Harry Kane breaks another record as Spurs rout Everton
Harry Kane became Tottenham’s top scorer in Premier League history as he netted another two goals in Spurs’ 4-0 win over Everton. Match report from Gregor Kerr, who travelled down to London to attend his first Spurs match.
For a fan that usually watches his team in front of a 20,000 seater stadium every other week, walking up Wembley Way, seeing a sea of Lilywhite, and gazing up and down at a 133-metre tall stadium, came as a bit of a shock.
As somebody who would consider themselves a Spurs fan since the age of 12, inspired by the unforgettable Champions League campaign under Harry Redknapp, not having seen a game live was the only thing preventing me of any credibility as a supporter. For years I couldn’t find the time to get myself to a match, but that was soon to change.
It isn’t until you get away from the TV and actually watch a game at Wembley that you appreciate just how impressive a complex the place is. To give an idea for those who haven’t been before, the walk down Wembley Way takes a good five minutes from a conveniently placed tube station, an enormous shopping centre dominates the skyline to its right and, in the distance, the famous Wembley arch is some sight. It’s easy to see why a game here is considered such a showpiece-occasion.
On the pitch, Pochettino’s side had an early heart-in-mouth moment when Wayne Rooney headed home a flick-on from new Toffees’ signing Cenk Tosun. Surrounded by Evertonians, I slumped into my seat amongst their celebrations. Thankfully, the offside flag was raised.
What appeared to be the Heung-Min Son fan club below me went into raptures in the 26th minute as their South-Korean messiah – who has established himself as one of the key men in this Tottenham team – grabbed the opening goal from yards out, as Serge Aurier’s pinpoint cross/scuffed shot landed into his feet, and the forward couldn’t miss. It was the fifth home game in a row that son had found the back of the net, equalling a club-record set by Jermaine Defoe.
As somebody who is usually treated to a Scottish football fix most weeks, the rise in standard exceeded my expectations. The players seemed far sharper, both in their footwork and in their thinking. It wasn’t necessarily that the patterns of play were any more intricate than what you would usually see, but they seemed to be happening at a far more urgent pace. All the players seemed so comfortable on the ball, all with the exception of Everton full-back Cuco Martina, who gifted Aurier the freedom of the right-wing countless times. Spurs controlled possession for the majority of the first-half, yet only found a single goal for their efforts.
Tottenham came flying out of the traps once the second 45 got underway and it took only a matter of two minutes for them to extend their lead courtesy of, another, record-breaking goal from Harry Kane. When Son’s swift turn left Jonjoe Kenny chasing shadows, the South Korean’s low shot, which looked to be drifting wide, was diverted in by Spurs’ star man. The England striker’s 97th Premier League goal for his boyhood club took him level with former captain Teddy Sheringham, who required over four more years than Kane to reach his tally.
The second goal took the wind from the Everton sails as Spurs established their dominance for the majority of the game, with Moussa Dembele removing any doubts over his recent form with a commanding midfield display.
Kane’s second goal was much the same as the first, in both the execution and the importance. When Aurier fed a low cross into the feet of Kane, his looping effort seemed to take an age to find the target, but it looped up over Jordan Pickford to guarantee Kane his 98th Premier League goal in the Lilywhite. While his first may have equalled Sheringham’s tally, this one beat it outright.
Since Kane broke through the ranks at Tottenham and began his impressive goalscoring feats, I’ve been desperate for him to set the record for himself. To actually witness the moment in person ranks it at the very top of my sporting memories. Who better for Spurs fans to take the record than one of their own?
Son, who looked desperate to impress his increasingly-boisterous fan club, could have found a second when his low drive cannoned off the outside of the post, before firing a one-on-one effort into Pickford’s hands. The former Leverkusen star was having a field day and seemed to find efforts on goal at will.
While the previous three goals were more straightforward, the fourth and final one encapsulated Poch’s Spurs at their scintillating best. In a move which saw each and every player in the side take a touch of the ball, Aurier managed to slide a first-time pass through to Son, who required just one touch, as did Dele Alli, who found Eriksen with an audacious backheel. Gasps from the home crowd followed, and The Dane duly finished. From front to back it displayed Tottenham’s imagination, almost-telepathic chemistry, and ruthlessness.
The fourth goal was a delicious icing on what was an impressive cake for Spurs, who picked up their fourth win in five games, the best tally of any Premier League side in that time.
Only on the way out did I discover just how notorious Wembley Way’s traffic is to leave the ground. Tens of thousands of fans and an hour-long queue later, I was right in the perfect view of the famous old stadium and the Wembley arch.
I could get used to this every week.