Football

Tributes pour in for Tottenham's 100-goal Kane

Pundits agree Spurs striker's century reflects his class, character and composure

The praise for Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane poured in after the 24-year-old striker hit his 100th English Premier League goal at Anfield yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Mohamad Salah appeared to have won the game for Liverpool with a superb injury-time goal that put the hosts 2-1 up, but Kane then netted a last-gasp, controversial spot-kick to atone for a penalty miss just minutes earlier.

The England international is the second-quickest player to reach a Premier League century, with only Alan Shearer bettering his return of 100 goals in 141 games, reported AFP.

Ex-England and Newcastle striker Shearer posted a video on the official English Premier League Twitter account afterwards, teasing him: "Harry - congratulations on getting to 100 Premier League goals. What took you so long?

"You showed some great character and guts to step up and take that second penalty."

Shearer notched his century from 124 appearances more than two decades ago.

Former England, Barcelona and Tottenham manager Terry Venables also paid tribute to the prolific hitman, although he hopes that Kane will not follow in the footsteps of some of the EPL's best performers in recent times.

He said in the Daily Mail: "To get his 100th Premier League goal is a considerable achievement, well worth all the praise.

"It is confirmation of his status worldwide as a goalscorer of distinction who can operate under the most intense pressure, as he showed with his nerveless second penalty in front of The Kop.

"That's why he's a wanted man and that is something Spurs will have come to terms with...

"I hope Harry stays here. We don't want another of our Premier League talents being lured by Spain's big two."

Another former EPL manager, Graeme Souness, reckoned that the player will shatter the world record for transfer fees when the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid eventually come calling.

That scenario is just a matter of when, not if, the ex-Liverpool midfielder and manager wrote in The Times.

He said: "I'm fully aware that I will be upsetting some fans with what I'm about to argue, but, being impartial, I believe that Harry Kane should leave for Real Madrid this summer if he gets the chance.

"He could become the first £200m player."

"Big players want to be paid the going rate and win trophies. He'll be looking at wages paid at Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City and, although he'll never say it, know he's better than players who are getting twice as much and winning medals."

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino was understandably effusive in his compliment, as he highlighted Kane's composure.

Kane had a chance to put the visitors ahead from the spot late in the match, when the score was tied at 1-1 - substitute Victor Wanyama had, in the 80th minute, cancelled off Salah's early opener.

But Kane's effort was saved by Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius, and in the 91st minute, Salah put Liverpool ahead for the second time in the match.

NO MISTAKE

Four minutes later, however, Kane got a second opportunity from the spot, and he made no mistake this time.

Said Pochettino: "He is one of the best strikers. He can miss a penalty or a chance, but the personality to score 100 Premier League goals is because you have big, big b****."

Meanwhile, Kane hit back at Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk's accusation that he dived too easily under pressure from goalkeeper Loris Karius to earn the first penalty, which he missed.

Kane said: "He (Karius) has dived, he got in the way and I'm a player. I'm not going to jump out of the way because it's football.

"I definitely felt contact and I went down."

Kane's 100th goal ensured that he stayed a step ahead of Salah in their personal rivalry for the Golden Boot.

Kane leads the EPL top-scorers' chart with 22 goals, one ahead of Salah.

Football