In a rugged London derby, a magic moment from Tottenham Hotspur’s talisman made the difference for three big points and some club history.
The Monday evening match-up between Tottenham and Fulham would be a pivotal game this season for both clubs. Having seemingly met most of their goals, sitting on 31 points, and almost assuredly avoiding relegation, a win from Fulham would have put the Cottagers above Tottenham into fifth and a European position. Alternatively, a Tottenham win could put Spurs within three points of fourth place Manchester United and five points ahead of Brighton and Fulham in sixth and seventh place with 31 points.
Thus, on a night when the dreamers were hosting the hopers, Tottenham’s hero and history won on the road, keeping Spurs’ hope for a top-four finish alive.
Kane comes through at the right time for Tottenham
For most of 90 minutes on Monday evening, Tottenham and Fulham were in a tough, physical derby match-up. There were as many fouls from each side – ten – as there were shots, and there were twice as many tackles, which is what you expect in a London derby.
Fortunately for Tottenham, history was on their side on Monday evening as Harry Kane entered the game with 265 career goals for the club, one shy of Jimmy Greaves’ and the club record. Despite being ill, reportedly with a fever, Kane was aware of the moment for himself and the club, not just in history, but in this season, and he delivered, grabbing three precious points and a significant piece of Spurs history.
It was a goal out of nothing, which is nothing new for Kane. Just over a minute into first-half injury time, Kane turned on Tim Ream after receiving an entry box near the edge of the box. He used Joao Palhinha to block Bernd Leno’s view, placing the ball into the corner past a helpless Leno.
In the second half, Fulham had the lion’s share of the ball but failed to turn almost 60% of possession into more than three shots. Consequently, some tough-nosed defense and that Kane goal was enough to win the day for Spurs and keep hopes alive for a top-four finish.