Tottenham Hotspur bounced back from their New Year’s Day defeat to Aston Villa with a much-needed 4-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace on Wednesday. Harry Kane netted a brace to break an unwanted trend and help close the gap on Manchester United in fourth at Selhurst Park.
Spurs were uninspiring in the first half as Antonio Conte watched his side endure another 45 minutes failing to take the lead. But Kane produced two pieces of brilliance after the break to settle the nerves before Matt Doherty added a third and Son Heung-min notched a fourth.
Express Sport runs through four things learned as Tottenham injected life back into their hunt for Champions League football.
Harry Kane ends horror streak
Heading into the always-daunting task at Selhurst Park under the lights, there was a sense of inevitability that Spurs would fail to score first for the 12th successive game.
But that wasn’t the case.
Instead, Kane reminded all of his doubters after the 2022 World Cup what he was all about, latching onto Ivan Perisic’s pinpoint cross to head past Vicente Guaita.
They were his 14th and 15th Premier League goals in 18 games this season to steer Tottenham on their way to victory.
Erling Haaland’s extra-terrestrial form has strayed many eyes away from the fact that Kane is producing some of the most prolific numbers of his career.
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Spurs’ relentless approach pays off
Tottenham found no joy in spamming crosses into the Palace box throughout the first half.
It’s been an all too familiar frustration for Spurs fans, with Conte’s side producing more open-play crosses than any other Premier League side this season.
But the relentless approach bore fruit as Perisic showed his quality to find Kane for the opener.
And Bryan Gil possibly enjoyed his best Spurs appearance yet on the other flank, providing the assist for the 29-year-old’s second.
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Son rediscovers scoring touch
Plenty of fans online were asking Conte to drag Son off at half-time after the latest underwhelming showing of a disappointing season - and the feeling was likely no different in the ground.
The South Korean forward’s miss in the 67th minute, aiming straight at Guiata while through one-on-one, emphasised his lack of confidence.
But his strike five minutes later will have done his confidence a load of good and will go a long way toward firing Spurs into the top four if he can return to his best.
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Two make-or-break meetings await
Tottenham will be happy with tonight’s result, but morale could be low again if they fail to show up in their upcoming two Premier League games.
After this weekend’s FA Cup clash with Portsmouth, Spurs face back-to-back league games against leaders Arsenal and title challengers Manchester City.
Conte’s side aren’t out of the woods yet, with the two encounters posing as real make-or-break moments in their season.
But such an emphatic result in Wednesday’s London derby is bound to propel morale after a disastrous start to the year.
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