Tue, Mar 13, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Kane a concern as Spurs rally to crush the Cherries


Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min, front right, rounds AFC Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, rear right, to score in their Premier League match at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, England, on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

A goal down and Harry Kane injured, Tottenham Hotspur’s campaign for a third consecutive English Premier League top-four finish looked to be taking a serious hit, but Mauricio Pochettino’s team had other ideas, delivering a stirring comeback to defeat AFC Bournemouth 4-1 on Sunday.

Dele Alli equalized, before Son Heung-min struck twice and Serge Aurier nodded in to show that Spurs are far more than the “Harry Kane team,” as they were described by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola earlier this season.

“Sometimes it looks that in football only are important are the 11 players that play every week, but for me it’s so important the squad, because with a greater squad, with everyone fighting for the same objective, you can achieve all that you want,” Pochettino said.

Spurs moved into third place, a point above Liverpool and five points clear of fifth-placed Chelsea.

Earlier on Sunday, Arsenal defeated Watford 3-0 as Petr Cech became the first goalkeeper to reach 200 Premier League clean sheets.

The former Chelsea goalkeeper saved Troy Deeney’s penalty as goals from Shkodran Mustafi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan ensured the Gunners ended a run of three straight league defeats.

Despite the victory, Arsenal are 12 points adrift of fourth place and Arsene Wenger’s team selection suggested his attention is now firmly focused on the side’s UEFA Europa League campaign.

While Tottenham’s win keeps them in a strong position for now, they will desperately hope that Kane is fit to return for their next league game, against Chelsea in three weeks’ time.

“I am concerned, until he has a scan tomorrow we cannot say nothing more,” Pochettino said. “We hope it’s not a massive issue for him and for the team, and as soon as possible he can recover again and be available.”

The anxiety over Kane’s condition, after an apparent injury to his right ankle, is not limited to Tottenham.

The Premier League’s joint top scorer — tied with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah on 24 goals this season — is expected to lead the attack for England at this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.

After Kane was forced off in the 34th minute by a collision with goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, it was not obvious who could turn the game around for Spurs.

Alli equalized with a composed volley at the back post shortly after Kane went off, but it was Son who won the match.

He volleyed in Alli’s cross at the back post in the 62nd minute, before displaying his composure by rounding Begovic to seal three points in the 87th.

Serge Aurier then headed in a fourth in stoppage-time.

Petr Cech saved a penalty on his way to becoming the first goalkeeper to claim 200 Premier League clean sheets.

It was the first time the 35-year-old had kept out a spot-kick since joining Arsenal in 2015, having spent 10 seasons before that with Chelsea.

“It’s an unbelievable personal milestone, obviously,” Cech said. “We took only 18 games to get nine clean sheets at the start of the season and since then we’ve had to wait 11 games, which is sometimes frustrating.”

However, it was Mesut Ozil who set the first record of the day at the Emirates Stadium.

His cross for Mustafi’s opener made him the fastest man to 50 Premier League assists, taking 141 games.

Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan then each contributed a goal and an assist to give Arsenal a win that does little more than strengthen their hold on sixth place.

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