Football

Pochettino salutes 100-goal Kane

Spurs striker reaches century mark in 169 matches, 12 fewer than Arsenal's Thierry Henry

Mauricio Pochettino paid tribute to Tottenham Hotspur forward Harry Kane after he reached 100 goals for his club in an impressive 3-0 victory against Everton on Saturday.

Kane scored twice at Goodison Park to end an unproductive start to the domestic season in which he continued his remarkable record of never having scored a Premier League goal in August.

The England international got back on the scoresheet with two goals for his country in Malta on Sept 1 and, with his confidence restored, he quickly displayed the form that has seen him win the Premier League's Golden Boot award in the last two seasons.

On this occasion, however, Kane also enjoyed a large slice of luck for his first goal as his intended cross drifted over the head of Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the first half.

"It's not important," said Pochettino with a laugh. "Cross or shot, it was a goal.

"I'm happy because he has scored his 100th goal for Tottenham and he deserves a lot of prizes and congratulations for that. It's an unbelievable mark for him."

Kane himself admitted that he did not intend to shoot for that all-important opening goal but, at the start of a crucial period which sees Spurs begin their Champions League campaign against Borussia Dortmund on Thursday morning (Singapore time), he was pleased with the momentum gained from the win.

"No, I didn't (mean it)," said Kane. "I got a lucky one but sometimes you need that.

"It is fantastic. It has been a crazy few years and to get the 100th goal was amazing. Hopefully, I can get a few more.

"That was a very good performance today. It is not an easy place to come but we played very well. Our attacking play was fantastic.

"We wanted to come here and get a good result. We just need to take this momentum into the Champions League."

Remarkably, it took Kane just 169 games to reach the 100-goal landmark, 12 games fewer than Arsenal legend Thierry Henry to notch his century of goals.

Everton manager Ronald Koeman was impressed with the manner of Tottenham's performance, and Kane's display in particular.

"When I speak about Tottenham, I mentioned that they have, maybe with Manchester City, the best football side in the Premier League," said Koeman.

"We had real problems with their diamond in midfield. They usually found the free player in midfield and that makes it really tough.

"Maybe after (Lionel) Messi and (Cristiano) Ronaldo and Alexis Sanchez, and maybe one or two more, he is one of the best.

"In his football, he is really clever and he's using his body at the right time. His movement, his finishing, he's a top striker."

Pochettino agreed with Kane's assessment of the Tottenham display and its importance during a period in which Spurs appear to be struggling to cope with this season's enforced move to Wembley for home games.

"It was a very solid performance," said Pochettino. "I'm very pleased and happy because it's important. We have a very busy period ahead and this was a very important victory for us.

"I'm very pleased but now we move on, try to recover as soon as possible and try to be fit for our first Champions League game." - AFP

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