Harry Kane described Christian Eriksen’s impact off the bench as “perfect” as he helped Tottenham come from a goal down to beat Aston Villa on Saturday.
Spurs were trailing 1-0 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium when Eriksen, whose future remains uncertain, was brought on as a substitute.
The Denmark international impressed in attack and it was his cross that eventually led to debutant Tanguy Ndombele firing in a debut goal to level the scores.
Captain Kane struck twice in the closing stages to secure a 3-1 victory and ensure a positive start to the season for last term’s Champions League finalists.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Kane praised the way Eriksen, who has long been linked with a move to Real Madrid, controlled Spurs’ attacking tempo.
“We know what Christian’s like,” he said. “I’ve been playing with him for five, six years now.
“His quality on the ball, assists and goals… He came on and dictated the pace and for me it’s perfect.
“We started the second half with a high tempo, and when Tanguy got his goal it was full throttle until the end. We stayed in the game, created a few chances and thankfully a few came to me and I put them away.”
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Spurs had been trailing through John McGinn’s well-taken first-half goal, although Villa ultimately could not keep up their impressive defensive effort as fatigue seemed to take its toll.
“We’d have swapped it for a different result,” said McGinn. “We gave a good account of ourselves, but we need to be a bit braver going forward and stop the mistakes. A team like Tottenham punishes you.”
Speaking of his goal, the former Hibs man admitted: “It’s surreal. It’s been quite a nice journey for me – a few years ago I was playing in the Scottish Championship, so to score at a stadium like this for my first Premier League goal was obviously an incredible moment for me.
“We had confidence, it’s just a bit of an eye-opener that the jump up to the Premier League is massive. You can’t let Harry Kane go free in the box. The whole team is to blame; it’s not just individual mistakes.”
For Kane and Spurs, the focus now is on building a run of results at the start of the season, so they can challenge for a first trophy since the 2008 EFL Cup.
“It’s the first game but it’s always nice to win, at home as well,” he said. “We know we have the quality, we have been in big games. It’s down to us players to perform on the pitch.”
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