Kane scores, hopes to end with flourish

Tottenham striker Harry Kane scores his side's second goal in the 2-0 Premier League win over Watford at Wembley on Monday. He now has 27 league goals, four fewer than Mohamed Salah.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane scores his side's second goal in the 2-0 Premier League win over Watford at Wembley on Monday. He now has 27 league goals, four fewer than Mohamed Salah.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • To say it has been a difficult few weeks on and off the pitch for Tottenham striker Harry Kane may be an understatement.

He has endured a torrid time on social media, and been the butt of jokes from opposition players, fans and even the Football Association after claiming a goal, originally given to Christian Eriksen, that brushed against his arm at Stoke.

The England international has also looked below par after coming back from an ankle injury suffered at Bournemouth in early March, with his subdued performances raising the question of whether he returned to action too soon.

But on Monday's evidence, with Kane's second-half strike securing a 2-0 Premier League win over Watford at Wembley, his knack for scoring appears to be back with a bang, and the Spurs frontman is looking to finish the season with a flourish.

"I feel good," he said. "I'd like to have played better in the last few games, same of the team, but I feel sharp and could have scored more.

"Hopefully, I can finish strong like I did last season going into a big summer.

The win, in which Dele Alli opened the scoring, put fourth-placed Spurs five points clear of Chelsea in the race for Champions League places and just one point behind Liverpool in third, with a game in hand.

Kane, who now has 27 league goals and 38 for the season, also fired a warning shot as he tries to catch Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (31) for the Golden Boot as the league's top scorer.

"I try to improve every year. Last year, I got 29 goals so I'd like to beat that but we'll see what happens. In my mind, I'm trying to get to that 30 mark," he added.

The forward, who was making his 150th league appearance, has scored 105 goals in the competition and only Alan Shearer (121) got more in his first 150 matches.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said: "He scored, he needs to improve his performance still, but he's happy.

"What more can you say about him? He's a fantastic striker and I'm happy he scored again."

Asked why Kane's form had been indifferent since his injury, he added: "It's a mix of different things. It wasn't a great period for him the last few weeks and, of course, he's only human and was a little bit affected (by the negative reaction on social media).

"But he's a strong guy mentally and physically, and I'm sure that first of all, he's going to perform well for us and then he'll arrive in a very good condition to play in the World Cup."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 02, 2018, with the headline 'Kane scores, hopes to end with flourish'. Print Edition | Subscribe