Gareth Bale and Harry Kane did the damage as Spurs beat Crystal Palace 4-1 to move sixth in the Premier League table.
Bale’s revival continued with a lively individual display, and the Welshman’s evening got off to a strong start when he turned home Kane’s cross from close range after 25 minutes.
But Tottenham, who had largely controlled the first-half albeit with little in the way of clear chances, were stung just before the break when Christian Benteke headed home to make it 1-1 with Palace’s first significant attempt of the match.
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The setback just before the interval kick-started Spurs, who responded with a brilliant period of play after the restart, retaking the lead when Kane headed back across goal for Bale to grab his second of the night on 49 minutes.
And just three minutes later it was Kane’s turn to get on the scoreboard, whipping a gem of a shot into the far top corner from the edge of the box.
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It was the England centre-forward who made the game safe as the clock ticked past 76 minutes, finishing off a brilliant team move that saw Erik Lamela and Son Heung-min lay it on a plate for Kane, and that was his last significant involvement of the night as he was given a rest for the last ten minutes of the game.
The result sees Spurs move to within two points of Chelsea in the Champions League qualification places as Jose Mourinho’s side continued to rediscover their form just in time for the business end of the campaign.
TALKING POINT – Are Spurs rescuing their season?
Tottenham looked to be sliding to a very disappointing campaign a few weeks ago, with pressure starting to build on Jose Mourinho. But it’s a very different picture right now, with Gareth Bale now very much a first-choice option and the defence looking far more settled with Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez forging a reasonable partnership.
A top four finish isn’t out of the question at all now, and they are still in the Europa League, while a League Cup final against Manchester City is coming up in the spring. It’s far from a successful season at this stage, but Spurs fans now have reason for optimism that it could yet end on a high. And with Harry Kane, Gareth Bale and Heung-Min Son combining like this then they’ve got a very good chance.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Harry Kane (Spurs)
The Tottenham front-man was terrific, linking play nicely as he dropped deep, and setting up Bale for both of the Welshman’s goal. Having done the selfless assist work it was then Kane’s time to shine, and his first of the night was the pick of the goals, an absolutely gem, whipped into the far top corner.
His second was at the complete other end of the spectrum, headed into an empty net after a fantastic flowing move from Spurs, but it was a deserved cherry on top for Kane after a superb individual showing. In this sort of form there aren’t many on his level.
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris 7; Doherty 5, Sanchez 6, Alderweireld 7, Reguilon 7; Winks 5, Højbjerg 7; Bale 8, Lucas 7, Son 7; Kane 9. Subs: Lamela 7, Sissoko 6, Vinicius 6.
Crystal Palace: Guaita 6; Ward 6, Kouyaté 6, Cahill 6, Van Aanholt 7; Townsend 5, Milivojevic 6, Riedewald 6, Eze 5; Ayew 5, Benteke 7. Subs: Zaha 7, Schlupp 6, Mateta 6.
25’ GOAL! Tottenham 1-0 Palace (Bale): Gareth Bale opens the scoring for Spurs! Palace give the ball away deep in their own half after pressure from Lucas, and it’s Harry Kane who picks it up. The forward does well to draw the two covering defenders across to him as he bursts towards the near post, and then he slides a cross through to the unmarked Bale to tap home. 1-0!
45’ GOAL! Tottenham 2-0 Palace (Bale): It’s an equaliser for Palace and it’s Christian Benteke who’s got it. They’ve barely been in it at all, but the visitors progress forward just as the whistle is about to go for half-time and a curling cross is met by Benteke, whose leap was really quite impressive, salmon-like you could say. His header picks out the corner and it’s 1-1!
49’ GOAL! Tottenham 2-1 Palace (Benteke): Spurs are back ahead and it’s Gareth Bale with his second of the game. The Welshman finds Reguilon with a nice ball out to the left and then he carries his run into the box. The cross is deeper towards Harry Kane, but the forward nods it back rather than going for goal and Bale takes full advantage with a headed finish from close range. 2-1!
52’ GOAL! Tottenham 3-1 Palace (Kane): Pick that one out! Harry Kane makes it three and it’s an absolute beauty. Spurs play some lovely quick passing to leave Palace panicking a little to get back into shape. Bale feeds Doherty down the right, and the full-back pulls it back for Kane outside the box to hit a curling first-time shot into the far top corner. That’s a peach. 3-1.
69’ – Zaha skips forward and picks up the ball again as the move carries on. He drifts on to his left foot and unleashes from the edge of the box, but his shot comes back off the upright and Spurs clear.
76’ GOAL! Tottenham 4-1 Palace (Kane): Harry Kane has his second of the night and that is a superb team goal. Erik Lamela picks the ball up in the final third and keeps his composure to chip a gem of a pass over the top of the defence to Son. The South Korean volleys it first time back across goal and Kane nods home. VAR checks it, but Kane was behind Son when he crossed so that can’t be offside. 4-1!
- Son’s assist for Kane in the second half was the 14th time the pair have combined in the Premier League this season, breaking the all-time record set by Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton for Blackburn Rovers way back in 1995.
- Kane’s second goal brought up the century for Spurs in all competitions this season.
- Crystal Palace have now gone 12 games against Tottenham without a win and have lost six straight away to Spurs.
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