ASTLE UNITED 1 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 3
TOTTENHAM manager Mauricio Pochettino hailed striker Harry Kane after the England newcomer yesterday became the first Spurs player to score 30 goals in a season since Gary Lineker in 1992.
Kane’s late clincher saw off Newcastle, after Nacer Chadli’s opener for the visitors was cancelled out by Jack Colback, only for Christian Eriksen to put Pochettino’s men back in front.
Victory over a Magpies side that have now lost six in a row ended Tottenham’s own two-match winless sequence and lifted them to sixth in the Premier League, behind Liverpool on goal difference.
“Fantastic,” said Pochettino of Kane. “I congratulate him because he deserved that moment. It’s historic and I think he needs to pay something, maybe a dinner this week, for his team-mates because strikers always need help to have the ball in front of them to score.
“All games in the Premier League are difficult but I think today we deserved the result and we increased our performance after the last two games.”
Pochettino admits that seven points is a “realistically difficult” gap on Manchester City to close and earn Champions League qualification, but they are on course for Europa League entry.
Newcastle’s crowd was depleted by an estimated 5,000 by a supporter protest against owner Mike Ashley, and they fell behind on 30 minutes when Chadli advanced to 25 yards out and drilled low past Tim Krul.
The hosts equalised straight after half-time, midfielder Colback finishing from 10 yards when Daryl Janmaat’s shot was blocked, but Spurs regained the lead when everyone – including Krul – missed Eriksen’s crossed free-kick from the left flank.
Kane, 21, added gloss to the score and another milestone to his breakthrough season by racing through to slot past Krul in the dying moments.