Tottenham built on their win over Premier League leaders Chelsea as Harry Kane netted a hat-trick in a 4-0 demolition of West Brom.
Ahead of the game against Tony Pulis’ men, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino cautioned his players against dropping off after a major win over a title rival – noting their seven-match winless run in all competitions that came on the back of a rampant victory against Manchester City in October.
That slump began with a 1-1 draw at West Brom, but the same opponents were ill-equipped to offer similar difficulties to a Spurs side whose speed of thought and foot put them a cut above on this occasion.
Kane scored his 11th Premier League goal of the season in the 12th minute and Gareth McAuley diverted a shot from Christian Eriksen beyond his goalkeeper Ben Foster before the half hour in what was a torrid opening half for Albion.
Foster’s excellence, particularly at Kane’s expense, was responsible for preventing considerably heavier damage before Spurs’ top scorer struck twice in quick succession to claim the matchball after becoming a father for the first time last weekend.
Tottenham are within four points of Chelsea in second ahead of Antonio Conte’s men playing champions Leicester City later on Saturday, with an apparent ankle injury for Jan Vertonghen the only blot on their day.
3 – No player has scored more Premier League hat-tricks for Tottenham than Harry Kane (3, level with Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe). Trio.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 14, 2017
Danny Rose was down on the turf early on when former Spurs player Nacer Chadli appeared to accidentally catch him in the eye but the left wing-back produced a wonderful fourth-minute cross, from which Kane stabbed a volley wastefully wide.
The England striker soon made amends as a deep West Brom defensive line gave Eriksen space to scheme and unpick them, with Kane collecting the pass and turning to arrow a strike into the top-left corner with minimal backlift.
Kane almost had a second when Foster stopped his header with his legs and scrambled back to grab the loose ball on his goalline.
Rose supplied the ammunition from the right flank on that occasion and from the same position he passed short to Eriksen, whose shot deflected decisively off McAuley and in.
Foster denied Kane at close quarters with his left boot and the pair continued their duel in the 35th minute, with a stunning fingertip save denying the Tottenham man after he weaved towards the West Brom area and unleashed a thumping left-foot drive from 20 yards.
The visitors were notable for their absence as an attacking force during the first period but Salomon Rondon played through Matt Phillips to clip a shot just past the left post.
Foster added to his excellent body of work, denying Toby Alderweireld with a reaction stop from a 56th-minute corner and keeping out a deflected drive when the loose ball reached Vertonghen.
The former Manchester United goalkeeper then plunged to once again push a Kane shot to safety but defensive inadequacy left him exposed as Tottenham wrapped up the points.
Kane steered home a bouncing ball from Kyle Walker, who capitalised on a napping McAuley 13 minutes from time to spear in the cross.
There was further misery for West Brom – and underserved woe for Foster – eight minutes from time as Kane beautifully annotated a sixth consecuttive league win by slipping a pass to Alli 25 yards from goal and continuing his run to dispatch his international colleague’s scooped pass.
Key Opta Stats:
– Kane has now scored 94 per cent of his Premier League goals for Tottenham inside the box (58 of 62).
– The defeat for West Brom marks their joint-heaviest Premier League defeat under Tony Pulis (along with 0-4 v Manchester City in October 2016).
– The Baggies conceded more than twice in a Premier League away game for the first time since January 16 of last year – 364 days ago (0-3 v Southampton).
– The last 10 Premier League goals scored by Tottenham players have been netted by Harry Kane or Dele Alli (five each).
– Only Kevin de Bruyne (9) has provided more assists than Christian Eriksen in the Premier League this season.
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