Tottenham Hotspur emphatically dispatched Everton 5-0 to bolster their prospects of pushing for the Premier League top four, while driving Frank Lampard’s men further to the relegation precipice.
The Toffees started brightly as they looked to bring a level of intensity and drive that would match the industry of a typical Antonio Conte side, but that early momentum soon waned as the hosts got their noses in front — and from there the floodgates were well and truly open.
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A Michael Keane own goal in the 14th minute set the tempo for a night of free-scoring, one-way traffic. Son Heung-min doubled Spurs’ advantage, before Harry Kane bagged a brace either side of Sergio Reguilon’s strike a mere minute after the restart.
Kane’s double ensured he moved level and then surpassed Thierry Henry’s tally in the all-time Premier League goals chart, with the England international becoming the outright sixth highest scoring in the division’s three-decade history, bringing up strikes No. 175 and 176 in north London.
Harry Kane has now scored more Premier League goals (176) than Thierry Henry (175).
North London’s finest. 🔴⚪ pic.twitter.com/WHjrAsCeDh
— Squawka (@Squawka) March 7, 2022
To rub salt in the wounds of a dejected Lampard in the Everton dugout, Kane has now moved just one place and one goal below his own tally during a glittering playing career, most notably for Chelsea. Unfortunately for him, there has been nothing glittering about his ephemeral sojourn on Merseyside.
The Toffees remain just a point above the relegation zone, and while many will feel they have more than enough quality across the board to stave off any serious threat of relegation, Monday night’s disjointed performance perhaps underlines a more concerning issue for the club: a lack of tactical coherence.
Such was the manner in which Everton’s soft underbelly was exposed and clinically wounded in the capital highlights a greater problem at hand. A defeat to one of the division’s so-called ‘Big Six’ should never be a major cause for concern, but the manner of Everton’s capitulation is a major cause for concern.
For Tottenham though their redemption arc under Conte has seen them claim back-to-back Premier League scalps and Kane has now got the monkey off his back by finally reaching double digits in the top flight this term. As the reigning Golden Boot holder, March seems a late month for Kane to bring up 10 for the season.
But the 28-year-old is beginning to blossom under Conte, rediscovering his scoring rhythm and strengthening his side’s position in the Premier League top-four race, with the club now just three points below a game-in-hand Arsenal, who currently occupy that coveted final Champions League spot.
The true gut check for Spurs though will be to see whether they can replicate this level of endeavour and attacking drive against sides not hovering in and around the relegation zone. Back-to-back routs against Leeds and Everton will pad out plenty of scoring metrics, but Old Trafford is the real acid test this weekend.
An away trip to Manchester United on Saturday night offers Spurs the chance to make a statement. An opportunity to show that they are the real McCoy under Conte. With Kane back firing on all cylinders, Ralf Rangnick certainly has a job on his hands to shore up his leaky defence.
Travelling Toffees meanwhile will return back up the M6 with more questions, less answers, awkward silence as call-in radio attempts to dissect a self-inflicted collapse. On his return to London, Lampard has been left to pick over the bones from a very concerning display.