Section: Spurs

Premiership: Spurs 4-3 Leicester

Harry Kane’s first Premier League hat-trick got Tottenham’s challenge for a top-four spot back on track with a hard-fought win over Leicester.

After Hugo Lloris was carried off, Kane slotted home and scored with a deflected shot as Spurs went 2-0 up.

Jamie Vardy steered in an effort before Wes Morgan headed Leicester level.

Kane converted a penalty and Foxes defender Jeff Schlupp scored an own goal as Spurs, despite Nugent’s late second strike, held on for victory.

Leicester remain bottom of the table but will feel aggrieved at a controversial penalty decision going against them as referee Mike Dean adjudged Nugent had fouled Danny Rose when the pair collided with the game poised at 2-2.

The Foxes again came away with nothing from a valiant display as they lost an 18th league game out of 29 this season.

Tottenham’s credentials had been questioned following the way they wilted at Manchester United last Sunday and, even though they secured three points, they remain unconvincing with their vulnerable defence having let in 14 goals in their last six league games.

Nevertheless, the White Hart Lane side are three points off fourth-placed Manchester United, who play fifth-placed Liverpool on Sunday, and have Kane to thank for keeping their rivals within reach.

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Football: Harry Kane gets first England call but Young misses out

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has received his first call-up to the England squad ahead of this month’s games against Lithuania and Italy.

Kane, who has scored 16 goals in the Premier League this season, is joined in the squad by Spurs teammates Andros Townsend and Kyle Walker but there is no place for left-back Danny Rose or midfielder Ryan Mason.

Asked if he was excited by the emergence of Kane, Hodgson told a news conference: “Yes, I think the whole country is really.

“His rise has been fantastic since he broke into the Tottenham team. We’re delighted to welcome him into the fold and try to help him to establish himself.

“What he can do on a football field is clear for all to see because he’s been doing it week in and week out for Tottenham and he deserves his chance.”

England face Lithuania in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Friday March 27 before heading to Turin to take on Italy in a friendly on Tuesday March 31.

Kane, 21, is part of attacking quartet for those games along with captain Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck, with QPR striker Charlie Austin and Burnley’s Danny Ings failing to make the cut.

Liverpool striker Sturridge has been building up his fitness after a lengthy absence but Hodgson said: “His form’s getting better and better. In the last game, against Swansea, there were very good signs his sharpness was coming back.”

Manchester United’s Ashley Young misses out despite his recent good form, but Michael Carrick is included in a midfield selection that also features Everton’s Ross Barkley.

England face Lithuania in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Friday March 27 before heading to Turin to take on Italy in a friendly on Tuesday March 31.

England sit six points clear at the top of Euro 2016 qualification Group E, having won all four of their matches to date.

England squad:

Goalkeepers:  Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Manchester City)

Defenders:  Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)

Midfielders:  Ross Barkley (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Fabian Delph (Aston Villa), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Manchester City), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur), Theo Walcott (Arsenal)

Forwards:  Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)
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Premiership: Man Utd 3-0 Spurs

Wayne Rooney delivers knockout blow as Man United cruise past Spurs

Manchester United moved to within just two points of second-placed Manchester City thanks to a commanding 3-0 Premier League victory against Tottenham.

United needed just nine minutes to break the deadlock at Old Trafford as Marouane Fellaini picked out the bottom corner after being played in by Michael Carrick.

Carrick soon turned from provider to goal scorer, doubling his side’s lead with a well-taken header after Tottenham had failed to deal with a corner.

And Wayne Rooney made it three inside 34 minutes, capitalising on some poor Spurs defending as he raced clear of two opponents and then slotted past Hugo Lloris. His celebration — pretending to box before falling to the ground — made reference to footage that was unearthed showing the forward appearing to be knocked unconscious by Stoke City full-back Phil Bardsley.

Tottenham failed to recover from their first-half display and were unable to pull a goal back after the break as United held on comfortably for the win.

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Premiership: QPR 1-2 Spurs

QPR’s hopes of beating the drop received a major blow as Harry Kane underlined his England credentials with a match-winning brace for Tottenham.

The attention of those at both ends of the Premier League were focused on Loftus Road, where the teams involved knew defeat could prove a defining moment in their season.

In the end, Kane proved the difference in a tense, entertaining battle, scoring either side of half-time to take his tally to 26 goals in all competitions in front of Roy Hodgson, securing Spurs a 2-1 win which moved them within three points of the top four.

Sandro’s late strike meant his former side had to ride out a late storm, but QPR were unable to avoid falling to a seventh defeat in eight league games.

Things could have been so different had Charlie Austin found the net with some decent first-half chances and his team-mates defended better for Kane’s opening goal, which came seconds after fans chanted expletives at him.

Rio Ferdinand, Nedum Onuoha and Robert Green were all culpable as the 21-year-old was allowed to nod home a free-kick unmarked, while the defence was again found wanting as Kane was all too easily allowed to run through to net.

QPR did have several penalty claims of varying strengths before and after Kane’s second and a fine strike from Sandro led to a tense ending, yet Chris Ramsey’s men were unable to avoid a defeat that leaves them three points from safety.

The Hoops manager’s side started well enough against the club he spent nine years with as Bobby Zamora saw a powerful header tipped over by Hugo Lloris.

It was soon QPR counterpart Green earning the plaudits, denying a glancing header from Kane — the best Spurs could must in a dominant but toothless start.

The hosts grew into the match and would have gone ahead in the 19th minute had Lloris not denied Austin from close range and saved Kyle Walker’s blushes after an error.

Matt Phillips and Sandro had attempts as the hosts continued to press, with Austin then wriggling free and hitting hit a rasping left-footed strike off the underside of the bar.

QPR’s best period of the half soon came to an abrupt end, though.

 

Kane was goaded by the home fans after winning a free-kick on the right — chants he shoved down their throats by scoring from the resulting set piece.

Andros Townsend’s ball into the box caused havoc, with Onuoha losing Kane after Ferdinand stopped tracking him and Green failing to beat the unmarked front man to the ball.

The Rs goalkeeper stopped Spurs from doubling their lead as half-time approached after a Walker effort took a deflection, while at the other end Ramsey’s men felt they should have had a penalty when Lloris appeared to catch Mauricio Isla.

Referee Craig Pawson waved play on and both Zamora and Austin had efforts as half-time approached — a period from which Tottenham returned the stronger.

Christian Eriksen was not having one of his greatest games but produced a moment of magic two minutes in, with a wonderful, curling right-footed strike coming back off the post from 25 yards.

Kane’s attempt to net the rebound went well wide and Townsend was next to threaten the club he spent such a fruitful loan spell with, before QPR at last appeared to wake from their slumber.

Zamora used his strength to shake off Eric Dier before thumping a goalbound shot Lloris did well to stop.

The striker was aggrieved soon after not to have been given a penalty having been grappled to the ground by Vertonghen, but by that point Austin had produced an incredible goal-line clearance to deny Eriksen at the other end.

Tempers frayed with Pochettino entering the field to help break up an altercation between Karl Henry and Ryan Mason, who would soon set-up Spurs’ second.

As impressive as his through ball was, it was embarrassingly easy for Kane to get behind the QPR defence, before showing impressive composure to round Green and slot home.

Hush fell upon Loftus Road but the volume soon ratcheted up a notch as Sandro fired home from the edge of the box.

Austin appealed vociferously for a penalty against Nabil Bentaleb and Junior Hoilett turned over as QPR pushed for a leveller, but it was not to be to the audible frustration of the home fans.

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Premiership: Spurs 3-2 Swansea

Tottenham got their top-four tilt back on track by overcoming Swansea 3-2 on a night when Bafetimbi Gomis’ collapse had those inside White Hart Lane fearing the worst.

As play was about to restart following Nacer Chadli’s wonderful, early opener, paramedics and medical staff raced onto the field to tend to the French striker after he went down.

Hush fell on the ground where Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest three years ago, but good news emanated from the Swansea dressing room that Gomis was fine and had not been hospitalised after feinting.

Garry Monk’s side will have unlikely been aware of the positive news when Ki Sung-Yueng drew parity in a match which Spurs would go onto win, with second-half strikes from Ryan Mason and Andros Townsend securing the result after Gylfi Sigurdsson’s late strike.

Having exited the Europa League and lost the Capital One Cup to Chelsea in the past week, this felt like a huge win for Mauricio Pochettino’s side,

Defeat to Swansea would have seriously harmed their hopes of Champions League qualification, so Chadli’s fine, cushioned volley got Spurs off to the best possible start.

That strike was quickly forgotten, though, when Gomis collapsed – an incident which saw him leave the field on a stretcher, but was thankfully not as serious as first feared.

It was a worrying moment Swansea recovered well from, with Ki striking home from an acute angle soon after Sigurdsson sent a free-kick off the post.

However, there was not to be a third straight Premier League win for Swansea, with academy graduates Mason and Townsend striking for Spurs in what was for the most part a comfortable second half.

Sigurdsson’s late goal led to a nervy ending during which Hugo Lloris produced a wonderful save to ensure Spurs held on for victory – a fitting way to remember great Dave Mackay after he passed away on Monday.

Spurs greats led a minute of applause before kick-off and the current squad wore black armbands in remembrance of one of the finest players to ever don the lillywhite shirt.

None of the current side are a patch on Mackay but they got a win for him, opening the scoring inside seven minutes.

Danny Rose found space on the left to send over a cross to Chadli, who showed wonderful skill and vision to hit an unorthodox cushioned volley past Lukasz Fabianski.

It was a fine opener but it was quickly forgotten as the emotion from everyone inside White Hart Lane became one of concern as Gomis collapsed.

The striker had four minutes of treatment before leaving the field on a stretcher – by this point conscious and wearing an oxygen mask.

All corners of the ground applauded Gomis as he left to be replaced by Nelson Oliveira, with good news later filtering through that he would be fine.

The first few minutes after the restart were understandably tense, with the volume only lifting when Townsend saw a low shot saved.

By this point Swansea appeared to have refocused and Sigurdsson hit a wonderful, curled free-kick off the post.

It was a let-off Spurs failed to heed as Swansea worked the ball back in the box and Ki stole in to prod home from an acute angle after a Jan Vertonghen mis-kick.

The 19th-minute leveller led to a more open, end-to-end encounter, with Mason hitting at Fabianski before former Spurs full-back Kyle Naughton fizzed a low strike wide at the other end.

Swansea’s former Arsenal goalkeeper was proving a capable last line of defence for the visitors, getting a slight touch to take a clipped Christian Eriksen cross away from danger.

A powerful Nabil Bentaleb drive was the next effort to test Fabianski, who was not to be beaten before half-time was called.

Jonjo Shelvey saw an effort tipped over when play resumed before Ashley Williams’ tackle on Eriksen only put the ball into Mason’s path, with the midfielder lashing home with his right foot.

The 23-year-old’s first Premier League goal swayed the match in Spurs’ favour, with Eriksen slicing an effort before Townsend broke at speed and cut onto his right foot, firing home when many expected him to square for Kane.

Kyle Walker came close with an effort which deflected just wide as Spurs pushed for a fourth, with Eric Dier hauling back Oliveira on a rare Swansea attack.

Substitute Roberto Soldado glanced a header inches wide, with the Spaniard inches away from directing home a Ben Davies cross – a missed opportunity which allowed Sigurdsson to reduce the deficit, volleying home a Jefferson Montero cross.

The visitors pushed for an equaliser but, try as they might, there was not to be one, with Lloris tipping a Federico Fernandez header wide in stoppage time.

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League Cup: Chelsea 2-0 Spurs

Jose Mourinho claimed his first trophy since returning for his second spell as Chelsea manager with a comfortable Capital One Cup final victory over Tottenham at Wembley.

John Terry and Diego Costa did the damage – both with the aid of deflections – either side of the interval as Spurs’ hopes of repeating their success over Chelsea in this competition seven years ago never got off the ground.

The win gave Mourinho his first silverware since La Liga success with Real Madrid in 2012 and Chelsea their first since the Europa League final victory against Benfica in Amsterdam a year later.

Despite a career laden with trophies, Mourinho claimed this was the most important final of his time in the game and Chelsea were never seriously troubled once Christian Eriksen’s early free-kick rebounded to safety off the woodwork.

Mourinho’s mastery of the big selection decision was also demonstrated once more by his deployment of Kurt Zouma, a central defender by trade, in midfield to fulfil the role left behind by the suspended Nemanja Maticto outstanding effect.

Spurs, for all their endeavour, never looked close to repeating that convincing victory over Chelsea on New Year’s Day, when Mourinho’s side were beaten 5-3 at White Hart Lane.

And with Chelsea’s closest Premier League title rivals Manchester City losing 2-1 at Liverpool even before this final kicked off – leaving his side with a five-point advantage with a game in hand – this just about added up to Mourinho’s perfect day.

Tottenham had the exertions of a Europa League tie – and painful exit – against Fiorentina in Italy on Thursday, and while this may have taken its toll, they never looked like rescuing the situation once Chelsea took the lead right on half-time.

Tottenham’s usual suspects created early optimism for their fans as Eriksen bounced a 20-yard free-kick off the bar, although Petr Cech – preferred in goal to Thibaut Courtois – looked to have the situation under control, and Harry Kane ended a fine run with a low shot that was comfortably saved by Chelsea’s keeper.

As usual, Costa was keeping Spurs fully occupied in the physical exchanges, angering Nabil Bentaleb with a hand-off, squaring up to Kyle Walker and getting involved in a running battle with Eric Dier that ended with the defender picking up a yellow card for a foul.

As the first 45 minutes looked to be drawing to a subdued conclusion, Chelsea pounced on a moment of defensive confusion to take the lead.

Willian’s free-kick was deflected out of a cluster of bodies to the feet of Terry, whose shot took a crucial touch off Kane to defeat Hugo Lloris, who was given the nod by Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino ahead of regular League Cup choice Michel Vorm.

And it was another deflection that was a key element as Chelsea doubled their lead 11 minutes after the break. Cesc Fabregas, who had seen an ambitious overhead kick well saved by Lloris, found Costa, whose shot was directed across the face of goal until it took a deflection off Walker to beat Lloris inside his near post.

This was effectively the end of the contest, with barely a blow traded between the sides before Chelsea captain Terry lifted the trophy.

Read more at BBC Sport

Europa League: Fiorentina 2-0 Spurs

Tottenham exited the Europa League after an error-strewn 2-0 defeat by Fiorentina gave the Italian side a 3-1 aggregate win.

Mario Gomez raced clear after a second-half mistake by Federico Fazio and slid the ball under Hugo Lloris.

Chelsea loanee Mohamed Salah sealed the win after a blunder by Jan Vertonghen.

Spurs needed to score in Florence, but were unable to make a breakthrough, with striker Roberto Soldado wasting a golden first-half opportunity.

The Spanish striker was played clean through by Erik Lamela’s swept pass after Spurs broke quickly from a corner, but he scuffed his attempt to square the ball to Nacer Chadli and keeper Neto gathered.

The result is a blow for Spurs before their biggest game of the season so far – the League Cup final against Chelsea on Sunday.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Spurs 2-2 West Ham

Harry Kane won a penalty and scored with the last kick of the game to earn Tottenham a draw against West Ham.

Kane’s 96th-minute penalty was saved but he reacted quickest to give Spurs an unlikely point at White Hart Lane.

West Ham had led 2-0 through goals from Diafra Sakho and Cheikhou Kouyate with just nine minutes left to play.

Danny Rose’s mis-hit long-range shot set up the comeback before Kane, who was felled by Alex Song, pounced to score his 24th goal of the season.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino made six changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Fiorentina in the last 32 of the Europa League in midweek, as he prepared for the second match of a demanding schedule of six games in 17 days that includes Thursday’s return leg in Florence and next Sunday’s League Cup final against Chelsea.

With Spurs also chasing Champions League qualification via a top-four finish in the Premier League, Pochettino recalled top-scorer Kane for this London derby but opted to rest his other star performer this season, Christian Eriksen.

Spurs started in typically quick fashion as Nabil Bentaleb twice tested West Ham goalkeeper Adrian with long-range efforts before Kane struck the post in an opening 10-minute spell in which Spurs enjoyed 82% possession.

However, it was the robust-tackling Hammers who took the lead on 22 minutes when Mousa Dembele lost possession on the edge of his own box and midfielder Kouyate rose between two defenders to powerfully head home Aaron Cresswell’s cross.

That proved to be Dembele’s key contribution to the match as he was replaced at half-time by Eriksen, who had started Tottenham’s last 34 Premier League games and notched 11 goals and four assists in all competitions this season.

But it was West Ham who continued to create the better chances and after Sakho had squandered a one-on-one with Hugo Lloris, the Senegal striker made no mistake at the back post on 62 minutes, squeezing in Mark Noble’s cross for his 11th goal of the season.

West Ham looked set for a first victory in four Premier League games to ease the pressure on manager Sam Allardyce, whose future had been the subject of speculation following a humiliating 4-0 FA Cup loss to West Brom in midweek.

However, Spurs had other ideas and after Rose had halved the deficit with his fortuitous strike, Kane once again stepped forward as Spurs’ saviour this season.

The striker went down in the box under the slightest pressure from Song and after seeing his penalty saved by Adrian kept his composure to slot home the rebound for the Premier League’s sixth-placed side.

Read more at BBC Sport

Europa League: Spurs 1-1 Fiorentina

Tottenham face a battle to remain in the Europa League after being held to a round of 32 first-leg draw by Fiorentina at White Hart Lane.

Roberto Soldado volleyed in a sixth-minute opener from Paulinho’s corner as Spurs dominated the opening half-hour.

But Argentina centre-back Jose Maria Basanta scrambled in an away goal that gives Vincenzo Montella’s side the edge ahead of next week’s second leg.

Nacer Chadli hit the bar for Spurs, who faded after half-time.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Liverpool 3-2 Spurs

Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli picked the perfect time to score his first Premier League goal for the club as he stole the headlines from the battle between England strikers present and, potentially, future.

All the talk prematch was about Daniel Sturridge and his free-scoring Tottenham counterpart Harry Kane.

No-one had mentioned Balotelli, back in the squad for the first time in four matches after a substitute appearance in the Capital One Cup semifinal at Chelsea.

No-one had given him a second thought and when he replaced Sturridge after 74 minutes there were probably not many inside Anfield who gave him a hope of scoring.

But he displayed a predatory instinct not previously seen since his 16 million piund summer move from AC Milan to convert fellow substitute Adam Lallana’s cross from close range seven minutes from time.

If he does little else in his time at the club, which remains in doubt despite him surviving the January transfer window, his goal against the Reds’ top-four rivals could still prove pivotal.

It lifted his side to within two points of third-placed Southampton, who have a match in hand, and also fourth-placed Arsenal.

Without his late intervention the debate would have centred around Kane and Sturridge.

The Spurs striker scored his 23rd of the season, equalising Lazar Markovic’s opener, while the closest his opposite number came was a clever backheel against the post.

Sturridge did win the penalty from which Steven Gerrard scored his 10th of the campaign but that was soon cancelled out by Mousa Dembele’s close-range effort.

In truth there could not be a truly fair comparison between the two strikes on show as Sturridge was starting his first match since August 31 – coincidentally the 3-0 victory at White Hart Lane – after two substitute appearances while Kane has been on a hot streak since the end of September.

Sturridge, still feeling his way back into Premier League action after the thigh injury which sidelined him for five months, still looked half a yard short of his very best blistering pace but his reactions in front of goal seemed to be up to speed.

Twice Hugo Lloris denied him, once after Ryan Mason had given the ball away, but the France goalkeeper will question himself over Liverpool’s 15th-minute opener.

Simon Mignolet’s punt downfield dropped straight at Sturridge’s feet, Spurs did not clear and Markovic took full advantage to plant a shot past Lloris, who should have done better given his class.

Tottenham were losing the battle in midfield as Liverpool’s pace of passing and movement had them chasing shadows – which may explain why Nabil Bentaleb gave the ball straight to Sturridge and had to be rescued by Eric Dier’s saving tackle.

Momentum was with the hosts but Kane’s equaliser soon put the brakes on that.

The 21-year-old’s first sniff of a chance had been dealt with by Martin Skrtel but he made no mistake with his second, turning Mamadou Sakho and leaving the France defender on the floor as he collected Erik Lamela’s pass and fired under Mignolet.

It was the first goal Liverpool had conceded in 416 minutes and the first from open play since New Year’s Day.

The game opened up even more, which benefited youngster Jordon Ibe who drove one shot into Lloris after a good run and then crossed for Sturridge to backheel against a post as Tottenham’s defence panicked.

Sturridge maintained his threat after the break and it was his weaving run which was halted by Danny Rose inside the penalty area, although it took a linesman’s flag to convince Dowd to award the spot-kick.

Gerrard slotted home to make it 10 for the season, becoming his side’s leading goalscorer, but any control they had had over the game had long gone.

Mignolet tipped over a rasping Lamela drive and did well to keep out a Christian Eriksen free-kick but Dembele was on hand to turn the ball home from close range.

Balotelli replaced Sturridge after 74 minutes and entered the pitch to words of encouragement from four sides of the ground.

It was more in hope than expectation, although there is still a groundswell of feeling among fans for the Italy international to succeed despite his underwhelming performances so far.

But he delivered when his side needed it most, nipping in behind his marker in the six-yard box to divert Lallana’s cross into the net.

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