London (AFP) – Harry Kane extended his hot streak with a blistering brace as Tottenham beat Everton 3-2 to close the gap on leaders Chelsea to seven points on Sunday.
Kane opened the scoring with a thunderous first-half strike at White Hart Lane and netted again after the break to take his goal tally to 24 in 28 games this season.
Everton forward Romelu Lukaku, Kane’s closest rival in the race to finish as Premier League top scorer, got one back before Dele Alli struck for Spurs in the closing moments.
There was still time for Enner Valencia to score Everton’s second, but Tottenham held on for a third victory in their last four league games.
Kane’s prolific form puts a little more pressure on runaway leaders Chelsea, who must win at West Ham on Monday to restore their 10-point advantage.
Everton could have no complaints about their first defeat in their last 10 league games, a setback which dents their hopes of qualifying for the Europa League.
Tottenham had an early penalty appeal when Kyle Walker surged past Leighton Baines into the area, but the Everton defender recovered impressively, just getting a foot on the ball with his last-ditch challenge.
Although Spurs were monopolising possession, all the neat passing from Mauricio Pochettino’s men hadn’t forced Everton goalkeeper Joel Robles into action.
Sensing that his team needed to be more direct, Kane took matters into his own hands to break the deadlock in the 20th minute.
When Kane found himself on the ball 30 yards from goal, he quickly moved menacingly towards the penalty area and, with Everton midfielder Gareth Barry fatally failing to close him down, the Spurs star was free to unleash a superb strike that flashed past Robles.
– Knockout blow –
Kane should have netted again moments later when he collected Alli’s pass and cleverly cut inside Baines for a close-range effort that was straight at Robles.
Christian Eriksen smashed the rebound over the crossbar and the Tottenham midfielder was off target with another opportunity, this one steered wide after he broke clear.
After watching Merseyside boxer Tony Bellew’s win against David Haye in a heavyweight bout on Saturday evening, Everton boss Ronald Koeman took to social media to hail the Everton fan’s “warrior” spirit.
But there was little of that against-the-odds mentality from Everton, who failed to lay a glove on Tottenham in a one-sided affair.