Huddersfield 0-2 Spurs: Harry Kane double seals Tottenham win
By Oliver Young-Myles
Last Updated: 30/09/18 6:45pm
Harry Kane struck twice at the John Smith's Stadium for the second season running to hand Spurs a 2-0 win over Huddersfield and lift his side into the top four.
Much has been made of Kane's indifferent form at the start of this season but he looked as sharp as ever when leaping high to head home Kieran Trippier's pinpoint cross from the right after 25 minutes.
Less than 10 minutes later, Kane grabbed his and Spurs' second from the penalty spot after Florent Hadergjonaj had upended Danny Rose with a clumsy challenge.
Spurs have now won their last three matches in all competitions following a three-game losing streak and head into their midweek clash against Barcelona in good spirits, while Huddersfield remain without a Premier League win this season.
Huddersfield: Lossl (7), Durm (6), Schindler (5), Zanka (5), Kongolo (6), Lowe (6), Billing (6), Mooy (6), Hogg (5), Pritchard (5), Depoitre (6)
Subs: Hadergjonaj (4), Mbenza (6), Mounie (N/A)
Spurs: Gazzaniga (7), Alderweireld (7), Sanchez (6), Vertonghen (6), Trippier (8), Dier (6), Dembele (6), Rose (7), Son (6), Lucas (7), Kane (9)
Subs: Wanyama (6), Winks (6), Sissoko (N/A)
Man of the match: Harry Kane
The visitors rather sleepwalked their way into the game but they still had two great opportunities to score inside the opening 10 minutes. Rose was almost the unlikely provider of the game's opener when he headed a Trippier cross just wide, before Kane's attempted chip moments later was well smothered by Jonas Lossl.
It wasn't long before Spurs did go in front, however. After being forced wide inside the area, Lucas laid the ball off to Trippier who whipped a devilish ball into the box for Kane to power a header into the ground and beyond Lossl. It was the seventh goal that Trippier has assisted for Kane since the start of last season - more than any other combination in the division.
To compound matters, Terence Kongolo was forced off injured in the immediate aftermath of Kane's opener and his replacement Hadergjonaj gave away a soft penalty just a few minutes after coming on when he tangled with Rose. Kane stepped up, sent Lossl the wrong way and smashed his penalty into the net to move into fifth place in the club's all-time top scorers list with 145.
David Wagner made two changes to his side with Spurs academy graduate Alex Pritchard and club captain Jonathan Hogg replacing Rajiv Van La Parra and Elias Kachunga. Mauricio Pochettino made one alteration as Davinson Sanchez came in for Christian Eriksen who was absent with an abdominal injury.
Huddersfield were inches away from pulling one back in first-half stoppage time and, had they done so, the whole complexion of the game may well have changed. Chris Lowe's delivery from the byline was met with a thundering volley from Laurent Depoitre but the Belgian was mightily unfortunate to see his effort bounce off the underside of the bar and out, with goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga well beaten.
The second half largely passed by without incident although Gazzaniga had to be on his toes to keep out a goalbound effort from substitute Isaac Mbenza late on, while Son Heung-Min and Lucas were both guilty of squandering decent counter-attacking opportunities for the away side.
Notes for Southgate
Gareth Southgate has steadfastly backed his captain Harry Kane amid question marks over his form but he will have been heartened to see him score twice regardless. There were plenty of other promising performances too with Kieran Trippier a constant menace with his delivery on the right and Danny Rose rampaging down the left. Eric Dier demonstrated his versatility by playing central midfield and in defence, while Harry Winks was also given a 45-minute run-out.
Spurs held onto their win pretty comfortably in the end, although Mauricio Pochettino will be concerned at having to bring off both Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele at half-time ahead of their huge midweek game against Barcelona, with Dele Alli ruled out and Christian Eriksen doubtful.
Man of the match - Harry Kane
It looked more like the Harry Kane of old as the Spurs striker appeared fresher, stronger and sharper throughout. The manner in which he raced onto Toby Alderweireld's hopeful long ball early on made a mockery of recent claims that he isn't fit, even though he was unable to cap the run with a goal.
He didn't allow that miss to play on his mind, though, and scored an excellent header soon afterwards to continue his burgeoning telepathic relationship with Kieran Trippier - a combination that is as promising for England as for Spurs.
Kane capped his display with yet another emphatic penalty and it would be difficult to find a more accomplished finisher from such situations than the Spurs No.10.
- Huddersfield have failed to score in all four of their Premier League home matches this season. Only twice in top-flight history has a team failed to score in their opening five home matches of a season (West Brom in 1921/22 and Everton in 1998/99 - both five games).
- Tottenham have lost just two of their last 15 Premier League away games, winning 10 of those matches (D3).
- Tottenham are unbeaten in each of their last eight games in all competitions against Huddersfield (W5 D3).
- Huddersfield have failed to win any of their first seven league games in a single campaign for the first time since 1997/98.
- Tottenham have scored in 32 of their last 33 Premier League games, failing to net only at West Brom back in May (0-1).
- Tottenham's Harry Kane is now the top scorer at the John Smith's Stadium in the Premier League with four goals in two appearances.
- Harry Kane became Tottenham's fifth highest scorer of all time, bagging 145 goals in 221 appearances for the Lilywhites.
David Wagner: The guys gave everything, they had a real go, they fought, they stuck together and played well.
Consistently we're performing very well in games and in training and I'm completely fine with our performances. It's all about performing, working hard and then you will get your rewards, sooner or later.
I'm unsure if the first or second half was better from our side, it isn't normal that a team who plays Tottenham who are not in the top six plays like we did today.
Mauricio Pochettino: The game was so difficult, they were so aggressive from the beginning, it's a team that is fighting for wins and their fans were unbelievable in how they pushed the team.
Of course, it was a tough game, we very pleased with the performance, the attitude and the clean sheet is so, so important for us.
The pundit - Matt Le Tissier
"Kane's all-round game was pretty good, and proved the match-winner again. The header was terrific, Trippier's cross was asking to be headed in, and Kane looked confident taking the penalty too, as he did with England. Spurs didn't create huge amounts, but at 2-0 it was comfortable for them.
"It's looking like [mission impossible] for Huddersfield. It has been a bit of a struggle, they looked poor when I watched their first game, and I think it is going to be a long season for them."
What VAR would have changed
The one contentious incident in the game occurred right at the very start when Chris Lowe was upended by Lucas Moura after just four minutes.
Craig Pawson didn't give anything, although replays showed that it was a definite foul. After one or two replays, it was still unclear whether the challenge was inside or outside the area, as Lowe's foot may or may not have been on the line on the edge of the penalty box.
Not only would VAR have corrected Pawson's decision, it would have also made a definitive judgement on whether Huddersfield should have had a free-kick or a penalty. Either way, Huddersfield will feel aggrieved at not getting anything.
Huddersfield are next in action on Saturday when they travel to Turf Moor to take on Burnley. For Tottenham, they have the small task of facing Barcelona at Wembley in the Champions League on Wednesday, before turning their attentions back to the Premier League for the visit of Cardiff City on Saturday.