Tottenham 1 Man City 0: Spurs do bitter rivals Arsenal HUGE favour as record-breaker Kane dents City titles hopes
IT’S a funny old game, as the second highest goalscorer in Tottenham’s history often used to note.
Eighteen months ago, Harry Kane was begging for a transfer to Manchester City, yet here he was overhauling the great Jimmy Greaves as the most productive filler of onion bags this famous old club has ever known.
Harry Kane is now Tottenham’s record goalscorerRichard Pelham / The Sun
ReutersThe striker broke the deadlock with his 267th goal for Spurs[/caption]
Cristian Stellini led Tottenham to victory in the absence of boss Antonio ConteRichard Pelham / The Sun
Pep Guardiola’s City side failed to close the gap on leaders ArsenalRichard Pelham / The Sun
And it was funny that the England captain should score his landmark 267th Tottenham goal against Pep Guardiola’s City.
And funny, if you’re not a Spurs fan, that his goal might play a part in handing the Premier title to Arsenal.
Still, this was a mighty achievement for Kane. These historic records do not fall with great regularity in age where there are so few long-serving players.
Kane is a throwback. Even his failed escape attempt was charmingly naive.
“How are we going to force this move then?”
“Let’s do an interview with Gary Neville while playing a round of golf, that should do the trick.”
It didn’t work, of course, and City didn’t force the issue after an initial bid was rejected because they were confident of landing Erling Haaland 12 months later anyway.
Kane’s strike was also his 200th Premier League goal, he stands only eight behind Wayne Rooney in second place on that list.
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Although for those who remember football existed before the Premier League, Greaves’ record of 357 English top-flight goals looks out of sight even to the 29-year-old Kane.
The most extraordinary thing about Kane is that he is a very long way from being a mere goal poacher.
Increasingly, his assist count and his ability to drop deep and influence play has been as impressive as his scoring.
Less than a minute after Kane had side-footed past Ederson to hand Spurs a 15th-minute lead, and the big screens read ‘Congratulations Harry – 267’ – Kane barged Bernardo Silva off the ball to win possession and earned another massive roar.
There is still some debate about whether the Greaves record should have read 268 rather than 266, as he scored twice in a Charity Shield and nobody has ever known whether that fixture is competitive or a friendly.
Kane, of course, has never played in the annual match between the champions and the FA Cup holders because Spurs haven’t won either competition since he was born.
He will surely pass that slightly higher figure, even if this does turn out to be his final season in a lillywhite shirt.
Kane wanted to join City to win silverware. Instead, he has so far had to settle for individual accolades – Golden Boots at the World Cup and in the Premier League as well as the capture of Greaves’ record.
Phe Tottenham scoreboard paid tribute to Harry Kane after his record-breaking strikeRichard Pelham / The Sun
This result – finished off with ten men after the late sending off of Cristian Romero – increased Tottenham’s chances of Champions League football next season, as City’s hoodoo at the new White Hart Lane continued.
Remarkably, Guardiola’s men have lost five out of five here, without scoring a single goal.
Arsenal’s defeat at Everton on Saturday means City remain just five points behind the leaders with a trip to the Emirates coming up on Wednesday week.
But Guardiola’s famously hyperactive mind seems especially restless right now. His ‘Pep roulette’ routine was in full flow with Kevin De Bruyne benched for the opening hour – and it cost City.
Antonio Conte was not here to witness Kane’s historic moment. The Spurs boss remains in Italy, recovering from an operation to remove his gallbladder.
But Tottenham didn’t seem to miss his frenetic touchline cheerleading. Under the charge of Conte’s assistant, Cristian Stellini, they were absolutely
Kane’s moment arrived when Rodri produced an unusually sloppy pass on the edge of his own area, aimed at full-back Rico Lewis.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg pounced to rob the kid and thread a pass through, which Kane slotted into the far corner and spark jubilation.
GettyPierre-Emile Hojbjerg was outstanding as Spurs triumphed[/caption]
Kane was never likely to rest on his and his challenge on Bernardo instantly proved as much.
Haaland’s most notable moment came when he was cleaned out by Cristian Romero, Tottenham’s gloriously old-school Argentinian centre-half.
City dominated possession, Jack Grealish bent a shot wide and Riyad Mahrez twanged the crossbar with a firecracker.
But City only really imposed themselves once Guardiola decided he might be an idea to bring on his best player, De Bruyne, on the hour.
Soon the Belgian was feeding Grealish for a shot deflected over by Eric Dier, and then Alvarez, whose rising shot went narrowly wide.
At the other end, though, Kane was threatening a second. He slid in at the back post but couldn’t quite connect with a low Ivan Perisic centre, then he dragged a shot wide, before he ploughed through two defenders and was denied by an onrushing Ederson blocking with his body.
Romero chopped down Grealish for his second yellow card in the 87th minute but Spurs held firm.
Kane may never win a trophy with this club but his place in the pantheon of Tottenham greats is always assured.
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Tottenham finished the game with ten men after Cristian Romero was sent-offRichard Pelham / The Sun