Football News

Harry Kane enters Premier League top three but Antonio Conte praises “warrior” Richarlison after Tottenham win

By Harry Edwards

Published: 18:25, 3 September 2022

Harry Kane once again proved the difference for Tottenham Hotspur, scoring another record-breaking goal to help them beat Fulham on Saturday.

A lot was made about Kane’s start to last season as he struggled post-Euro 2020, having to wait seven games for his first Premier League goal and managing just one strike in his opening 13 matches. The Englishman would finish the campaign on 17 goals, thanks to a good run over Christmas, a strong March and decent end to the season and he’s carried that form into 2022/23 having finally had a summer off.

This season, Kane took just two matches to get off the mark, netting a late equaliser against Chelsea which was his 184th in the Premier League, moving him level with Sergio Aguero for the most goals for a single club in the division’s history. One game later the record was Kane’s alone as he scored his 185th Premier League goal against Wolves.

Two more followed against Nottingham Forest and on Saturday, Kane took his total tally to 188, moving him one clear of Andrew Cole on the list of the Premier League’s all time top goalscorers. Kane is now third outright, with only Wayne Rooney (208) and Alan Shearer (260) above their compatriot who will be looking to close the gap on the former as the season goes on.

But that was not the only significant milestone met with the goal. Tapping in from close range with his left foot, Kane has now scored 40 Premier League goals with his weaker foot, the first player to achieve that feat in the competition’s history.

Kane had previously been tied on 39 weak-foot goals with Robin van Persie but, fascinatingly, he has a Tottenham teammate not too far behind him with Son Heung-min having scored 38 goals with his weaker foot. The Englishman has also hit 43 goals in Premier League London derbies, moving level with Thierry Henry, and no player has scored more – fittingly giving Tottenham their 100th Premier League London derby win.

However, Antonio Conte reserved special praise for summer signing Richarlison who was making his first start since joining from Everton. The Brazilian missed Tottenham’s opening game of the season through suspension and was always going to have a tough task breaking into the front three with Kane, Son and Dejan Kulusevski all in top form.

Having come off the bench in each of the past four matches, Richarlison was finally given his first start as Conte rotated ahead of the Champions League in midweek, with Kulusevski dropping down to the bench. Richarlison set up Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s opener and thought he had scored late on but saw that effort ruled out for offside – though it didn’t rule out the yellow card he received for taking his top off in celebration.

And Conte spoke of Richarlison’s performance, saying: “For me he played in an amazing way, honestly, honestly. Richy with Lenglet today because don’t forget Lenglet, played very well.

“With personality, with quality, also found difficult passes between the lines. These two players, about the new players, these two players came into our idea of football quickly.

“Richy played really well and in this way I’m also more relaxed. Because when you play every three days sometimes you need to give a bit of rest. And today I decided to give a rest to Deki (Kulusevski). You know that Deki is having fantastic performances for us.

“But you know very well that we start the Champions League in three days, and we have to prepare for an important game. You know what we did last season to get this achievement and this result, and for this reason we want to enjoy, we want to try and be protagonists in this competition.

“Richy is another player, strong player, you feel him when stay on pitch and feel his personality on the pitch. He’s a warrior, a fighter and we need this type of player to improve this type of aspect.

“I’m using him in all the three positions in the front. A number 9 and number 10 on the right or the left. In the previous game he played in Son’s position and today he played in Deki’s position today. I’m not surprised but I enjoyed the fact he worked a lot to understand our ideas quickly.”