London (AFP) – Harry Kane plundered a hat-trick as Tottenham Hotspur climbed to second place in the Premier League on Saturday with a classy 4-0 demolition of West Bromwich Albion.
The England striker, who became a father for the first time last weekend, took his tally for the season to 15 goals in all competitions as Mauricio Pochettino’s side recorded a sixth successive league win.
They closed to within four points of leaders Chelsea, who visit Leicester City later on Saturday, while Arsenal moved up to third place after winning 4-0 at Swansea City.
“The first 45 minutes was fantastic. It was wonderful football,” said Spurs manager Pochettino, whose side ended Chelsea’s 13-game winning streak on their previous league outing.
“I think after Chelsea it was a big challenge to keep the momentum and show that we are mature enough to fight for big things and today was a very good example of that.”
The only low point for Spurs was an ankle injury that forced centre-back Jan Vertonghen off midway through the second half. Pochettino said the early signs looked “very bad”.
Kane put Spurs in front from Christian Eriksen’s cute pass in the 12th minute at White Hart Lane before a shot from Eriksen deflected in off Gareth McAuley for an own goal.
Kyle Walker crossed for Kane to hook in Spurs’ third goal in the 77th minute and he completed his hat-trick five minutes later with a volley from Dele Alli’s clever scooped pass.
Chelsea face champions Leicester in the evening kick-off, with top scorer Diego Costa absent after reports of a bust-up with back-room staff over his fitness.
Arsenal moved above Liverpool, who visit arch rivals Manchester United on Sunday, on goal difference after a pair of own goals helped them to victory at struggling Swansea.
Olivier Giroud broke the deadlock in the 37th minute, slamming home his fifth goal in five games after Mesut Ozil’s header hit Alfie Mawson.
– Carroll bicycle kick –
Alex Iwobi’s shot deflected in off Jack Cork early in the second half and the Nigerian youngster’s cross was then turned in by Kyle Naughton for a second own goal.
Alexis Sanchez sealed victory with a 73rd-minute volley that took his tally for the campaign to 14 goals.
It was a first home league game to forget for Swansea’s new manager Paul Clement, whose team sank to the foot of the standings.
Marco Silva had a more memorable league bow as Hull City manager, with Abel Hernandez scoring twice and Tyrone Mings putting through his own own goal as they came from behind to beat Bournemouth 3-1.
Sunderland slipped below Hull to 19th place after a dispiriting 3-1 home defeat by Stoke City.
Marko Arnautovic scored twice for Stoke in the first 22 minutes and Peter Crouch headed in his 99th Premier League goal before Jermain Defoe replied for the hosts.
West Ham United finished a turbulent week by winning 3-0 at home to Crystal Palace courtesy of goals by Sofiane Feghouli and Manuel Lanzini and a sensational Andy Carroll bicycle kick.
West Ham were without Dimitri Payet, last year’s Player of the Season, after manager Slaven Bilic revealed he has asked to leave the club.
Joey Barton marked his return to Burnley, after a short-lived stint at Rangers, by scoring a 78th-minute free-kick to earn his side a 1-0 home win over Southampton.
There were emotional scenes at Vicarage Road as Watford’s fans paid tribute to late former manager Graham Taylor, who died on Thursday aged 72, prior to their side’s goalless draw with Middlesbrough.
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