|Harry Kane continued his red-hot scoring streak with a brace as Tottenham claimed an impressive London derby victory over West Ham to move within two points of fourth-placedArsenal.|
The England striker now has 11 goals for club and country this season, with his double at White Hart Lane – a goal in each half – meaning he has netted in four consecutive Premier League games, while Spurs extend their unbeaten run to 12 league games.
Belgian centre-back Toby Alderweireld’s first-half header was sandwiched between the two Kane strikes, with a late Kyle Walker beauty capping off the rout before Manuel Lanzini netted an even later consolation.
But Spurs really could have scored about six or seven as Slaven Bilic’s side seemingly felt the full force of Dimitri Payet’s absence.
The French attacker has been the driving force behind the majority of West Ham’s best performances this season – including wins over Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal – and without the injured star they were outclassed and lacked any real cutting edge, even with the return of Andy Carrol and Diafra Sakho up front.
Tottenham dominated from the start, with Hammers stopper Adrian called into action early on to deny a fiercely stuck effort from Christian Eriksen.
The Spaniard’s gloves were all that stood between Spurs and a total whitewash at White Hart Lane, but unfortunately his errors equalled the number of his crucial saves, as a blunder saw Kane open the scoring on 24 minutes.
Hesitant defending and a fortuitous bounce saw the ball dribble through on the edge of the box to Kane, who stood off his man, turned and fired left-footed into the roof of the net. Adrian should have done better, with the shot sailing through his open arms.
To their credit West Ham refused to let their heads drop in those early stages, and they appeared inches away from an instant equaliser when Cheikhou Kouyate broke free and his ambitious close-range overhead kick rattled the crossbar, though he was flagged for offside anyway.
From then on in it was one-way traffic, and Spurs soon doubled their lead when Alderweireld scored with a bullet header from a corner. Again it was grim viewing for Hammers fans, with Andy Carroll inexplicably beaten at the near post as he failed to spot the Belgian’s run.
Spurs had a host of chances to effectively seal all three points before half-time, but were either denied by the quick hands of Adrian or the cruelty of the crossbar.
First it was Son Heung-min who went close, seeing his delayed shot well saved after a wonderful team move involving Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli, with recent England debutant Alli heading the rebound onto the woodwork.
And Kane was then left red faced as he squandered the opportunity to land the killer blow on the stroke of the break. A lucky ricochet off a West Ham defender allowed the England star to run through one-on-one, but he uncharacteristically shanked his shot horribly wide.
The hosts’ dominance continued after the break and it wasn’t long until Kane bagged his second on 50 minutes, although Adrian again should have done better as he seemed to dive over the striker’s low effort from 22 yards.
The pace slowed noticeably as Spurs stepped off the gas, but Adrian proved he was still alert with a fine double save to twice deny substitute Ryan Mason.
But the glovesman was soon beaten again as Walker romped forward from right-back and played a one-two with Son on the edge of the box, before nonchalantly stroking the ball home with the outside of his boot.
Lanzini gave West Ham fans at least one reason to smile with a 90th minute consolation, beating Hugo Lloris at his near post with a strong hit, or least he would have done if the away stand was not mostly empty as Hammers fans streamed for the exits.
It was not all happy news for Tottenham, either, as a fifth yellow card of the season means Deli Alli will miss next weekend’s clash with Chelsea.
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