Analysing Harry Kane's two-goal performance for Tottenham against Swansea City

Tottenham have had a disappointing few weeks, but they are now back in touch with the top four after a convincing victory over Swansea City. It was a huge confidence booster for the attack as they have struggled this season, scoring fewer than the current top four. There has always been a feeling that if Tottenham improved their attack, then they would be serious challengers for the top four as they have the best defence in the league. Although they managed to score five goals on Saturday, it could be explained better by Swansea’s awful defence than any improvement in Tottenham’s attack.

The one player that is central to their hopes this season is Harry Kane and their struggles in his absence highlighted that. He is not only an excellent player, but a pivotal figure on the pitch, one that the other players in the squad look towards when the side is struggling. The England international have been excellent since returning from injury. He has scored six goals from five matches, showing once again that he is one of the most reliable goal-scorers in the Premier League. Against Swansea, he was at his best and involved in a lot of what was good about Spurs’ attacking play.

 

The 23-year-old had plenty of opportunities against Swansea and could have scored a hat-trick on another day. His ability to get into dangerous positions and get a shot away mark him as one of the league’s best in the penalty area. During Saturday’s game, he had eight shots, two of which ended up in the back of the net. His first goal came from the penalty spot, while his second was a great finish after some impressive work from Son Heung-min. Early in the game, he was prevented only by an incredible stop from Lukasz Fabianski. He is in great form in front of goal and Spurs need it to continue if they are to challenge at the top of the league.

In addition to his shooting, Kane’s general movement caused Swansea all sorts of problems. His ability to drag defenders out of position allowed the midfielders to get a lot of joy in the final third. Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min both had excellent matches, and a huge reason for their success was the performance of Harry Kane. Defenders fear Kane and that leaves space open for the midfielders in the side to cause damage. It was evident when he was injured that Tottenham failed to create as much and that was partly due to Vincent Janssen not putting the same fear into the opposition.

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His link-up play was intelligent throughout and he completed 82% of his passes. Considering that the majority of his possession came in the final third, this is a very good pass completion rate. Two of his 36 passes were key and his creativity is often overlooked. He is able to make defence-splitting passes and that is another part of his play that was also missed during his absence.

Kane delivered a top quality performance against Swansea and helped Tottenham to a confidence-boosting three points. Although the opposition wasn’t the best, the win came at the best possible time for Tottenham as they needed a performance like this, especially ahead of a busy Christmas period. The 23-year-old has been excellent this season and has scored seven times in nine league matches. Tottenham are hoping that he maintains his fitness over the next month as they have some very winnable fixtures.

Next weekend, they have a tough match against Manchester United, but after that, they have matches against Hull, Burnley and Southampton. This should be a period when Tottenham can take a good points haul to move closer to the league leaders. Harry Kane will be their most important player over that period. If he keeps scoring goals, Tottenham will climb the table.

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