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Harry Kane double keeps Tottenham in hot pursuit of Leicester City
Tottenham Hotspur continue to do all they can to unsettle Leicester City’s title pursuit, even if their game of catch-up is being mustered from afar. Mauricio Pochettino’s side vaulted a tricky hurdle here with plenty to spare, their dismissal of Bournemouth again reducing the gap with the top team to five points and ensuring the squabble for the remaining two Champions League places is still a distant murmur at their backs. The sense persists that, if the leaders stumble, Spurs will pounce. The problem is that remains a considerable “if”.
This was an impressive victory, coming after the anticlimax of the leaders’ latest victory on Saturday and, no doubt, the lingering regret at seeing Kasper Schmeichel’s crossbar clipped by Damien Delaney in stoppage time at Selhurst Park. Those in pursuit need a break because the relentless nature of Leicester’s charge must choke the optimism at times, for all that Spurs Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Shop Online can do no more than this. A comfortable win was secured early here with Eddie Howe’s team, rightly lauded for their own achievements this season and previously unbeaten away this calendar year, made to look uncharacteristically timid, even lethargic at times, as Spurs swarmed all over them.
Danny Rose and Kyle Walker pinned the visitors back on the flanks while Dele Alli’s effervescence and a combative, classy midfield held sway in the centre. This is the kind of football Howe usually ekes from his own, but here the visitors’ energy went suffocated until the contest had all but been surrendered.
“They work so hard and have such quality with the ball, making the pitch very big, constantly stretching you,” said the Bournemouth manager through gritted teeth. “Both these teams want to have the ball, but Spurs make it very hard for you to get it, particularly with their tactical play deep in their own half. With Harry Kane, they can Authentic Prada Bags Outlet Online also hurt you. We aspire to be like them one day. There’s a lot we Authentic Prada Fairy Bag For Sale can take from them.”
For now, all they have to show for brushes with Spurs is a pair of sound thrashings, and eight goals shipped en route, and it has been Kane who has revelled in the fixture most of all. The England striker personified the home team’s aggressive intent, his double adding to the hat-trick at the Vitality Stadium in October, though it was the sight of his last-ditch tackle inside his own six-yard box to snuff out Josh King’s attempt which arguably epitomised his display.
His Premier League tally for the season already matches last year’s haul of 21, but there is so much more to his game than goals. Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Uk Sale Simon Francis, a journeyman Football League right-back turned efficient top-flight centre-half, was targeted from the outset, exposed early on and eclipsed long before the end. The lack of protection offered the visitors’ backline by an overworked midfield made the result inevitable.
Therein lay Howe’s greatest frustration – Harry Arter was hauled off at the interval having endured an ear-bashing from the sidelines throughout the first half – though there is no disgrace in being outmanoeuvred by opponents this slick. Spurs had conceded after 49 seconds on the south coast in the autumn before rallying to a 5-1 success but outdid that themselves here, easing ahead inside 44 seconds.
“That made us calmer, with the patience to move Black Prada Bag Mission Impossible the ball and dominate,” said Pochettino. “The team’s energy was fantastic. To have that, having come through a very busy period playing Authentic Prada Handbags For Cheap a lot of games, can make us feel proud, but we also played with maturity.”
There simply was no quelling them. Hugo Lloris’s quick distribution to Walker near the halfway line had set the breathless tempo, the right-back allowed to progress unchallenged down the flank before conjuring a delicious centre which Bournemouth could not repel. Kane edged ahead of Francis to score. The Authentic Prada Fairy Bag For Sale build-up was more considered for his second, a patient period of passing inside their own half culminating in Kevin Wimmer’s forward slide-rule pass and Dele Alli’s burst and pass beyond Francis. Kane dispatched that first time past Artur Boruc and the game was won. There were not yet 17 minutes on the clock. Both goals were made to look utterly simple. Each had been precisely and perfectly constructed.
The only vague criticism that could be levelled at the home side was one Authentic Prada Canvas Bag of profligacy when a cricket score might have beckoned, with Erik Lamela, outlet Walker, Alli twice and Eriksen all close to adding a third before Boruc spilled Kane’s drive and presented the Danish playmaker with a tap-in. They could afford to fluff their lines with Bournemouth’s own glimpses of goal sporadic, and invariably limited to chaotic ricochets in the penalty area, but those are the chances that may need to be taken in the matches against Liverpool, Manchester United and Stoke City after the international break.
But, for all that Spurs will continue to play their games after Leicester City, their weeks appear less cluttered from now on in. The double sessions will continue – Pochettino does not relent on that front – yet this team can focus on one task alone. Their supporters had taken Alex Pradas Quiles to bellowing “Leicester City, we’re coming for you” long before the end and while Claudio Ranieri will not be quaking in his boots just yet, this pursuit is still fuelled by optimism. The quality and conviction in Spurs’ ranks are proof enough of that.
Man of the match Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
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