth consecutive home Premier League win.

Hosts Tottenham named an unchanged side from their midweek Europa League exit against Gent, as they looked to keep their faint title hopes alive.

Stoke’s starting line-up also remained unchanged from their victory against Crystal Palace two weeks ago, with Mark Hughes keeping faith with Peter Crouch and Ramadan Sobhi. Geoff Cameron made his return to the bench.

It was Spurs who made the brighter start to the encounter, with Stoke’s centre backs showing vulnerability out wide. First Ryan Shawcross was nut-megged by Christian Eriksen, before Kane found a way past Bruno Martins Indi, neither man able to find an accurate final ball.

Stoke had the first effort of the game though, as Joe Allen latched onto a poor pass from Moussa Dembele in the Spurs box before pulling his shot harmlessly into the side-netting.

This proved costly, as just seconds later, Kane scored the 100th goal of his club career. A threaded pass from Alli, deflected first off of Eriksen and then Shawcross before falling to Kane. He took a touch before slotting a right footed shot through the legs of Shawcross, out of the reach of Lee Grant into the left hand side of the goal.

Vertonghen went close to doubling Spurs’ lead just before the half-hour mark, as a well-taken corner saw Toby Alderweireld’s front post head fall to his Belgian team-mate who rattled the crossbar.

Stoke remained under pressure, a curling effort from Kane went just wide of the post before Kyle Walker’s long range effort was tipped over by Grant.

From the resulting corner, Kane finally doubled their advantage, as another well-taken corner fell to the unmarked striker on the outside of the box. Striking the ball first-time, he sent a clinical left-foot finish on the half-volley past Grant to put his side in complete control.

He completed his first-half hat-trick ten minutes before the break, when Charlie Adam handed Tottenham a free kick 30 yards from goal. From the set-piece, Eriksen rolled the ball to Kane, whose low drive deflected off Crouch and wrong-footed Grant, to seal his third hat-trick in nine games.

There was time for another before the break, with Kane turning provider for Alli. A header from Eriksen on the half-way line fell to Kane, who flicked the ball beautifully over the head of Martins Indi, raced into the area and squared the ball to Alli, who slid the ball into the roof of the net.

Spurs suffered a defensive blow early in the second-half, as Alderweireld was forced off through injury. Mauricio Pochetinno’s side had looked comfortable playing with three at the back and the Argentine chose not to switch to a back four, slotting Kevin Wimmer in alongside Dier and Vertonghen.

When Pochetinno’s men did switch to a back four just after the hour mark, as Harry Winks replaced Vertonghen, Stoke’s confidence seemed to rise and they looked at their most threatening but they still couldn’t muster an effort of any note. In fact, Kane could have bagged his fourth of the afternoon with a curling left foot strike that Grant pushed round the post and out of danger.

As is so often the case after a high flying first-half, the second had more of a testimonial feel, Stoke looking dangerous for a very sort spell and Spurs otherwise controlled possession, aware the game had long since ceased to be a real contest.

Teams 

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dier, Alderweireld (Wimmer,48), Vertonghen (Winks, 65), Davies, Wanyama, Dembele, Eriksen, Alli, Kane (Son,85)

Unused Subs: Vorm, Trippier, Sissoko, Janssen

Stoke: Grant, Bardsley, Shawcross, Martins Indi, Pieters, Whelan (Cameron, 80) Adam (Afellay, 59), Arnautovic, Allen,  Ramadan, Crouch (Berahino, 59)

Unused Subs: Given, Muniesa, Diouf, Imbula

Referee: John Moss

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