Tottenham Hotspur got back to winning ways at Wembley Stadium by thrashing Everton 4-0 in the day’s late kick-off.
The outstanding Son Heung-min continued his goal-scoring streak by turning home Serge Aurier’s cross-cum-shot to give his side the lead.
Harry Kane then doubled Tottenham’s lead from close-range following some fine work from Son, and he made it three when he prodded the ball in at the back post. His brace saw him surpass Teddy Sheringham as the club’s record Premier League goal-scorer.
Christian Eriksen then added a fourth late on when he superbly curled the ball home from just inside the area.
Here are five things we learned…
Kane keeps getting better and better
Harry Kane’s best goals of 2017
His first goal saw him level a Tottenham Hotspur record, and his second saw him break it. After rather clumsily prodding the ball past Jordan Pickford at the far post for Tottenham’s third, it was official: Kane is the club’s highest ever goal-scorer in the Premier League, with 98 goals.
It seems as though he is writing himself into the history books every single week at present. Not content with ending 2017 as the top goal-scorer across Europe’s top five leagues – with two more than Lionel Messi (54) and one more than Robert Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani (53) – Kane has extended his sensational form into the new year, with his brace seeing him surpass Teddy Sheringham’s long-standing club record.
Should he resist the temptation of a big money move to sunnier climes, Kane can realistically hope to break every single record in the book. Still just 24, Kane is now ninth on Tottenham’s all-time goalscoring list, 139 between club legend Jimmy Greaves. Of the club’s more modern heroes only Jermain Defoe has more, with 143 to Kane’s 127 and counting.
Son maintains his streak
The South Korean forward has been utterly superb for Spurs in recent weeks, and his first-half goal against Everton marked the fifth consecutive home game he has hit the back of the net – a feat only Defoe had previously achieved for the club.
His goal was a real predator’s finish. Sneaking unmarked across the face of goal, he pounced upon Serge Aurier’s cross-cum-shot, neatly side-footing the ball beyond Pickford from close-range.
Even better was his starring role in Tottenham’s second goal. Dragging the ball around Jonjoe Kenny on the turn, Son then strode into the penalty area before whipping the ball into the feet of Kane, who made no mistake from the edge of the six-yard box.
Tosun impresses in bursts
This was always going to be a difficult game for Cenk Tosun, Everton’s new £27m signing who only arrived at the club last week. And before the game Sam Allardyce readily admitted that the Turkey international will need time to adjust his game to the Premier League.
“It’s not easy at all. It might not work, it might not happen,” he conceded. “We can only hope he hits the ground running. But all his key performance indicators suggest the can.”
Tosun may not have scored against Tottenham but he impressed in flashes, especially considering how isolated he was for much of the game. Strong, crafty and more than capable of holding the ball up with his back to goal, he will be vital for Everton going forward.
Dembele back to something approaching his best
Mousa Dembele has had a difficult season. Ever since he was first pushed back into a defensive midfield position, during the 2015/16 season, the Belgian has been one of Tottenham’s best players, but over the last few weeks a combination of poor form and the fact he has only been half-fit has seen the midfielder struggle.
Exactly how much longer he has at the top remains to be seen, but this was a vintage Dembele performance, as he repeatedly twisted and turned his way around Everton’s midfield and generally made a nuisance of himself in the middle of the park. His display shows that he should not be written off just yet.
Tottenham successfully target Cuco Martina
The warning signs were there for Everton early on. With just a few minutes on the clock, Ben Davies floated a long pass onto the opposite flank, inviting Serge Aurier to burst forward and put pressure on Cuco Martina. It was a tactic Tottenham utilised often.
And with good reason. Martina much prefers playing on the left and seriously struggled in his inverted right-back role. When Aurier wasn’t charging at him, Eriksen was confidently dribbling the ball around him, with Spurs experiencing joy down the right-hand side of the pitch time and time again.
Martina’s performance will draw plenty of criticism – but why did Allardyce play him there? And why didn’t he change either the player or the system when it became clear how out of his depth he was? Targeting the Dutchman was clearly a pre-ordained plan for Tottenham and it worked.