Harry Kane nets brace in Tottenham win at Norwich
Harry Kane scored a brace as Tottenham moved above rivals Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League with a 3-0 victory at Norwich.
Dele Alli scored inside two minutes to open the scoring for the hosts before Harry Kane doubled Tottenham's advantage from the spot on the half-hour mark.
While Norwich were greatly improved after the interval, it was Kane who completed a fine night for Spurs, with his second goal in injury time.
Tottenham, who recorded their fifth straight victory in all competitions, keep alive their dreams of winning a first league title since 1961. But Norwich, now with four league defeats in as many matches, remain two points above the relegation zone.
The Canaries, back in action for the first time since their incredible 5-4 defeat against Liverpool, made five changes to their starting XI. Timm Klose, the £8.5million signing from Wolfsburg, was thrust into the backline alongside Sebastien Bassong for his debut, while there were also starts for club captain Alex Tettey and Youssouf Mulumbu. Kevin Wimmer, replacing the injured Jan Vertonghen, was handed his first Premier League start for the visitors.
Having lost their last three league matches, Norwich would have been desperate to get off to a quick start, but it was Spurs who came flying out of the blocks.
Indeed there were only 96 seconds on the Carrow Road clock when Alli gave Tottenham the lead. Christian Eriksen's shot was well-saved by Declan Rudd, but Alli was quickest to the rebound to open the scoring. It set the tone for the remainder of the opening period with Norwich second-best to every ball.
Son Heung-min came close to doubling Tottenham's lead after his audacious flick, following neat work by Kane on the left wing, hit the outside of Rudd's post.
Norwich, bar a Dieumerci Mbokani effort straight at Hugo Lloris, were offering little in attack, and Tottenham scored their second after 30 minutes. The impressive Alli and Kane were both involved with the former teeing up his English compatriot with an exquisite backheel. Kane's rasping shot stung the hands of Rudd before Alli was adjudged to have been fouled by Bassong. Referee Kevin Friend had no hesitation in pointing to the spot before Kane sent Rudd the wrong way.
Ivo Pinto, another of Norwich's January arrivals, graced the cover of the matchday programme and declared it was his "dream to play in the Premier League", but his second appearance in a Norwich shirt was turning into a nightmare.
Kane, operating from the left-hand side was tormenting the former Dinamo Zagreb man, and the England international struck the post with a fine low-footed shot shortly before half-time. Alli should have then made it three for the visitors but his header, following a pinpoint Danny Rose cross, was wide of Rudd's left-hand post.
Alli was substituted at half-time - reported to be through illness, rather than an injury - and his attacking menace was missed by Spurs after the interval.
Indeed it was Norwich, so lacklustre in the first half, who enjoyed the best of the second period. Steven Naismith's header, after a fine cross from Matt Jarvis, grazed Lloris' post while Bassong had a goal correctly ruled out for offside.
But for all of Norwich's endeavour it was Spurs who scored the only goal of the second half when Kane, who moments earlier had hit the post, scored his 14th league goal from his last 15 appearances with a cool finish after Martin Olsson was dispossessed by Eriksen.
TWEET OF THE MATCH
"Another solid performance from the team tonight! Let's go again Saturday." - Harry Kane (@HKane) clearly cannot wait to get back out on the pitch.
Declan Rudd 5/10
Ivo Pinto 5
Sebastian Bassong 4
Timm Klose 5
Martin Olsson 5
Alex Tettey 6
Johnny Howson 6
Youssouf Mulumbu 5
Matt Jarvis 6
Steven Naismith 6
Dieumerci Mbokani 5
Cameron Jerome 5
Vadis Odjidja Ofoe 5
Hugo Lloris 7
Kyle Walker 7
Toby Alderweireld 7
Mousa Dembele 8
Danny Rose 7
Kevin Wimmer 7
Christian Eriksen 8
Dele Alli 8
Eric Dier 7
Son Heung-min 7
Harry Kane 9
Nacer Chadli 6
Tom Carroll 5
Erik Lamela 5
It is difficult to look beyond Harry Kane who was a constant threat for Spurs throughout the 90 minutes. He scored from the spot, hit the woodwork twice, and netted in injury time to complete Tottenham's victory. He has now scored 31 Premier League goals since January 1, 2015, an incredible run.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Dele Alli's beautiful flick, which teed up Kane in the build-up to Tottenham's penalty, was hard to beat. Alli is proving to be a wonderful player for this Spurs side, and surely for England, too.
VIEW FROM THE BENCH
Mauricio Pochettino was calm and collected as his side surged to a fifth straight win in all competitions. The same could not be said for his counterpart in the opposing dugout with a frustrated Alex Neil ruing a disastrous first half. Norwich have now lost their last four Premier League matches.
MOAN OF THE MATCH
Where were Norwich in the opening 45 minutes? Neil's team were short on sharpness, spirit and fight in the first half but they were a side transformed after the interval.
WHO'S UP NEXT
Tottenham v Watford (Barclays Premier League, February 6)
Aston Villa v Norwich (Barclays Premier League, February 6)