Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane celebrates after scoring against Fulham during the FA Cup fifth round match at Craven Cottage in London yesterday. Tottenham won 3-0. Pic/AFP
London: Harry Kane's fifth hat-trick for Tottenham eased the Premier League club past Championship side Fulham 3-0 and into the FA Cup quarter-finals yesterday.
The 23-year-old England striker, who took his tally to 19 for the season, ended a difficult week for Spurs and manager Mauricio Pochettino on a winning note following defeats by Liverpool in the league and then Gent in the Europa League last 32 first leg.
Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane (C) celebrates after scoring a hat-trick with teammates. Pic/PTI
Desire for positive result
Pochettino's team selection reflected his desire for a positive result as he started with Kane, Dele Alli, Victor Wanyama and Christian Eriksen whilst bringing back Belgian central defender Jan Vertonghen.
"We had to recover the right feeling after two defeats," said Pochettino. "We had to believe in the way we work and play and that is what is important. We had lost that a little bit." Kane said the margin should have been bigger. "We played very well and probably should have had a few more goals," he said. "I thought the manager was going to take me off soon, but fortunately, I was able to sneak the third one in."
Spurs started brightly with Eriksen — set up by a neat header on by Alli — forcing Marcus Bettinelli into a fine save in the fifth minute.
Kane slotted home the opener on the quarter hour from a cross by Eriksen after Kieran Trippier had done well to spy Fulham left-back Scott Malone was out of position and found Eriksen with his throw-in. Spurs goalkeeper Michel Vorm — who replaces number one Hugo Lloris for the FA Cup games — almost gifted Fulham an equaliser with a sloppy work in his area.
Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane (2nd R) scores his and Tottenham's second goal. Pic/PTI
Fulham had been a bit lacklustre but finished the first half on a brighter note with Stefan Johansen firing just wide and then Sone Aluko's curling effort being safely gathered by Vorm.
However, the same combination for the opener combined again for the killer second as Trippier located Eriksen, whose superb cross was converted by Kane. Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic had seen enough and sent on 16-year-old sensation Ryan Sessegnon.
Kane sealed his hat-trick in the 73rd minute by running onto a pass by Alli and rifling the ball past Bettinelli — the striker was then removed with the second leg against the Belgian side Gent to come on Thursday.