Harry Kane scored four goals as Tottenham Hotspur demolished last season’s Premier League champions Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. Kane put himself in pole position to capture the Golden Boot by taking his tally to 26 for the season – two clear of Everton’s Romelu Lukaku – ahead of the final round of fixtures on Sunday. Spurs showed no signs of a hangover from the emotional farewell to White Hart Lane, as they completely dominated the injury-depleted hosts. Son Heung-min also netted a brace as the visitors ran riot on a rain-soaked evening, while there was a consolation goal for Leicester from Ben Chilwell. Here are three things we learnt from an entertaining clash in the Midlands.
Kane on the verge of retaining Golden Boot award
We are rapidly running out of superlatives to describe Kane. It’s easy to forget that just three years ago, he was still an unknown quantity who was struggling to force his way into the Tottenham side. But his rise to becoming one of the best striker in Europe has been nothing short of meteoric. His statistics are astounding. Kane has netted 75 Premier League goals in only 112 appearances for Spurs, passing the 20-goal mark in the past three campaigns. This term, he has bagged 26 in only 29 matches; a ratio that puts him on a par with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo. Retaining the Golden Boot has clearly been at the forefront of Kane’s mind and had he not been forced to miss eight games through injury, he would surely be out of sight at the top of the goal scoring table. It seems ludicrous to suggest that he can get even better, but who would put it past him?
Motivated Spurs lay down a marker for next season
With nothing tangible for either side to play for, nobody would have been surprised if this match had petered out with a testimonial feel. Instead, there were seven goals as Tottenham laid siege to Kasper Schmeichel’s net. Even though the pressure was off, this was a seriously impressive performance from Mauricio Pochettino’s men. Yes, the Foxes were weakened through injury, but there was absolutely no indication that the visitors’ levels had dropped with the title now out of reach. If anything, they seemed more motivated to prove they will continue to be a force to be reckoned with. Much could happen over the summer months, with rumours circulating that several players are eyeing moves away from north London, but Pochettino must be thrilled with his side’s attitude. They have already laid down a marker for next season.
Shakespeare’s managerial prospects suffer a setback
Given the injury problems that have beset Leicester as the season draws to a close, it’s fair to say Craig Shakespeare would have had concerns about his side’s ability to withstand Spurs’ irresistible attacking threat. But the Foxes’ interim manager must have been embarrassed by how easily they capitulated to Kane and co. It’s a blot on what has otherwise been a highly successful stint, and one that Shakespeare will hope does not irreparably damage his prospects of being appointed on a permanent basis. Remember, Leicester were in serious peril when he replaced Claudio Ranieri back in February. The reigning champions have only three days to recover for the visit of Bournemouth, where victory in the final match of the campaign could see them finish as high as ninth. It will be Shakespeare’s last chance to convince his employers that he is the man to take the club forward.