Kane hat-trick eases Hotspur hangover

Tottenham Hotspur v NS Mura – Europa Conference League Group G – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Report

Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 NS Mura

In the real world, Tottenham Hotspur’s 5-1 pasting of Slovenian outfit NS Mura was unlikely to raise an eyebrow. Nor, for that matter, was the sight of Harry Kane clutching the match ball having plundered three more goals for his boyhood heroes.

However, performances and relationships have not been Tottenham’s strong points of late. Kane appeared to have fallen out of love with the Lilywhites while damaging Premier League defeats had provided plenty of ammunition for the N17 faithful, once again left thoroughly fed-up as another excruciating campaign continues to unfold uncomfortably.

Make no mistake, there was real pressure on Tottenham and Nuno Espirito Santo this evening. I’m not sure there was any way back from another setback on this otherwise less than glamourous European stage. But Kane rode in on the hour, took the proverbial bull by the horns, and reminded his adoring audience that he can still do it.

In fairness, Spurs had taken the game by the scruff of its neck from the off. Dele was felled by goalkeeper Matko Obradovic and converted from the resulting spot-kick. And before the ten-minute mark, it was 2-0. Giovani lo Celso profiting from Harry Winks’ toil to seemingly kill the contest.

Dele Ali gave Spurs an early lead from the penalty spot (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

But before Harry Hotspur’s arrival, the Lilywhites spluttered. Ziga Kous brilliantly reduced the arrears – It couldn’t possibly happen again… could it?

Well, it didn’t. The England skipper took on the role of super-sub, netting three times in twenty minutes to hand Spurs a comfortable victory and lift a little of the gloom.

“I think it was a good performance,” Nuno enthused.

“I think we started very well. Honestly, we started the game very strongly. The energy of the boys was important. It’s always important to start the way we did, to score, score again and dominate.

“The only period I think was at the beginning of the second half that we lost a little bit of control, but the reaction was good to their goal. Overall I think a very good performance.”

Nuno thought Kane’s salvo served as a boost for the whole squad, adding: “It is important for everybody, I always insist. The more important thing is that we have all the players in the best they can be.

“All the squad today was important for players that didn’t have too many chances, they played ninety minutes.

Spurs return to Premier League action on Sunday, October 3 when Aston Villa visit the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (2pm).

Tottenham Hotspur: Gollini, Doherty, Rodon, Romero, Reguilon (Royal 81′), Skipp (Hojbjerg 69′), Winks, Lo Celso, Dele (Capt) (Son 59′), Bryan (Lucas 59′), Scarlett (Kane 59′) Subs not used: Austin, Sanchez, Dier, Tanganga, Ndombele, White, Omole

NS Mura: Obradovic, Karnicnik, Marusko, Gorenc, Kous (Mandic 75′), Lorbek (Ouro 75′), Horvat (Lotric 75′), Kozar (Capt), Sturm, Mulahusejnovic (Skoflek 63′), Marosa (K Cipot 85′) Subs not used: Erjavec, Zalokar, Pucko, Karamarko, T Cipot, Mahimic, Klepac

Referee: Yigal Frid

Dele celebrates his early opener from the penalty spot (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Brian Jeeves

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