Tottenham Hotspur rebounded well from their Europa League exit at the hands of Gent in midweek with a 4-0 demolition of Stoke City on Sunday, trimming Chelsea’s lead at the top of the English Premier League table to 10 points in the process.
While their title ambitions are slim at best, the race for the Champions League spots is very much in the balance and with all their rivals not playing on the weekend, Spurs needed to make a statement at White Hart Lane.
And they did, with star striker Harry Kane leading the way with his third treble in nine games to get White Hart Lane roaring once again. The young striker opened the scoring with a well-taken half-volley in the 14th minute and despite being surrounded by plenty of Stoke defenders, got time to shift the ball onto his right and finish past Lee Grant.
The warning signs were there for the visitors when Jan Vertongen’s shot from just inside the box cannoned off the post as the Lilywhites looked like they were in the mood for goals.
Kane doubled Spurs’ lead two minutes after the half-hour mark, volleying home a Christian Eriksen corner from the edge of the box with his weaker foot, no less! And his treble was confirmed just five minutes later when his shot from distance took a wicked deflection off the wall to fool Grant.
Dele Alli, the villain in the Gent loss after his silly dismissal, went someway to redeeming himself after he finished Kane’s low cross from close range in first-half injury-time to give the host a commanding four-nil lead. Kane, on 17 League goals for the season and joint top-scorer, could have finished it himself but unselfishly laid it on a plate for his teammate.
If Spurs didn't add more to their tally in the second period it was down to the opposing team’s goalkeeper, Lee Grant. The 34-year-old custodian was superb and had it not been for him, Spurs would have been close to double digits by the end of the 90 minutes.
It wasn't all Spurs’ way, however, with defenders Toby Aldweireld and Jan Vertongen being forced off in the second half to create a bit of a defensive shuffle in the line up.
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino calmed fears, however, saying the duo were taken off for a precaution and does not think their injuries are in any way serious.
The North Londoners climb to second in the Premier League table, one point ahead of Manchester City and two ahead of fourth-placed Arsenal, both who have a game in hand.