Harry Kane back on goal trail as Tottenham worsen West Ham’s relegation fears
Harry Kane answered his critics as he celebrated his 200th Premier League appearance for Tottenham with a goal in a 2-0 win against West Ham.
Jose Mourinho was forced to make an impassioned rebuttal of claims that his style of play would not see Kane score goals before the match, listing the scoring records of all of his former strikers.
But such is Kane’s prowess there are very little tactics that would not see him find the net regularly and his late strike against the Hammers, which came after Tomas Soucek’s own goal had put Spurs in front, was his 137th league goal for the club and his eighth in 12 games under the Portuguese.
It sealed three points which aid Tottenham’s Champions League ambitions as they move a point behind Wolves and Manchester United in the race for fifth – which as it stands is good enough – ahead of their games on Wednesday.
For West Ham it was a defeat that leaves them out of the bottom three on goal difference and with Chelsea to play next at the weekend, relegation fears are deepening for the Hammers.
David Moyes came to north London, where his side were the first team to win at Spurs’ new home last season, to contain their hosts and it made for a dismal opening 20 minutes with little action at either end of the pitch.
Lucas Moura peaked interest when he created space for himself and fizzed a powerful effort from 25 yards, but Lukasz Fabianski palmed it over the crossbar.
Kane’s display had been heavily scrutinised against Manchester United, having had no efforts on target, but he put that right, with a low effort that was easily saved by Fabianksi.
Spurs got better as the first half went on and they thought they had found the breakthrough in the 45th minute.
Giovani Lo Celso squared the ball to Son on the edge of the area and he cut inside and found the bottom corner, but the perpendicular lines of the video assistant referee system ruled it out for a marginal offside.
Spurs still should have gone in at half-time in front after Moura wasted a golden chance in added time.
Ben Davies got in down the left and pulled it back to the Brazilian on the penalty spot, but his effort went well wide with the goal gaping.
The second half was instantly more open and both sides had chances to take the lead, with Eric Dier curling wide and then Kane seeing a backheel blocked by Fabianski, while Pablo Fornals shot off target for the Hammers when unmarked just 10 yards out.
It looked like Kane’s moment was going to come just before the hour as Spurs produced a lightning quick break and Lo Celso teed up the England captain but his first-time effort went just wide.
Mourinho’s side were not denied much longer as they went ahead in the 64th minute, though they were recipient of a large slice of luck.
Lo Celso’s corner deflected off Davinson Sanchez and on to the legs of Soucek, with the ball diverting into the bottom corner.
It survived another VAR check for a possible handball but Spurs were worthy of their lead.
West Ham went in search of an equaliser and almost found it in the 78th minute when the hosts struggled to defend a corner and Jarrod Bowen fired an effort into the post from the second phase.
Spurs killed the game with another move on the break as Son played Kane through on goal and there was little doubt about the outcome as he coolly slotted in his 137th Premier League goal for the club.