Sun, Apr 14, 2019 - Page 11 News List

Lucas treble fires Tottenham into third

RAISING KANE:Harry Kane is likely to miss the rest of the season to injury, although the Spurs have won all five league games played without him this season

AFP, LONDON

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Lucas Moura, second right, shoots past Huddersfield Town defender Jon Stankovic, right, and goalkeeper Ben Hamer to score their second goal in their English Premier League match in London yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Tottenham Hotspur yesterday proved they can cope without Harry Kane and retook third place in the English Premier League as Lucas Moura’s hat-trick inspired a 4-0 demolition of Huddersfield Town.

Despite the absence of injured stars Kane and Dele Alli, Mauricio Pochettino’s much-changed side made it three victories from their first three games at the impressive Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Pochettino’s understudies filled in nicely as Kenya midfielder Victor Wanyama rolled in the opener before Brazilian forward Lucas took center stage with an eye-catching treble.

Tottenham have settled well in their new London home and already-relegated Huddersfield provided the ideal warm-up for Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg at Manchester City.

Bidding to qualify for next season’s Champions League via a top-four finish, Tottenham are one point clear of fourth-placed Chelsea, who face leaders Liverpool today.

Bottom-of-the-table Huddersfield have lost 19 of their past 21 league matches as their two-season stay in the top flight grinds to a dispiriting conclusion.

It was a reassuring afternoon for Tottenham, whose 1-0 quarter-final first leg win against City on Tuesday came at a heavy cost.

Kane is likely to miss the rest of the season after suffering yet another ankle ligament injury, this time in a tackle on City’s Fabian Delph, while Alli sustained a fractured hand that left him unable to face Huddersfield.

Adding to Pochettino’s problems, England midfielder Harry Winks was ruled out of yesterday’s game with a groin injury.

However, for all the panic about Kane’s injury potentially ruining Tottenham’s hopes of a successful end to the season, they have won all five of their league games without the England striker this season.

Much sterner tests than Huddersfield lie ahead, so Pochettino made seven changes, leaving Son Heung-min, Danny Rose, Toby Alderweireld and Kieran Trippier on the bench.

It was a gamble to rest South Korea forward Son, who had scored two of Tottenham’s three goals at the new stadium, including the winner against City.

All eyes were on Fernando Llorente and Lucas to see if they could fill the gap left by Kane and Son up front.

Huddersfield were so limited in all areas that Tottenham’s makeshift lineup were able to play their way into rhythm.

NEWCASTLE 1, LEICESTER 0

Newcastle United on Friday took a huge step toward securing their survival as Ayoze Perez sealed a 1-0 win against Leicester City.

Rafael Benitez’s side moved 10 points clear of the relegation zone thanks to Perez’s first-half header at the King Power Stadium.

Newcastle’s first away league win since December last year ended a run of four games without a victory that had threatened to drag them into the relegation dogfight.

They should be assured of maintaining their top-flight status after a difficult season tarnished by Benitez’s discontent over a lack of backing in the transfer market from controversial owner Mike Ashley.

“It’s massive for the team. You have to give credit to the players who worked hard,” Benitez said.

Amid rumors he might not be in charge next season if Ashley will not promise more investment, Benitez added: “We have to have a team who can compete.”

“You can do everything right with your tactics, but the other team has one player that can make the difference,” he added.

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