Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli admitted he owed his teammates a productive afternoon after a Harry Kane-inspired Spurs demolished Stoke to cut Chelsea’s lead at the Premier League summit.
Alli, who was shown a straight red card in the first half of Tottenham’s midweek Europa League demise at the hands of Gent, netted Tottenham’s fourth goal of a first-half blitz which dismantled the lacklustre Potters.
Kane was in irresistible form and netted this third hat-trick in nine matches to surge beyond 100 career club goals. Tottenham usurped Manchester City and moved into second place, although still trail runaway leaders Chelsea by 10 points.
“I felt horrible at half time and after the game [against Gent] and I apologised to the boys. It was important for me that I bounced back and did as much as I could,” said Alli, who has 14 goals for the White Hart Lane club this season.
“When something like that happens you want to get out there and make sure you put it right. I owed it to the players and to the fans as well to help the team as much as I could. I am thankful to get the goal but, more importantly, we won.”
Kane’s opening strike came after 14 minutes when he drilled low beyond Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant, and his second soon followed courtesy of a stunning half-volley from the edge of the penalty area.
His 23-minute treble was completed when his driven free-kick deflected off former Tottenham striker Peter Crouch and beyond a wrong-footed Grant, while Kane squared for Alli to slide in and convert on the stroke of half time.