Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Tottenham 5-1 Mura: Kane hat-trick settles nerves for Nuno

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 Sep 2021


Harry Kane scored a hat-trick off the bench to help Tottenham to a 5-1 Europa Conference League win over Mura. 

The England striker was summoned along with Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura to settle some nerves after Spurs had allowed their early grip on the game to slip. 

Dele Alli’s penalty and a fine strike from Giovani Lo Celso had put Nuno Espirito Santo’s men in control early on, but a stunning volley from Ziga Kous gave the Slovenian side a lifeline and made things a little nervy for the hosts. 

That was until Kane’s clinical finishes killed the contest and ensured no further pressure was applied to the Spurs boss, whose position has come under scrutiny in the wake of a humbling 3-1 loss to Arsenal.

Spurs were in control with just eight minutes on the clock. Alli converted from the spot after being felled by goalkeeper Matko Obradovic, and Lo Celso’s fine run and finish into the net from a tight angle made it 2-0. 

They did little to build on their advantage in front of a sparse crowd at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and Mura sensed the chance of a shock comeback 53 minutes in when Kous blasted in a superb strike from the edge of the box that bounced back out of the net. 

Nuno then made the telling change, Lucas sliding the ball into the box to meet the run of Kane, who toe-poked a good finish past Obradovic. 

Kane got a second with 14 minutes remaining, duly side-footing home after Son skipped into space and cut the ball back from the left, and he completed his treble by firing low across Obradovic’s goal after Lo Celso’s precise throughball. 

What does it mean? Spurs go top of Group G 

Having drawn 2-2 with Rennes on matchday one, Spurs now lead their group with four points, edging out the Ligue 1 side on goal difference. 

Thursday’s game also allowed Kane a useful run out, especially since the striker has yet to score in the Premier League this season. 

The form of his talisman could well be key if Nuno is to ward off critics in the coming weeks. 

Clinical Kane 

While not the strongest opposition Kane will face, his cameo allowed him to sharpen up after a difficult start to the season in the wake of Manchester City’s failed attempts to sign him. 

The timing of his runs were key to his opportunities, which he took with customary poise. 

Nuno will face sterner tests 

Anything other than a win here would have prompted serious questions over Nuno’s future as Spurs boss, and it will come as a slight concern that he felt it necessary to call on three of his key first-team players in the second half to make sure of the win. 

His credentials will face a greater test at the weekend in his side’s final match before the international break. 

What’s next? 

Spurs will look to end a three-game losing streak in the Premier League when they face Aston Villa at home on Sunday. 


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