Tottenham Hotspur (Kane 14, 32, 37, Alli 45+1)
Stoke City 0
- Potters succumb to heavy defeat in final visit to White Hart Lane
- Harry Kane hits first-half hat-trick - his third trio in nine games
- Dele Alli scores the fourth moments before the half-time interval
HARRY KANE netted a clinically taken first-half hat-trick to help inflict a heavy defeat upon the Potters at White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon.
The England international was at his dazzling best as he took his tally for the season to 19 to help Spurs keep alive their slim title hopes.
For Mark Hughes’ side it was a day to forget however, as they failed to build upon the three points they collected at the expense of Crystal Palace on home soil prior to last weekend’s break from action.
The Welshman highlighted the importance of being solid and resilient in North London and they were anything but during the first 45 minutes as the hosts effectively put the game to bed by the interval.
Kane rifled home the opener on the quarter hour mark after a little bit of hesitancy within the visitors’ backline, and added his second, a scrumptious volley with his left peg, 15 minutes later.
The in-form striker claimed his third hat-trick in nine outings a few minutes later, albeit in rather fortuitous circumstances, with his 35-yard free-kick taking a wicked deflection off Peter crouch and wrong-footing stopper Lee Grant.
Just as the travelling contingent thought their afternoon couldn’t get any worse, Mauricio Pochettino’s men extended their lead right on the stroke of half-time, with Kane once more the architect.
However, this time it wasn’t the frontman hitting the back of the net, as he turned provider to England compatriot Dele Alli, who was left with a routine finish from close range following an exquisite turn and pass across the penalty area.
Whilst opportunities were few and far between, Hughes will undoubtedly highlight Hugo Lloris’ outstanding save to deny Peter Crouch as a pivotal moment in the encounter, with the scoreline delicately poised at 1-0.
The second 45 minutes was a far more resilient showing from the visitors as they largely restricted the hosts, who to be fair had already done the damage throughout the opening period.
Saido Berahino, Ibrahim Afellay and Geoff Cameron were all introduced late on, as the manager looked to get valuable playing time into the trio.