LONDON (Reuters) – Harry Kane may have had his thunder as England’s brightest young strike hope stolen of late by Jamie Vardy but Tottenham Hotspur’s own home-polished jewel sparkled once more on his 100th appearance for the club on Saturday.
Kane marked his milestone with a 10th goal in his last 10 club games, a marvellous solo effort to set up the 2-0 win at struggling Southampton and shoot his side into the Premier League’s top four for the first time this season.
The 22-year-old England international had a slow start to the season, struggling to live up to the hype generated by his extraordinary breakthrough 2014-15 campaign when he would score for fun.
Yet while Leicester City’s Vardy grabbed all the headlines with his 11-match scoring sequence this term, Kane was reminding everyone of his class to embark on a scoring spree only recently interrupted by a three-game mini-drought.
That was ended conclusively, though, with Kane’s tour de force five minutes before halftime that set Spurs on their way to a comfortable win, sealed just a couple of minutes later by a Dele Alli goal.
It was Kane’s 47th goal for Spurs in a century of appearances, leaving him to enthuse to reporters afterwards: “It was a proud moment for me to make my 100th appearance. To score and win as well makes it even more special.”
Kane called it a “great” team performance at St Mary’s Stadium after the setback of last week’s shock home loss to Newcastle United as Spurs muscled into the Champions League places, even if still nine points adrift of leaders Leicester.
After watching Kane burst between two defenders, poke Alli’s through ball past Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk and then finish expertly, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino could only sigh: “Harry Kane is one of the best strikers in the league and we’re delighted that he’s with us.”
Alli, who has two assists and two goals in his last four games, was also singled out by Pochettino for praise. “I believe that the most important thing for young players is for the club to show belief in them and we are doing that,” he said.
(Reporting by Ian Chadband; editing by Toby Davis)