Late Kane Double Helps Tottenham Beat Villa

Harry Kane

Harry Kane says Tottenham are aware of the standards they have to reach to be competitive this season after they suffered a scare before overcoming Aston Villa.

Liverpool beat Norwich City 4-1 on Friday before champions Manchester City thrashed West Ham 5-0 to get their campaigns off to convincing starts.

Spurs were on course for a surprise defeat at home to newly promoted Villa in the late game yesterday before scoring three times in the final 17 minutes to win 3-1, Kane grabbing two of the goals.

They were the England captain’s first goals at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which opened in April, and Kane added: “Liverpool set the standard, then City so we know it’s going to be a tough, long season.

“We have got off to a winning start and there is still lots of things to work on.”

Despite the score, this was far from a straightforward victory for last season’s Champions League runners-up.

Tottenham were sluggish for long periods and were heading for defeat before turning the game on its head after substitute Christian Eriksen injected some much-needed energy to the attack.

Despite failing to sign Argentine forward Paulo Dybala, Spurs have strengthened significantly this summer in an attempt to improve on last season’s fourth-place finish.

But they started in similar fashion to their lacklustre form at the end of the 2018-19 season, when they won just one of their last five domestic games.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino was missing several important players because of injury and fitness, including Dele Alli, Son Heung-min, and new additions Ryan Sessegnon and Giovani lo Celso.

The team lacked invention and sharpness before new club record £53.8m signing Tanguy Ndombele cancelled out John McGinn’s opener after Villa failed to clear their lines following Tom Heaton’s save to keep out Davinson Sanchez.

Suddenly, Spurs had confidence and momentum and Kane, who had never scored in August until last season, made sure of the points with a quick-fire double in the final four minutes.

He made it 2-1 after Jack Grealish, a Spurs transfer target 12 months ago, lost possession, and then wrapped it up with a clinical finish which left Villa crestfallen.

It was hardly vintage Spurs but at least they are up and running before next Saturday’s visit to champions Manchester City.