Harry Kane continued his red-hot form in front of goal with a hat-trick as an understrength Tottenham recorded a 3-0 win away at APOEL on Tuesday.
The in-form England international’s treble – his ninth for the club overall and sixth in 2017 – took his tally to 11 for club and country in September, an astonishing run after struggling through a dry August.
Kane predictably provided the finish after being set through by Toby Alderweireld in the 39th minute to break the deadlock in the Group H fixture in Cyprus.
Moussa Sissoko assisted the second after the break, although the striker still had plenty to do when receiving a cut-back pass on the edge of the area, before a Kieran Trippier cross allowed Kane to head home another in the 67th minute.
Despite being without suspended duo Dele Alli and Jan Vertonghen, as well as Christian Eriksen – left at home due to illness – and the injured Mousa Dembele, the Premier League club found a way to record just a third away win in their last 12 European outings.
6 – With his three goals against APOEL Nicosia, Harry Kane has now scored six hat-tricks in 2017. Ridiculous.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 26, 2017
Mauricio Pochettino’s patched-up XI dominated possession but found their hosts a tough nut to crack until the ever-reliable Kane scored in the 39th minute.
APOEL came close on three occasions to breaking the deadlock in the first half, starting with Igor de Camargo rattling the bar with a firm, left-footed drive that left Hugo Lloris rooted to the spot.
Centre-back Carlao was then guilty of sending a free header from a corner wide of the right post, while Lloris narrowly escaped the embarrassment of seeing his attempted clearance hit team-mate Davinson Sanchez and roll into an unguarded net after he’d ventured out of his area to deal with the danger.
The reprieve at one end was quickly followed by Tottenham’s opening goal at the other.
After the visitors had endlessly knocked the ball around without penetrating, Alderweireld produced a flat pass into the right channel to release Kane. Having breached a broken offside trap and, with just goalkeeper Boy Waterman to beat, he coolly slotted the chance home with his left foot.
His second arrived after an extended spell of APOEL pressure; Sissoko cleverly picked out his team-mate with a pass from the right and, despite being pressurised by defenders, Kane controlled the ball instantly before striking a right-footed shot into the bottom corner.
The frontman completed the perfect hat-trick when timing his run into the penalty area to meet Trippier’s teasing centre, the resulting header giving Waterman no chance.
The perfect hat-trick from @HKane!
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 26, 2017
Pochettino was able to take Tottenham’s goalscoring hero off with 15 minutes to play, safe in the knowledge they would make it two wins from two in the Champions League ahead of back-to-back meetings with Real Madrid.
Key Opta Facts:
– Harry Kane has now scored 34 goals in 30 competitive appearances for Tottenham in 2017.
– Kane has now scored against 46 different opponents during his club career and versus 36 different teams for Tottenham in all competitions.
– The England striker scored in his fourth successive Champions League appearance – only the second English player to do this in the competition after Steven Gerrard (five in a row).
– Kane is the seventh different English player to score a Champions League hat-trick (after Andrew Cole, Mike Newell, Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney, Alan Shearer and Danny Welbeck).
– Tottenham have won their opening two games of a Champions League campaign for the first time ever.
– Spurs have netted six goals in the Champions League this season from just eight shots on target.
– APOEL have never kept a clean sheet at home in the Champions League group stages (10 games).
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