London (AFP) – Harry Kane did the North London derby damage to Arsenal once more as the Tottenham Hotspur striker’s seventh goal in as many games against the Gunners secured a thoroughly deserved 1-0 win for Spurs on Saturday.
Kane towered above the Arsenal defence to head home his 32nd goal of the season four minutes into the second half, as only some wayward finishing and stunning goalkeeping from Petr Cech saved the visitors from further embarrassment in front of a Premier League record crowd of 83,222 at Wembley.
“He is the present and the future,” said Mauricio Pochettino when quizzed whether Kane’s dominant header possessed traits of an old-fashioned English centre-forward.
“It is amazing all that he is achieving, (I’m) so proud and happy he is in our side.”
Victory moved Spurs up to third above Liverpool and Chelsea, while sixth-placed Arsenal now lie six points off the top four.
And more questions will be asked of Alexandre Lacazette’s future role at the Emirates in the wake of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s arrival as the Frenchman missed a great late chance to snatch a point after coming off the bench.
“Kane made the difference, that is what he is about,” Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said.
“Once they scored you could see we were wobbling for a while and they could have scored one or two more, but in the last 10 minutes we should have come back to 1-1.”
Kane spoke this week of how being released from Arsenal’s academy as an eight-year-old left him with a “chip on his shoulder”.
The man now christened ‘one of their own’ by the Spurs faithful hasn’t let Arsenal forget that decision as after a first half short on clear-cut chances, Spurs exploded into life after the break.
Kane had headed the best opening of the first 45 minutes over, but made no mistake when powering Ben Davies’ cross into the bottom corner.
The England striker then saw another golden headed chance go wide before Cech saved brilliantly from Kane, Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela to keep Arsenal in the game.
– Mkhitaryan ineffectual –
Those saves so nearly proved crucial as Lacazette, introduced for the ineffectual Henrikh Mkhitaryan as Arsenal’s new-look forward line failed to fire, shot wide with just French team-mate Hugo Lloris to beat a minute from time.
“It’s disappointing that we struggled in the last five minutes as the game should have been settled,” said Spurs midfielder Eric Dier.
“Harry Kane loves scoring against Arsenal. He should have had a few more as well.”
Manchester City can move 16 points clear at the top later when they host Leicester City, for whom Riyad Mahrez starts on the bench after ending his 10-day exile from training on Friday after being denied a deadline day move to City.
At the other end of the table, Swansea City’s stunning revival under Carlos Carvalhal continued as Ki Sung-Yueng’s fine strike nine minutes from time earned a 1-0 win over Burnley.
The Welsh side are now unbeaten in nine games in all competitions and moved up to 14th, two points above the relegation zone.
West Ham United also eased their relegation fears as goals in either half from Javier Hernandez and Marko Arnautovic ensured they moved five points clear of the relegation zone with a 2-0 win over Watford.
Stoke remain in the bottom three as Charlie Adam saw a stoppage-time penalty saved in a 1-1 draw against Brighton and Hove Albion.
And Everton eased past Crystal Palace 3-1 courtesy of second-half goals from Gylfi Sigurdsson, Oumar Niasse and Tom Davies.
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