With one goal, Harry Kane must have felt a massive weight fall from his shoulders. Manchester City had just scored a late equaliser from the penalty spot, seemingly undoing all Tottenham Hotspur’s hard work in establishing a 2-1 lead at the Etihad Stadium. However, Spurs weren’t content to settle for a point, as Kane met Dejan Kulusevski’s cross with a bullet header to regain the lead and earn three precious points that no one fancied them for in the football betting odds.
The winning goal was a fitting reward for Kane after a performance in which he showcased all the attributes that make him one of the world’s best strikers. The fact that the display came against Manchester City, the club that Kane lobbied to join in the summer before Pep Guardiola’s side were forced to back down over an exorbitant transfer fee, made the whole thing even sweeter. Having struggled all season, this was the moment when Kane rediscovered the best version of himself.
It all started in the fourth minute. Kane drifted deep to pick up the ball in the middle of the pitch, before spinning a delightful ball in behind for Heung-Min Son to run onto. Son squared to Kulusevski, who had the simple task of slotting home to put Tottenham ahead. Cue the celebrations in the away end.
City fought back as you’d expect them to. İlkay Gündoğan eventually hammered home an equaliser after a long period of home pressure, but Spurs weren’t to be silenced. Midway through the second half, Son picked out Kane’s run and the England captain finished into the top corner with a gentle caress of his right boot.
The home side just couldn’t figure out a way to contain Kane. Rather than hanging on the last man, the 29-year-old drifted into deeper positions to pick the ball up, where he was able to demonstrate his fantastic passing range to help Tottenham into dangerous areas. If proof was needed that Kane is not a conventional number nine, this performance provided it. He is a complete player.
The winning goal late in stoppage time, after Spurs thought they had thrown it away, was simply the icing on the cake.
Kane’s outstanding display in that match might be just what he needs to get his career back on track. After the drawn-out transfer saga last summer, where it’s fair to say he lost the trust of many Tottenham fans, Kane has struggled to hit the heights of prior campaigns. At times he has looked sluggish and lacking in confidence — a far cry from the player who ripped defences to shreds on so many prior occasions.
But the display at the Etihad Stadium was a resurgence. Kane looked sharp, hungry, eager to make a difference for his team. He was bullish in possession, not getting bullied off the ball as he had been in many previous matches this season.
It’s hard to know whether this display was a sort of come-and-get-me plea to Manchester City, but either way it seems as though he is back to somewhere near his best. For a player who was operating at such a high level for so many seasons, it was perhaps natural that he should suffer a dip in form. Now, he seems to be back to his best, the goals have started flowing, and it will be interesting to see how Kane’s career develops from here.
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