A Harry New Year
Written By: Robert Halter
Spurs striker, Harry Kane looked to end 2017 as the highest ever goal scorer in the Premier League for a calendar year and also top the year’s goal scoring charts in Europe with a Boxing Day match against Southampton and Kane made his presence known in the fifth minute with a left footed strike into the outside netting of the right post, following link up in play with Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen, after a stray pass by Shane Long. Three minutes later, Fraser Forster was tested with a strike from distance by Eric Dier, through an assist by Heung-Min Son. In the fourteenth minute, an over the top ball by Davinson Sanchez was wedged above the upright by Alli. The first booking went to Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg for pulling down Danny Rose and from an Eriksen free kick on twenty one minutes, a powerful header by Kane at very close range sailed high into the centre of the goal. The Saints looked for a quick response as Long found Sofiane Boufal, whose rising effort was parried by Hugo Lloris, who then had to scramble away a miss timed header from his own defender, Rose. In the thirty first minute through a Mousa Dembele pass, the ball was driven wide of the far left post from Eriksen. But on thirty nine minutes, Kane was on the mark again following a six way move starting with Serge Aurier to Dembele and then picked up from Eriksen, before Alli put the ball out to Son on the left, whose cross was rolled in by Kane from short distance into the middle of the net. After that Kane produced a measured pass to Son, who fell under the challenge of Jack Stephens, in the box. Before half time, Kane combined with Eriksen, whose back heel was lobbed over the crossbar by Kane. At the start of the second half, a poor back pass by Dier, could not be exploited by Long, with a tame strike straight at Lloris. But the Saints went close when Stephens found Nathan Redmond, before a sure fire shot by Mario Lemina, struck the top right corner of the woodwork. Then Alli secured a Spurs third, after playing a one two with Son, before drilling the ball into the bottom right corner, on forty nine minutes. Two minutes later, Alli returned the favour, after running from his own half, and his threaded pass found Son, who struck his effort past Forster, into the left side of the goal. After Dembele pulled up injured, Moussa Sissoko took over. The Saints produced a four way combination with Redmond and Lemina, before Long’s lay off, was struck by Oriol Romeu, into the safe keeping of Lloris. On fifty seven minutes, Kane was fractions away from converting Rose’s cross, with a low volley that flashed past the left post. Saints later made a double change of Dusan Tadic for Redmond and Manolo Gabbiadini replacing Lemina. Although Southampton pulled a goal back, when from Aurier’s stray header, the ball was nodded on by Long, and a snap shot by Boufal, went past Lloris, into the bottom left corner, on sixty four minutes. But three minutes later, Kane was the hat trick king, when Alli’s pass down the middle, was clipped over Forster’s trailing arm by Kane, high into the central target area. In the seventieth minute, Lloris was at full stretch, to turn behind Stephens low drive, through a Tadic cross field pass. The Saints broke again, with Matt Targett supplying Gabbiadini, whose dangerous ball in was turned over from Jan Vertonghen. Spurs soon switched Son with Erik Lamela while the Saints took off Targett for Sam McQueen. On seventy nine minutes, Boufal drove the ball across the face of goal, through an assist by Tadic. There was still work to do for Lloris, who pushed over a clean strike by Hojbjerg, from an assist by Boufal. Then from the corner by Boufal, a flap at the ball by Lloris fell to Tadic, whose strong effort flew into the left corner for a 5-2 score line. Spurs rallied as Alli put Lamela in space, who struck the ball over, before Alli was replaced by Harry Winks. At the end, Boufal and Tadic set up Gabbiadini, whose strike went narrowly past the right post but the day belonged to Spurs and Kane, who had ended the year with two goal scoring records.