Harry Kane overwhelms everyone else on the pitch in Tottenham rout of West Brom

Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates scoring his third goal against West Brom on January 14, 2017 in London, England. Clive Rose / Getty Images
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Tottenham 4-0 West Brom

Tottenham: Harry Kane (12', 77', 82') McAuley 26' OG)

Man of the match: Harry Kane (Tottenham)

Dele Alli’s scoring streak came to an end at White Hart Lane on Saturday afternoon, the England international failing to extend a remarkable run that had seen him find the net seven times in his previous four Premier League appearances.

It did not really matter for Tottenham Hotspur, though. A meeting with West Bromwich Albion looked like a potentially awkward encounter, but Mauricio Pochettino’s side brushed the visitors aside on their way to an emphatic 4-0 victory.

And without Alli providing the decisive final touch, as he had done to great effect in recent clashes with Burnley, Southampton, Watford and Chelsea, it was left to Harry Kane to reassume the goalscoring mantle.

He did not disappoint. A third top-flight hat-trick was completed in the 82nd minute, Kane latching onto Alli’s superb scooped pass to fire the ball past Ben Foster and give his team’s triumph an even more resounding edge.

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In many ways, this was a tale of persistence. Kane took a total of 11 shots throughout his 89 minutes on the pitch — eight more than the entire West Brom team and one more than all of his Tottenham teammates combined.

His first effort on goal came just 235 seconds after kick-off, Kane getting on the end of Danny Rose’s whipped cross but dragging his shot just wide. At that point the 23-year-old seemed to take on board the maxim “if at first you don’t succeed then try and try again” – and seven minutes later he had his reward.

The origins of Tottenham’s opening goal can be traced back to some excellent work from Christian Eriksen, who blocked a free-kick inside his own half and immediately charged the ball down to win his team a throw-in at the other end of the field.

Tony Pulis’ men struggled to regroup as they trudged back, with Eriksen able to find space in between the lines and thread a pass through to Kane, who needed just two touches to control the ball and then divert it into the back of the net.

West Brom continued to play cautiously despite Tottenham’s one-goal advantage, with nine of their 10 outfielders almost permanently stationed deep inside their own half. Having so many players in and around the penalty box proved to be their undoing for the hosts’ second strike, although the double deflection that followed Eriksen’s effort from the edge of the area had more than a touch of good fortune to it.

Tottenham continued to pour forward for the remainder of the first half, overwhelming and overrunning opponents who simply could not cope with their energy and intensity. Although the tempo slowed a little after the break, Pochettino’s charges remained in control as they sought to secure their seventh success in a row in all competitions.

The third did not arrive until the closing stages of the game, Kane applying a brilliant finish to Kyle Walker’s cross, before the striker made it four after Alli’s exquisite assist. He and Eriksen again thrived in support roles in Pochettino’s 3-4-2-1 formation, the pair constantly drifting infield to find pockets of space in central areas, but Kane’s exploits in front of goal meant he was the undisputed star of the show.

Tottenham’s No 10 has now scored on 13 occasions in his 16 Premier League outings this term, which gives him a better goals-per-minute ratio than the likes of Diego Costa, Alexis Sanchez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Jermain Defoe and Romelu Lukaku.

If Pochettino’s side are to win their first title since 1961 this term, the firepower provided by Kane will be essential.