[Video] Tottenham 4-0 Stoke City [HighLights]
The striker is now the joint-top goalscorer in the Premier League as he helped his side bounce back from Europa League heartache in midweek
A first-half Harry Kane hat-trick inspired Tottenham to an emphatic 4-0 victory over Stoke City in the Premier League on Sunday.
The England international scored his fourth treble for the club and turned provider for Dele Alli to send Mauricio Pochettino’s side into second in the table.
Spurs endured a tough match at Wembley this week as they exited the Europa League at the hands of Gent, but there was to be no hangover from their European travails as they dispatched a dreadful Stoke side in the first half.
Kane – who disappointed in that 2-2 draw with the Belgians – opened the scoring with his 100th goal at club level before making is 2-0 with a sublime half-volley with 32 minutes played.
The 23-year-old’s deflected free-kick secured his second hat-trick in as many appearances in domestic competition, and he set up Alli to make it 4-0 before the break to cap a ruthless performance.
It was a routine affair for Spurs in the second half as Stoke accepted their fate, with the home side moving back to within 10 points of leaders Chelsea, while Mark Hughes’ side stay 10th.
Spurs enjoyed the better of a very quiet opening but had Stoke’s captain to thank for the opening goal.
Ryan Shawcross halted Christian Eriksen’s run into the box, but managed only to flick the ball into Kane’s path rather than clear, allowing the England international – who is now the joint-top Premier League scorer on 17 with Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez and Everton’s Romelu Lukaku – to fire first-time across goal and into the bottom-right corner of Lee Grant’s net.
Glenn Whelan was a little fortunate not to be sent off soon after for a clumsy two-footed challenge on Jan Vertonghen, but only a fine save with his foot from Hugo Lloris prevented Peter Crouch from prodding in an equaliser against the run of play.
Vertonghen rattled the crossbar from close range, but a second unerring strike from Kane put Spurs firmly in control after half an hour, the striker firing a sublime half-volley from the edge of the area through the legs of Victor Wanyama and beyond Grant.
Five minutes later and his hat-trick was completed – although it came thanks to a huge slice of luck. Eriksen rolled a free-kick into his path, and Kane’s low effort from 25 yards took a huge deflection off Crouch on its way into the net, with Grant powerless to stop it.
Hughes cut a disconsolate figure on the touchline, but, with seconds to go before the break, it got even worse for the visitors. Kane raced beyond Bruno Martins Indi and squared across the penalty area for Alli, who slid to steer the ball high into the net.
Spurs spirits were dampened when they lost Toby Alderweireld to a knock shortly after half-time, but Kane almost gave the home fans another moment to cheer, with only a fine right-hand save from Grant denying him a fourth goal.
Kyle Walker waltzed into the box only to slice a shot wide and he was thwarted by Grant in the closing minutes from close range, but Spurs were largely content to play the possession game as they cruised to what could be an important victory in the battle for the top four.
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