Harry Kane proved even the greats can experience off days as the Tottenham striker failed to have a shot or even a touch in the opposition penalty area in the painful defeat to Crystal Palace.
As Spurs slumped to a 3-0 loss at Selhurst Park, Kane was a passive presence, the England captain perhaps feeling the effects of international duty over the past fortnight.
The result meant Palace ended a 12-match winless run in league games against Spurs, and it also halted an 11-game sequence of failing to record a victory in all Premier League London derbies.
For Kane, it was an afternoon to forget. Opta said it was the first time in his Premier League career where he had completed the full 90 minutes and failed to have a goal attempt or at least touch the ball in the opponent’s 18-yard box.
Kane scored in each of England’s three World Cup qualifiers during the break, netting against Hungary, Andorra and Poland, but the latter of those fixtures took place on Wednesday evening in Warsaw.
To be back on club duty on Saturday lunchtime in London was a stretch, even for the player who ranks second on Spurs’ list of all-time leading scorers, and his impact was minimal.
Kane played 20 passes, of which only 13 were accurate, and had just 37 touches, the fewest of all outfield Spurs players who played the full game.
He also lost possession 16 times and did not win it back once.
Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo admitted it had been a tough outing for his overwhelmed team, whose hopes were dealt a telling blow when Japhet Tanganga was sent off for two reckless challenges in quick succession, early in the second half.
Wilfried Zaha netted a 76th-minute penalty, before Odsonne Edouard’s late double piled on the agony for Spurs, who had only two goal attempts across the 90 minutes – both by Lucas Moura.
“A lot of obstacles but a lot of mistakes also, so not a good game,” Nuno told BT Sport.
“We have to look at ourselves and today we didn’t play good. We never found the way to play the game in terms of possession.
“At the beginning of the second half the idea was to have more attacking situations, and we didn’t achieve it, so after that all the issues that happened – the red card and all these things – made the job harder against a good team.”
Spurs were also without South American trio Davinson Sanchez, Cristian Romero and Giovani Lo Celso, who are currently in Croatia having travelled back from countries on the United Kingdom’s travel red list.
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