LONDON (Reuters) – Harry Kane maintained his incredible strike rate against Everton with a penalty in his 400th Tottenham Hotspur appearance paving the way for a 2-0 Premier league win over Everton on Saturday.
Spurs were struggling to break down a resolute Everton team who had the better chances in the first half, but the prolific Kane once again made the difference.
After being taken down by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford just before the hour mark, Kane dispatched his spot kick beyond the dive of his England team mate to take his league tally against the Merseyside club to 14 in 15 games.
Tottenham dominated after the break and Kane was then involved in a flowing move that ended with Danish midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg wrapping up the points in the 86th minute.
Antonio Conte’s side moved to 23 points from 10 games, level with second-placed Manchester City who visit Liverpool on Sunday when leaders Arsenal, who have 24, travel to Leeds United.
Everton rarely looked like getting back into the game after going behind and have now managed only one victory in their last 20 Premier League games against Spurs.
They are 14th with 10 points from 10 games.
As has often been the case this season, Spurs laboured at times but proved clinical when it mattered to maintain an impressive start to the campaign — their best in terms of points won in the Premier League era.
“We had to be patient,” Kane, who has nine league goals this season, told Sky Sports. “The spaces opened up as they got tired; thankfully we kept knocking on the door and got a couple of chances. It was a really good win.”
Everton were left to rue a couple of wasted chances in the opening period when they managed to stifle Tottenham’s attack.
First Demarai Gray raced into the box after being picked out by Conor Coady but blazed a shot way over the crossbar.
Then shortly before the interval Amadou Onana seized on a Tottenham mistake and burst into the box only to also lift his shot over the bar.
Kane forced a save from Pickford early in the second half with a fiercely struck volley but Spurs only really began to tick when they were forced into a re-shuffle following an injury to former Everton striker Richarlison.
When the Brazilian limped off, Conte sent on midfielder Yves Bissouma and suddenly Tottenham looked more fluid in attack.
The breakthrough arrived when Pickford fumbled a shot by Matt Doherty and as the ball ran loose the alert Kane nipped in and was bundled over by the keeper.
Kane, who missed a penalty in the 3-2 Champions League win over Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday, made no mistake as he drilled his penalty into the corner.
Spurs barely gave Everton a sniff after that and wrapped up a seventh home win from seven games in all competitions this season when Kane played in Rodrigo Bentancur who then picked out Hojbjerg inside the area.
The Dane took his time before beating Pickford with a deflected shot.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris)