Tottenham 4 Huddersfield Town 0: Lucas hat-trick fires Spurs up to third
Lucas Moura stepped up impressively in the absence of Harry Kane and Dele Alli by plundering a hat-trick for Tottenham in their 4-0 Premier League win over Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
Kane is only likely to feature again for Spurs this season if they reach the Champions League final after suffering an ankle injury in Tuesday's quarter-final, first leg victory against Manchester City, while Alli injured his hand in the same game.
Mauricio Pochettino's side initially struggled to break down their already relegated opponents, but two goals in the space of three first-half minutes from Victor Wanyama and Lucas set them up for the most routine of victories.
Lucas added two more in the closing stages as Spurs moved a point ahead of Chelsea into third ahead of the Blues' clash at Liverpool on Sunday.
Tottenham dominated the early stages but had to wait until the 24th minute to forge ahead. Wanyama surged into the area after Fernando Llorente failed to control Ben Davies' pass, rounded Ben Hamer and slotted into an empty net for his first goal of the campaign.
That was followed three minutes later by Lucas' eighth of 2018/19 in the league, the former Paris Saint-Germain forward drilling through the weak resistance of Hamer from 10 yards after being teed up by Moussa Sissoko.
Jon Gorenc Stankovic then missed a golden opportunity to halve the deficit after 30 minutes, the Slovenian inexplicably steering a side-foot volley wide from Juninho Bacuna's corner.
Llorente came agonisingly close to adding a glorious third immediately after the restart. The Spaniard controlled Juan Foyth's lofted ball and then crashed a superb volley against the crossbar.
Steve Mounie missed the opportunity to set up a grandstand finish, heading wide from 10 yards 15 minutes from time, while Bacuna's free-kick was clawed onto his crossbar by Hugo Lloris.
Christian Eriksen hit the post late on before Lucas sealed the win in style. He scored his second in the 87th minute, flicking up the Dane's pass and sending a controlled volley into Hamer's bottom-left corner.
He then completed his treble three minutes into stoppage time, running onto Son Heung-min's pass and lashing unerringly across Hamer and into the roof of the net.
What does it mean? Spurs enjoying home comforts
Any worries that Tottenham would struggle to make themselves at home at their new stadium have been well and truly dispelled with three wins on the spin on their return to north London. With the second leg against City looming in midweek, Pochettino could scarcely have cherry picked more accommodating opponents than rock bottom Huddersfield, who crumbled to a 26th defeat of a sorry season.
Lucas too hot to handle
With Son Heung-min named on the substitutes' bench, the task of injecting dynamism into Spurs' attack was given to the Brazilian, and he did not disappoint. The 26-year-old made life difficult for Huddersfield's defenders all game and scored a stunning hat-trick.
Mounie miss sums up Huddersfield misery
It is perhaps not surprising that a player who has scored just two league goals all season failed to find the back of the net with a free header from 10 yards, but Mounie really should have beaten Lloris and given his side a chance of securing an unlikely point. The story of Huddersfield's season.
Tottenham take their 1-0 aggregate lead to City on Wednesday before returning there four days later for a Premier League clash. Huddersfield, meanwhile, host Watford in the league next Saturday.