Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino praised Harry Kane as one of the world’s best strikers after his brace helped Spurs beat Bournemouth and keep the heat on Premier League leaders Leicester yesterday.
Top-flight leading scorer Kane hit two first-half goals and set up another for midfielder Christian Eriksen in a commanding victory to leave Spurs five points from the summit with seven games remaining.
“Harry is one of the best strikers in the world, he was fantastic. He is a special player and a great person for Tottenham – a winner and a fighter,” said Pochettino. “The international break has not come at a bad time. It gives us time to relax and analyse. It’s true we need to reduce the gap and Leicester have a good advantage but we need to try to fight, believe and never give up.”
Spurs showed no sign of relenting against Bournemouth and opened the scoring after just 42 seconds, blowing away both the opposition defence and any suggestion of a post-Europa League hangover following defeat to Borussia Dortmund on Thursday night.
Right-back Kyle Walker wrapped a cross behind the Cherries’ shellshocked back four and Kane slid past his marker to divert into the far corner of the goal and bring the home crowd quickly back onto their feet.
Less than a quarter of an hour later, the England striker doubled Spurs’s lead and killed the contest. Afforded time and space in midfield, Dele Alli played a deft a through ball between right-back and centre-back that prised open an opportunity for Kane, who slotted past the onrushing Artur Boruc left-footed.
It was his fifth goal in three league games and 22nd of the season, three ahead of Leicester’s Jamie Vardy at the top of the scoring charts.
Bournemouth were restricted to scraps from set pieces and were lucky not to be further behind by half-time. Alli had the ball past Boruc after poking home another Walker delivery, but a diversion on the cross via an offside Kane meant the linesman’s flag was raised before it had even hit the net.
The one-sided affair was put to bed shortly after the restart and Kane was again at the heart of the action. His shot from outside the area pounded against Boruc and Eriksen gobbled up the rebound from close range.
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe said Spurs were “without a doubt” the best side his team had played this season, adding: “They work very hard but have a lot of good quality on the ball as well.”