Instead, the identity of the scorer of Tottenham’s second goal dominated the headlines.
In the 63rd minute at the bet365 Stadium, Christian Eriksen whipped in an in-swinging free kick from the left wing and was initially awarded with the goal. Yet striker Harry Kane wheeled away in celebration, arriving late on the scene and claiming the strike as his own.
It was a dubious situation to say the least: video replays appeared to show Kane attempting to flick on the Dane’s cross, but failing to make any meaningful contact. What is clear is that the direction of the ball did not change, yet Kane’s shoulder came within very close proximity to the ball.
But did he touch it? On the surface of things, the debate may seem insignificant. Tottenham won the match thanks to the 63rd-minute goal, and regardless of who scored it, Spurs will take the three points.
Yet, the strike could play a crucial role in the Golden Boot race, as Kane chases Liverpool star Mohamed Salah for the honour of the league’s top scorer. Kane appealed to the Premier League directly after the match, claiming the goal as his own and imploring the Match of the Day presenters to back up his case.
Another great away win. Definitely claiming that goal, flicked off my shoulder on the way in. @GaryLineker and @alanshearer will clear that one up on @BBCMOTD ? #COYS #THFC #PremierLeague pic.twitter.com/jIDF7cLf3d
— Harry Kane (@HKane) April 7, 2018
The Twitter scenes truly kicked off when it was announced at noon Wednesday that the Premier League Goal Accreditation Appeals Panel had awarded Kane the goal.
— Premier League Communications (@PLComms) April 11, 2018
Just 15 minutes later, Mo Salah responded in disbelief, along with a number of his Liverpool teammates.
Wooooooow really ?
— Mohamed Salah (@22mosalah) April 11, 2018
— Simon Mignolet (@SMignolet) April 11, 2018
— Trent Arnold (@trentaa98) April 11, 2018
— Georginio Wijnaldum (@GWijnaldum) April 11, 2018
The footballing Twitter community united in disbelief at the news, joining the Liverpool players in utter surprise. The shock created a new meme format, in which Kane claimed any goal you could imagine.
Mandzukic goal now being given to Harry Kane.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) April 11, 2018
— Gateshead FC (@GatesheadFC) April 11, 2018
BREAKING: Spurs appeal to UEFA for Ronaldo's penalty kick goal v Juventus to be awarded to Harry Kane. pic.twitter.com/BLzk79kWxw
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOE_UK) April 11, 2018
A quick look at tonight's fixtures as we pass the hour mark?
Real Madrid 0-3 Juventus
Wolves 2-0 Derby County
Also, in Norway
Sandefjord 1-2 Ranheim
— Ladbrokes (@Ladbrokes) April 11, 2018
BREAKING: Spurs appeal to Premier League for Rooney's 2011 goal v City to be awarded to Harry Kane. pic.twitter.com/6yRN6bGDs2
— Kristian (@vonstrenginho) April 9, 2018
The Spurs striker even began to claim awards from completely different sports.
BREAKING: Spurs have appealed to WWE for Carmella's title win to be awarded to Harry Kane. pic.twitter.com/s9TlAzREZo
— Wrestling Memes (@Wrestling_Memes) April 11, 2018
Just found out, my only wicket last year has been awarded to Harry Kane
— Village Cricketer (@VillageCricket_) April 11, 2018
Yet more than a few fans were fed up with the banter, fearing the joke had been overplayed.
"Harry Kane has just claimed ________'s goal" is already a dead joke format. Stop it, please.
— Elliot Hackney (LMcK) (@ElliotHackney) April 11, 2018
Someone should tweet some jokes about Harry Kane claiming a goal. That’d be well funny…
— Jay (@RFFH) April 11, 2018
But it seems one camera angle has settled the debate once and for all: it was clearly Eriksen’s goal.
Ever never a goal from Harry Kane, this one! pic.twitter.com/n7OEQOConU
— Martin Busk (@MartinBusk) April 11, 2018
All that fuss to still be four goals behind Mo Salah.
Is Erik Lamela about to have his best season yet as a Tottenham player?
The Argentine made a real impact against Fulham.
Erik Lamela impressed as Tottenham recorded a 2-1 victory over London rivals Fulham on Saturday.
The Argentine international hasn’t quite lived up to the reputation that accompanied his £25.7 million price when he moved from Roma in August 2013.
While he has threatened to show his true potential at times, he has never been able to achieve the level of consistency that warrants a regular starting spot for Spurs.
Nonetheless, fans were treated to the Argentine at his very best when he broke from his own half, dribbling past the entire Fulham midfield, before laying off the ball to Harry Kane for his goal at the weekend.
He complemented this moment with a confident cameo display from the bench, in which he threatened the opponents’ goal on two occasions, while fulfilling his role defensively, breaking up several Fulham counter-attacks.
Despite not getting as many minutes as he would have liked, Lamela was hugely influential in turning the course of the tie for the Lilywhites, and this could see him rewarded with his first start of the campaign in the not too distant future.
Having a fit and firing Erik Lamela gives Pochettino another excellent option for rotation in attack. After his cameo at Wembley, there is a feeling that the 26-year-old is well prepared for his best season as a Tottenham player.
Tottenham’s Anthony Martial decision looked justified against Brighton
The Frenchman was poor against Brighton after summer in which Tottenham tried to sign him.
There were plenty of poor performances from the Manchester United players. The likes of Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof and even David De Gea did not cover themselves in glory. But Anthony Martial might have been the pick of the bunch.
With Alexis Sanchez missing the Frenchman got a surprise start but failed to take his opportunity. He looked disinterested at times and was anonymous throughout, before being hauled off by Mourinho.
“After thinking about all the factors and possibilities, Anthony wants to leave Manchester United. There are lots of factors, and right now it’s too early to talk about them…”
It comes at the end of a summer in which it seemed he would leave. The player wanted to go, as confirmed by his agent.
Tottenham Hotspur were heavily linked with his signature. However, as reported by the Evening Standard, Spurs were never going to pay the asking price for the French international – set at a cool £80 million by the Old Trafford hierarchy.
At one point toward the end of the transfer window, it appeared that things have softened and a deal might go through. But Tottenham did not get their man.
Based on the evidence on display this afternoon, Tottenham fans might be pleased. But his display today shows exactly why he should have been allowed to join Tottenham this summer.
Clearly, he is not happy. Because on his day the 21-year-old is a devastating forward with the ability to leave even the best defences in tatters.
A move to Tottenham could have reinvigorated his spirit and career. As it is, he is stuck at United where he looks set to cut a destitute figure until January at least. If he carries on this form, then Tottenham are unlikely to come knocking on the door again.
Three selection headaches Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino faces ahead of Manchester United trip
The Argentinian made two changes against Fulham having beaten Newcastle and despite the impressive win at Wembley, could make more before heading to the north-west with several doubts over key men in the team.
Here are some of the biggest decisions he will have to make over the week ahead…
Ben Davies or Danny Rose?
Ben Davies has had a poor pre-season and a disappointing start to the Premier League season, potentially opening the door for a return for Danny Rose. Linked with an exit in the summer, Rose was on the bench against Fulham and could be applying the pressure on the Welshman who took his place last season.
It seems unlikely that Pochettino would make such a change for such an important fixture, but equally he may not want to gamble on Davies costing his team with an error.
Lucas Moura in attack?
One of the best performers throughout pre-season and, in particular, against Fulham, has been Lucas Moura. The Brazilian has played as a second striker and been impressive, creating and finishing chances and posing an alternative threat to Harry Kane.
Yet, selecting Moura means that Pochettino must sacrifice a midfielder such as Moussa Dembele, which he may be reluctant to do going to Old Trafford. This decision will be a clear reflection of how confident Pochettino feels about his team’s chances of a win.
Is it right to play Toby Alderweireld?
Goal were among many sources to claim that the Belgian was close to joining Jose Mourinho’s side this summer as speculation continued throughout the transfer window. Alderweireld returned to the line-up for only his sixth appearance for the club in 2018 against Fulham, but Pochettino may have doubts.
The coach could question whether Alderweireld’s mentality would be correct to face a club he reportedly wanted to sign for in only his second appearance of the season, and with the likes of Eric Dier ready to step in, he may opt to be cautious.
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